Preview: Birmingham Legends Festival

Birmingham Jazz takes its lead from the Blue Note label for this year's Legends Festival with tributes to Jimmy Smith and Kenny Dorham

The 2017 Legends Festival, organised by Birmingham Jazz, runs from 19 to 21 May. It's set to feature a series of tribute gigs to artists synonymous with the Blue Note record label as well as concerts from bands notable, as the organisers put it, for "original instruments, themes and grooves".

The David Ferris Organ Trio will pay tribute to organist Jimmy Smith, the Nick Dewhurst Quintet brings the music of trumpeter Kenny Dorham to the festival and the Sean Gibbs Quintet will take inspiration from another Blue Note trumpeter, Lee Morgan. There will also be plenty of as-yet-unidentified Blue Note numbers from musicians such as Kate Williams and Bryan Corbett. Other festival highlights include appearances from saxophonist Tony Kofi (pictured right) - with a tribute to Ornette Coleman - and Alec Dankworth's Spanish Accents. There's also a rare concert from Partisans - Phil Robson (guitar), Julian Siegel (saxes), Thad Kelly (bass) and Gene Calderazzo (drums) - to close the event on Sunday night.

The festival programme is as follows - most morning and lunchtime gigs are free, ticket prices for other concerts range from £10 - £12.50:

Friday 19 May:

Birmingham Conservatoire Tony Levin Drum Prize - featuring four students from the Conservatoire competing for the 2017 prize
David Ferris Organ Trio - a tribute to Jimmy Smith
Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet - featuring Tony Kofi
Bryan Corbett National All Star Band

Saturday 20

Bryan Corbett Trio
Tony Kofi - Ornette Coleman Tribute
Bryan Corbett Quartet featuring Ed Jones
Kate Williams Four Plus Three

Sunday 21

Nick Dewhurst Quintet - a tribute to Kenny Dorham
Sean Gibbs Quintet - the music of Lee Morgan
Bryan Corbett's Local All Star Sextet - Blue 'n' Groovy
Alec Dankworth's Spanish Accents (Dankworth pictured left by Bruce Lindsay)

For further information about the festival, venues and tickets please go to the Birmingham Jazz website.

Bruce Lindsay

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