Now in its third year, the jazz festival will take place at Symphony Hall in August 2023

the music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall is delighted to announce the first confirmed artists in the line-up for B:JazzFest, which will take place from Monday 7 to Friday 11 August. Following on from the success of the festival over the last two years, the week of music will showcase an array of genres and includes performances from international touring artists to rising stars. 

With a range of guest tutors in the city for this year's B:Music Summer School, B:JazzFest will allow audiences to enjoy free and low-cost performances on stage at Symphony Hall and in Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space and B:Eats

Alongside B:JazzFest, the B:Music Summer School returns in August, as Symphony Hall opens its doors once again to young musicians from Birmingham and the surrounding areas. This year’s free, non-residential course will run from Monday 7 to Friday 11 August for young people aged between 11 and 19. Combining the Summer School with B:JazzFest means that B:Music can offer the chance for the young musicians to see and hear some of the best British talent in action, as well as learning alongside them. 

B:JazzFest will present a series of ticketed live concerts in Birmingham over five days in August. The artists announced for this year’s festival include headline shows from multi-award winning composer, conductor and improviser Olivia Murphy with her ensemble of twenty musicians (Wednesday 9 August), Birmingham’s own drummer, composer and producer Romarna Campbell with her trio Chaos (Thursday 10 August) and multi-dimensional creative force K.O.G who combines exquisite writing skills with shamanistic live performance, fierce raps, perfectly on-pitch singing across a massive vocal range and wicked dance moves (Friday 11 August). 

B:Music’s Jazz and Emerging Talent Programme Producer Alex Carr said, “This week-long celebration of jazz reflects the breadth that B:Music offers, giving a platform to early career jazz musicians alongside international stars. This third annual festival will see us bring an array of exciting talent from the local and UK jazz scene to audiences in Birmingham with our programme of live music. We are thrilled not only to support the rich and diverse jazz ecosystem in the city but also to work with a range of industry professionals that help to create exceptional opportunities to experience live music.” 

Additional acts lined up for the August programme will be announced soon. 

For the first time this year, B:Music is calling for local artists to perform at Symphony Hall during B:JazzFest. Local jazz soloists, duos and groups are being asked to submit a link to a recent performance to the B:Music team. Five will be selected to perform lunchtime concerts at B:Eats in Symphony Hall during B:JazzFest.

Alex Carr commented, “B:JazzFest has grown out of B:Music's mission to inspire a love of live music through performance and participation, giving a stage to the next generation of creative artists and supporting them to entertain and uplift, to create shared experiences and to be heard. We are constantly looking at ways to engage the local community, and this year we have significantly widened the scope of artists that are invited to come and perform at our Free Jazz Friday events, embracing the diverse cultures and communities of Birmingham and the Midlands. I would like to strongly encourage non-professional musicians and artists to apply to this call-out for artists so that our stages can fully reflect and represent the enormous talent within the Midlands.”

All jazz artists and groups aged 16+ who are located in the Midlands are invited to apply to this open call. Applicants should send a link to a recent performance on YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify or other social platform to programming@bmusic.co.uk with B:JazzFest Open Call in the subject line. Successful artists will receive a payment of £150 per group or artist per day.

Closing Date: Midday Friday 23 June.

Tickets for B:JazzFest are available now at: https://bmusic.co.uk/bjazzfest

B:JazzFest programme: 
Wed 9 Aug    Olivia Murphy            Symphony Hall Stage 19:30
Thur 10 Aug    Chaos                Symphony Hall Stage 19:30
Fri 11 Aug    K.O.G                 The Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space 20:30

Additional acts to be announced soon.