Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival set to return in July

People dancing in the street outside Iceland shop
Birmingham 28 July 2018
Birmingham Solihull & Sandwell Jazz Festival
© Photo Merlin Daleman

The countdown is on for the Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival to welcome back music fans for another ten jazz-packed days.

Europe’s largest free jazz party is returning to the region on Friday 16 July until Sunday 25 July to celebrate its 37th consecutive year. The festival will include over 200 jazz and blues performances, talks, workshops and film showings featuring bands and musicians from across the UK, Europe and further afield.

Nearly all the events have free admission and will take place at 100 venues across the West Midlands, including everywhere from bars to shopping centres, parks to libraries. The full programme of events will be published on at the start of June.

Since its debut in 1985, the festival has generated over £80m for the region’s economy, put on an amazing 6,755 performances and attracted a total audience in excess of 2.9m people.

The festival has received £50,400 from the first round of funding announced as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund in October of last year, and £25,033 from the second round announced at the start of April.

Festival director Jim Simpson said: “From Friday 16 to Sunday 25 July we’re looking forward to more than 100 live performances of hot jazz and cool blues across the region, with almost all of it free to the public.”

As well as jazz, blues, swing, dixieland and more, there will also be free ukulele, jitterbug, vocal and instrumental workshops open to all.

The festival has published a brand new photofilm featuring the work of photographer in residence Merlin Daleman – the short video acts as a reminder of the enjoyment to be had at Europe’s largest free jazz party.

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