Writer Henry Hanssen
Since its humble beginning in 2011, Tuesday night jazz at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth have become a staple on the Birmingham jazz scene, attracting an audience just as diverse as the music on offer.
As well as bringing in internationally acclaimed jazz artists, such as Stan Sulzmann, Lianne Carroll, and Julian Arguelles, The Dog also uses its platform to provide gig opportunities for some of Brums freshest musicians. After both main sets, there’s a weekly jazz jam where local musicians are encouraged to get up and play a tune, no matter what ability you are.
The jam is a rite of passage among both music students, like myself, and already established players. Which has cemented The Dog as a true Birmingham institution representing an integral part of the life blood of the city’s jazz scene.
Jazz at The Dog has recently been under the management of Liam Brennan and Kai Chareunsy. This most recent duo carry on a long lineage of local legends running jazz at The Dog, following in the footsteps of Jonathan Silk, Richard Foote, and Tommy Fuller.
These two have their work cut out for them, and they consistently deliver.
Liam and Kai have managed to put on some of the biggest names on the UK jazz scene, including tenor sax prodigy Emma Rawicz, trad genius Joe Webb, as well as the ever the evolving BBC Young Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole, and the godfather of Birmingham contemporary jazz Soweto Kinch.
This, as well as an excellent selection of alcohol and crisps (my personal favourite being the aptly named Porky Rinders) makes for a staple weekly night out in Brum. All of this comes at the very agreeable recommended donation of £5.
Jazz truly is communal music which would be lost without venues like this keeping the tradition alive and available for everyone.
Whilst The Dog’s authentic atmosphere is near ideal for intimate jazz nights, I’d recommend you get there early, because the pub is on the cosy side and the crowd is large and eager.
So, next time you find yourself at a loose end on a Tuesday evening, make your way down to The Dog and soak in the contagiously good vibes.
For more on Jazz at the Spotted Dog follow @spotteddogjazz on Instagram. They release their line-ups on a weekly basis.
For more from the Spotted Dog visit www.spotteddog.co.uk