Just when you thought that this year’s Jazz Festival had nothing more to offer, another day of fantastic music-making proved that it is still very much alive and thriving! Walking around the city going to the various events, it is very pleasant to see people being attracted to the music and staying for their lunch, and coming up to us and the musicians and telling us what a wonderful event this is.
Of course, this was helped by the fantastic weather, which continued into a day full of powerful vocals, sassy saxophones and plenty of charater as always. Having said goodbye to the New Orleans Jump Band and Giedre Kilciauskiene Jazz Miniatures earlier in the week, Thursday welcomed Saxitude from Luxembourg and Pepper & the Jellies from Italy into the Jazz Festival. The saxes were up first at Birmingham Cathedral Grounds, where they charmed the onlookers with their ‘saxy’ playing, while over at The Mailbox the bubbly and enigmatic Becky Brine sang to people’s souls with her Hot Club of Stonehouse. If you were feeling the blues a bit more, then Pacifico Blues were in The Brasshouse feeling it with you, while for the further afield, the Millennium Eagle Jazz Band were playing away in The Gracechurch Centre in Sutton Coldfield.
The evening brought welcomed our second new artist of the day in Pepper & the Jellies at Pushkar. We had all heard great things about this young Italian vocalist, expected to be one of the hits of this year’s Jazz Festival, and we were not disappointed, as her voice just seemed to appear as if it were the 1920’s again. If you get a chance to see the group, don’t pass up the opportunity!