Alan Stanbridge

Birmingham Jazz Concert Series 1991-93

The breadth and depth of the regular concert series undertaken in this period by Birmingham Jazz was remarkable for a volunteer-based arts organization (see the full range of flyers below), with Tony Dudley-Evans (pictured) deserving full credit for his amazing dedication, tenacity, and diplomacy.

The series was the product of extensive collaboration, involving a combination of original program ideas, co-productions, and touring dates in association with a wide range of promoting organizations, and with financial support from a variety of funding sources, including MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), the Contemporary Music Network, Sounds Like Birmingham, BCMG (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group), Serious Productions, Assembly Direct, the Birmingham International Jazz Festival, Symphony Hall, Jazz Central, West Midlands Arts, Birmingham City Council, the Musicians Union, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the European Arts Festival, and the Dutch Ministry of Culture.

Tony is now the Artistic Adviser to the Jazzlines programme at Birmingham Symphony Hall/Town Hall and Programme Adviser to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. He also runs concerts in various Birmingham venues under the title TDE Promotions, often in collaboration with Fizzle. In Birmingham alone, Tony has promoted more than 1,000 jazz events since 1985.

The concert series and special projects presented by Birmingham Jazz in this period featured an incredible array of national and international jazz performers, and the range of artists and groups still boggles my mind. Here goes: Steve Ajao Quartet, Monty Alexander’s Ivory & Steel, Geri Allen Trio, Argüelles (with Julian and Steve Argüelles), Banana Republic, Django Bates’ Delightful Precipice, BCMG with Mike Gibbs and Bill Frisell, Tim Berne’s Caos Totale (with Herb Robertson, Steve Swell, Marc Ducret, Mark Dresser, and Bobby Previte plus Django Bates), The Very Big Carla Bley Band, Willem Breuker Kollektief, Ray Bryant (solo), Butchers of Distinction, Deidre Cartwright Group, Ornette Coleman and Prime Time, Como No, Chick Corea Elektric Band, Marilyn Crispell/Eddie Prévost Duo, Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop, Danish Radio Big Band and Rob McConnell, Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, Barbara Dennerlein Trio, Sidsel Endresen Band, Tal Farlow Trio, Bill Frisell Quartet, Jan Garbarek Group, Giorgio Gaslini and The Twin Cities Octet (with Enrico Rava, Heinz Sauer, John Schroeder, Yves Robert, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Julian Argüelles, and Steve Argüelles), Mike Gibbs Big Band with John Scofield, Dizzy Gillespie and the Bebop Band, Jimmy Giuffre with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, Kadri Gopalnath Quintet: Indo-Provisations Project, Trilok Gurtu Trio, Barry Guy (solo), Barry Guy and the London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, Buddy Guy Blues Band, Andy Hamilton Sextet with Myrna Hague and Sonny Bradshaw, Michael Hashim Quartet, Heavy Quartet, Dave Holland Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim/Basil Coetzee Duo, ICP Orchestra with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink, Billy Jenkins and the Voice of God Collective, Julian Joseph Quartet, Kokomo/Peter Erskine Project, Pinski Zoo with Jan Kopinski, Kronos Quartet and Foday Musa Suso, Kirk Lightsey Trio, Jon Lloyd Quartet, Alex Maguire and Steve Noble, Wynton Marsalis Sextet, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, John McLaughlin Trio and Katia Labeque, The Mondesir Brothers (with Mark and Michael Mondesir), Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble, Dave O’Higgins Quartet, Ian Palmer Quintet (with Guy Barker and Dave O’Higgins), Maceo Parker Roots Revisited, Piano 40/2 (with Andrew Hill, Joachim Kühn, Jason Rebello, and Howard Riley), Courtney Pine American Band, Don Pullen Trio, Ernest Ranglin and Jus’ Friends, Jason Rebello Band, Orphy Robinson’s Anavas, Arturo Sandoval/Como No Project, Louis Sclavis Quartet, Andy Sheppard and Nana Vasconcelos, Andy Sheppard’s In Co-Motion and Big Co-Motion, Markus Stockhausen (solo), Svengali, Chris Taylor’s Endangered Species, John Taylor Trio, Danny Thompson’s Whatever, Henry Threadgill’s Very Very Circus, Stan Tracey Quintet and Octet, Trio Wierbos/van Kemenade/Kuiper (Wolter Wierbos/Paul van Kemenade/Jan Kuiper), Roger Turner Quartet, Two Penguins in the Desert (Michiel Braam/Frank Nielander), Nana Vasconcelos’ Heart/Beat, Edward Vesala’s Sound and Fury, Miroslav Vitous/Jan Garbarek/Peter Erskine, Walsall Youth Jazz Orchestra with Julian Argüelles, Carlos Ward Quartet, Mike Westbrook Orchestra: Big Band Rossini, Randy Weston’s African Rhythms and the Gnaoua Musicians of Morocco, and Kenny Wheeler/Ralph Towner/Gary Peacock. Did I miss anyone?