CRADLEY Heath and Blackheath are getting in on the act for this year's Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival.

The Sandwell Fringe of the festival is bringing 14 world class jazz to the borough in 16 venues across 10 days.

The foot-tapping fun kicks off with acoustic blues duo The Whisky Brothers at Cradley Heath Library on Thursday, July, 18th.

Another highlight of the fringe is Spanish group the Potato Head Jazz Band performing at Blackheath Library on Friday, July 25.

Both concerts start at 7.30pm and are totally free.

Lightwood Park, Bearwood, is one of the main venues for the fringe festival with The Budapest Ragtime Band, from Hungary, Bobby Woods, Ricky Cool and The In Crowd all performing there during the festival.

Lithuanian act Giedre Kilciauskiene and Jazz Miniatures, from Lithuania, are bringing their cool Baltic jazz sound to Hagley Road Village on Tuesday, July 22 followed by the explosive comedy, jazz and extreme silliness of Bob Kerr and his Whoopee Band on Saturday, July 26.

The 30th Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival is taking part across 70 venues from Thursday July 18 until Sunday, July 27. Festival founder Jim Simpson said: " "We are over the moon the Sandwell Fringe is now such a big part of the festival, it is great that international acts will be performing for free in Cradley Heath and Blackheath."

"Providing an eclectic mix of jazz from Ragtime to Dixieland, the festival adds a vibrant sense of musical culture to Birmingham every year, and this year is no exception.

"There is a true emphasis on the ‘International’ this year, with the countries involved ranging from the Czech Republic to the U.S.A.

"What is certain is that this is not an event to be missed."

Culture vultures in Sandwell will also be able to get their fix during the Sandwell Arts Festival which starts on Thursday, July 24 and runs for a week. There will be free cultural events, workshops, concerts and fun days across all of Sandwell's libraries.

For more information about the jazz festival visit and for the Sandwell Arts Festival visit