Fri 14 – Sun 23 November 2014

One of the UK’s landmark musical celebrations, the EFG London Jazz Festival has long been acclaimed for delivering a mixture of world-class artists and emerging stars, and energizing audiences both new and old.
With a wide-ranging programme of over 250 shows over the ten days; from towering figures of the genre playing London’s finest concert halls through to the freshest up-and-coming talent hitting the stage at the capital’s finest clubs – the Festival continues to take jazz to an ever-increasing audience.
The first artists to be announced, and onsale from today, include

Opening gala: Jazz Voice

Barbican, Friday 14 November

The Festival’s signature opening-night gala returns once again with its epoch-spanning celebration of singing and song. The list of past guests stretches from Boy George, Kurt Elling and Sheila Jordan to Gregory Porter, Paloma Faith and Patti Austin.
Arranged, scored and conducted by Guy Barker, this year’s extravaganza will see a brand new clutch of singers and a 40-piece orchestra mark the major anniversaries, birthdays and milestones that link the decades stretching back.
‘It would be difficult to imagine a more impressive curtain-raiser to the Festival than Jazz Voice’  (The Arts Desk)

John Surman & Trans4mation Strings & Chris Laurence (Surman at Seventy residency)

Kings Place, Friday 14 November

Surman’s writing for the combination of a terrifically talented string quartet, the richly resonant double bass of Chris Laurence and his own solo improvisations represents a supremely personal approach to chamber music that captures the imagination and catches the breath in often astonishing beauty.
In a history stretching back over 15 years, their recordings and performances together have entranced listeners and drawn critical acclaim – ‘a total joy; the best record I’ve heard this year’ said Jazzwise of their 2006 CD, The Spaces In Between. Tonight’s concert will feature the European premiere of Three Landscapes, written for the virtuoso Australian recorder player Genevieve Lacey.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Friday 14 November

One of the great small bands in jazz today plays its first London concert in some years. The consummate solo skills of the leader – immersed in the jazz tradition, but completely of today – interacts with the free-wheeling rhythm section of virtuoso pianist Joey Calderazzo, master bassist Eric Revis and the precocious young drummer Justin Kaulkner to make music that is packed with surprising twists and turns and a genuine sense of excitement in its telepathic interplay.

Cadogan Hall, Friday 14 November

The year after Benny Goodman’s debut at Carnegie Hall he returned with his orchestra, this time sharing the billing with the most famous swing band of all: The Glenn Miller Orchestra.
This concert will be a full recreation of the music played by these great bands including In The Mood, Bach Goes To Town, Sunrise Serenade, Bugle Call Rag, Little Brown Jug and many more.In addition there will be selections from the Carnegie Hall 1938 and 1939 concerts From Spirituals To Swing, featuring music by Count Basie and Lester Young’s Kansas City Six as well as music from Louis Armstrong’s Carnegie debut.
The evening begins with the first movement of Bela Bartok’s Rhapsody for Clarinet and Violin (Contrasts) which Goodman performed with violinist Joseph Szigeti at Carnegie Hall in January 1939.

John Surman and Bergen Big Band – Another Sky(Surman at Seventy residency)

Kings Place, Saturday 15 November

Surman’s collaboration with a big band of massive energy and spirit has produced a fine recording of original music – Another Sky provides a tremendous setting for the Bergen Big Band‘s fine range of individual soloists – the emotionally charged alto playing of leader Olav Dale a special highlight – as well as featuring Surman’s own rumbustious excursions on baritone and soprano saxophones.
The band themselves have an impressive pedigree over two decades – a myriad of projects include playing with jazz icons Phil Woods and Joe Henderson, as well as innovative forces such as Maria Schneider, Terje Rypdal and Dino Saluzzi.
The massively influential Norwegian singer Karin Krog will join John and the Bergen Big Band on stage as a special guest.

Abdullah Ibrahim – Ekaya + his new trio

Royal Festival Hall, Saturday 15 November

The charismatic South African pianist and composer returns to London for a special concert that celebrates his 80th year, and brings together the infectious township jazz of his septet Ekaya and the lustrous colours of a brand new trio, with Cleave Guyton (reeds) and cellist Noah Jackson, in their UK premiere.
There’s nothing in music quite like the atmosphere of an Abdullah Ibrahim concert – a riveting live performer, weaving his own atmospheric spell of heart-stopping melody and delicately propulsive grooves.

Barbican, Sunday 16 November

Always on the lookout for opportunities to ‘dig around for where I’m coming from’, one of today’s most original guitarists pays homage to the music that got him ‘super fired-up’ – the electric sound of the Fender Telecaster and the music of Charlie Christian, Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and the Kinks.
Due for early autumn release, Guitar in the Space Age promises to be Frisell’s most intriguing album in years – the live band features fellow guitarist Greg Leisz alongside a powering rhythm section of Tony Scherr and Kenny Wolleson.
Frisell has dropped in on recent shows by multi-instrumentalist/singer Sam Amidon, who has found his own beguiling path through a landscape of Americana with his Nonesuch album Bright Sunny South – ‘beautifully bucolic’ (Spin) and ‘archaically rootsy and savvily refined’. (Wall Street Journal)

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tuesday 18 November

Specially commissioned new music from two supremely talented composers is at the core of a concert that brings the distinctive approach of the jazz writer to an orchestral setting.Trish Clowes is one of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation artists – her elegant saxophone sound is matched by a distinctively melodic approach to composition which promises to reap rich musical rewards in the hands of an orchestra whose recent Festival concerts have included a landmark programme with Wayne Shorter and an edgy, absorbing encounter with Shabaka Hutchings.
Guy Barker’s command of dramatic texture is just one element that makes him one of today’s most valued creators of new music – he contributes a new extended piece to mark his recent appointment as Associate Composer with the Concert Orchestra, adding to his long-established association with the Festival as Musical Director of the opening night’s Jazz Voice.

Roundhouse, Tuesday 18 November

Snarky Puppy is truly a different kind of musical animal. The New York-based quasi-collective has leapt from being an underground secret to international fame in a very short time. 2014 has got off to a winning start for the group; they took their first Grammy Award for Best RnB Performance ft. Lalah Hathaway, released a brand new album We Like It Here and play two sold-out shows at London’s Scala in May.
With a deep knowledge and respect for tradition, their music ranges from raw funk and soul through to lyrical melodies and lush harmonies, and their live shows are unparalleled in energy, virtuosity, and sheer musicianship.
‘Nobody outran the sheer flat-out verve of American jazz-fusion collective Snarky Puppy, who funked everybody’s suncream off as if recreating the movie Speed, playing as if the tent would explode if they slowed funk-delivery below 50mph’. (The Guardian)

Cadogan Hall, Tuesday 18 November

To mark the 60th anniversary of Newport, an evening celebrating the early years of this great festival. Its founder George Wein is nearly 90 now and still actively involved with the event today. Newport and London are both members of the International Jazz Festivals Organisation and we’re delighted to be paying tribute to this esteemed fellow member, one of the oldest and most famous jazz events in the world.
In 1956 Duke Ellington’s Orchestra came to Newport and presented a concert which George Wein described as ‘the greatest performance of Ellington’s career; it stood for everything that jazz had been and could be.’
This evening’s concert features all of the music from the best-selling Ellington at Newport 1956 album.

Barbican, Thursday 20 November

Global jazz at the very highest level – a double bill of ECM artists that crosses continents and genres.
Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko is a contemporary jazz hero, who has been at the heart of the European scene since the fiery, radical days of the 1960s – this quartet features one of today’s most charismatic pianists, the young Cuban David Virelles, with the edgy New York rhythm team of bassist Thomas Morgan and the unpredictably brilliant drummer Gerald Cleaver.
‘Brilliant chemistry, Stanko’s playing has never sounded better’ (Downbeat)

The double act of Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and Brazilian Hamilton de Holanda – the Jimi Hendrix of the bandolim – radiates irresistible enthusiasm and warmth, in a joyous repertoire of South American love songs and tangos. De Holanda’s mastery of Brazil’s 10-string mandolin is matched by the irrepressible joie-de-vivre of one of today’s most gifted pianists – ‘dazzling virtuosity, humour and captivating tenderness’ (The Guardian)

Wigmore Hall, Thursday 20 November

The hugely talented young pianist Dan Tepfer makes his solo London debut in the lustrous acoustic of the Wigmore Hall, performing his much admired interpretation of J.S. Bach’s masterpiece, with the original music complemented by Tepfer’s own improvised response – ‘to build a bridge across centuries and genres’ (Wall Street Journal).
Tepfer’s duet with the veteran saxophonist Lee Konitz was a highlight of the 2013 Jazz Festival, his lightning-fast reactions to the jazz master’s unpredictably fascinating twists and turns proving a revelation.  Already the recipient of multiple awards, his mix of the gorgeous and the vivacious, lyricism balanced with swing is the signature of an emerging jazz star.
‘on the classical side, a blend of grace and power; on the jazz side, built with daring and elan’ (Village Voice on Goldberg Variations / Variations)

Kings Place, Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 November

A very rare chance to hear one of the seminal figures in latin jazz, up close and personal.

Revered as the founder of Irakere, the group that marked a seismic change in the evolution of Cuban music back in the 70s, Chucho Valdés performs a series of solo piano concerts in the intimate setting of Kings Place.  His encyclopaedic vocabulary of rhythms is grounded in the aural history of mother Cuba, packed with joyous touches of traditional dance and folk roots, and combines with the orchestral sweep of classical music and a mercurial command of jazz improv to create a spectacular and wholly individual style – ‘dazzling, deceptively casual virtuosity’ (New York Times).
‘One of the great pillars in the history of contemporary jazz’ (Houston Chronicle)

Coming up soon

Over the next couple of months Serious are also welcoming back artists from the EFG London Jazz Festival 2013. Join them for a great evenings of jazz with TigranHugh Masekela,Snarky PuppyRiot JazzMadeleine PeyrouxPhronesis and Toumani Diabate.

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