The EFG London Jazz Festival runs 15 – 24 NOV 2019
Since its launch in 1992, the EFG London Jazz Festival has been one of the capital’s most hotly anticipated annual events each November. It never fails to surprise and delight and this year’s lineup, from 15-24 November 2019, of big names and emerging acts, is no exception. Headlining this year will be veteran musicians Herbie Hancock and Iggy Pop (both gigs are already sold out) along with Grammy award-winning singer Cécile McLorin Salvant.
On our radar for this year’s festival are a handful of gigs that no jazz fan should miss.
1. Steve Williamson Experience – Friday 15 November, Pizza Express Jazz Club
Legendary British saxophonist Steve Williamson’s compelling blend of jazz and classical music will be enhanced by his collaboration for this gig with StringTing, an ensemble of young string players from Tomorrow’s Warriors, the celebrated hothouse for young jazz talent in the UK mentored by acclaimed bassist and artistic director Gary Crosby.
2. Cécile McLorin Salvant – Saturday 16 November, Barbican
The incredible vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant will be performing her newest release The Window, accompanied by pianist Sullivan Fortner. When we first encountered the French-American jazz singer eight years ago at the Radio France Montpellier Festival , we were totally blown away by her talent. We’re expecting the support act to be a real treat as well, from the brilliant UK duo, pianist Andrew McCormackand sax player Jason Yarde.
3. Hermeto Pascoal – Tuesday 19 November, Ronnie Scott’s, Soho
Legendary Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s will present one of the most anticipated gigs of the festival with a rare performance from one of Brazil’s best known and loved composers and band leaders. Recognised as a genius of improvisation, Hermeto Pascoal’s music is often made with objects like toys, household items and animal noises alongside traditional musical instruments like the saxophone, guitar and flute.
4. Bilal – Thursday 21 Nov Jazz Cafe, Camden
Camden’s Jazz Cafe gig by a Grammy award winning singer-songwriter is another must. Since making his album debut in 2001 with First Born Second that sold over 300,000 copies, American musician Bilal has continued to garner critical and popular acclaim. He works across multiple genres including gospel, jazz, soul, blues, and hip-hop and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians including Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Robert Glasper and The Roots.
5. Peter Horsfall Quartet – Friday 22 November, The Oxford, Kentish Town
British trumpeter and singer Peter Horsfall brings his new project “RED” to the festival in an intimate setting in north London’s Kentish Town. He will be exploring the legacy of New Orleans trumpeter Henry “Red” Allen who, in addition to recording under his own name, also played and recorded with Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman.
6. Nat Steele Quintet, Saturday 23 November, Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club
Nat Steele, arguably the UK’s best vibraphonist, will be performing with critically acclaimed American jazz pianist Michael Weiss as part of the annual Bopfest that runs alongside the London Jazz Festival. Nat Steele’s debut album, Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet, released in 2017, was the vibes player’s genius take on one of the twentieth century’s most influential jazz groups. And his gig last year with Canadian saxophonist Grant Stewart was one of the highlights of the festival so no doubt we are in for a treat when he performs this month with Michael Weiss. The pianist has worked with everyone on the New York scene, including big names like Art Farmer and Gerry Mulligan.
7. Eddie Gomez Quintet –Sunday 24 November, PizzaExpress Jazz Club
We plan to round our London jazz festival experience off with a gig from another Grammy award winner, the American bassist, Eddie Gomez, who has played with many of the jazz greats, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan and Benny Goodman. For the festival, his quintet will perform with two acclaimed Italian saxophonists, Marco Pignataro and Renato D’aiello.