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The first series of concerts to be performed in Symphony Hall’s brand-new performance space, as part of the £13.2million redevelopment of the world-renowned venue’s public areas, have been announced as part of a collaboration with critically acclaimed musician and songwriter, Jamie Cullum.

Ahead of performing to a sold-out audience at Symphony Hall on Sunday 15 March, the award-winning jazz artist met four Birmingham-based jazz pianists from the Jazzlines talent development programme. 

David Austin Grey, Ashley Allen, Piera Onacko and Stella Roberts will perform across consecutive Friday’s in Spring 2021 as part of a series titled 'Jamie Cullum recommends'. Each concert, originally scheduled for Autumn 2020, will be free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance in order to secure entry.

Birmingham has a thriving and exciting music scene so I was thrilled to be asked to recommend some of the hottest artists from Town Hall Symphony Hall’s Jazzlines Talent Development Program. These four incredible Birmingham based Jazz pianists; David Austin Grey, Ashley Allen, Piera Onacko and Stella Roberts must be seen so make sure you catch this exceptional series of talent.

Jamie Cullum

With 10 million album sales to date and his successful BBC Radio 2 Radio show, Jamie Cullum is a celebrated musician the world over with loyal fans in every corner of the globe. With a career spanning over 20 years, his legendary live shows have seen him perform and work alongside artists as diverse as Herbie Hancock, Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar and Lang Lang, whilst the success of his major label breakthrough, ‘Twentysomething’ and its follow up ‘Catching Tales’ saw him nominated for a BRIT, Grammy and numerous other awards around the world.

In addition to his enduringly successful recording career, he has also established himself as a multi-award-winning music broadcaster. He approaches all aspects of his career, as he has from the beginning, as both a fan and a student with seemingly boundless creativity and enthusiasm. 

Through Jazzlines, Town Hall Symphony Hall have supported some of the finest Jazz musicians in the UK from Xhosa Cole to Reuben James. Over the coming years we will be able to add many more artists to this list as we invite thousands more aspiring musicians into the transformed spaces that this project will create. This will be a truly exciting series and we’re so grateful to Jamie Cullum for supporting our work and theirs.

Nick Reed, Chief Executive

The Making an Entrance project is a major transformation of Symphony Hall’s public areas. In addition to a state-of-the-art foyer performance space for free and low-cost activities, there will be dedicated spaces able to host learning and participation projects, and a richer and more welcoming experience including an enhanced food and beverage offer, refurbished toilets, additional disabled WCs and a Space to Change facility.

Jazzlines is a unique programme of creative jazz music and Talent Development from the charity that runs Town Hall and Symphony Hall. It offers performance opportunities to emerging and established contemporary jazz musicians as part of a thriving, artistically excellent programme in venues across the city and commissions cutting-edge new work, providing support to ensure future performances and a legacy for new projects. 

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