Digby Fairweather has taken on many roles at Birmingham over the years, in recent years occupying the position of Festival Patron. In 2008 he took over from the late Humphrey Lyttelton who had been with him at the very start (even, before the very start) of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival. They headed the two competing front lines in the 1984 M&B Jam Session that gave rise to a full festival the following year. Digby’s achievements in jazz are far too numerous to itemise: as the author of many books, notably The Rough Guide (with Ian Carr and Brian Priestley), Notes from a Jazz Life and On the Road with George Melly; as leader of many top bands, including the award-winning Dig’s Half Dozen; as MD for top singers George Melly and Paul Jones; as archivist, broadcaster and tireless propagandist for jazz.
In 36 years as a full-time musician Digby has worked in such diverse bands as the Midnite Follies Orchestra and the co-operative quartet Velvet, as well as many all-star line-ups such as the Pizza Express All Stars, the Jazz Superkings and the Best of British Jazz. In recent years his Half Dozen has won many British Jazz Awards for Small Group, following on his earlier individual awards for Trumpet and Services to British Jazz.
See them during the 2014 Birmingham International Jazz Festival: