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EFG London Jazz Festival 2018

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    Posted: 20 Jul 2018 at 9:13am
The late Hugh Masekela to whom tribute will be paid during the festivalThe late Hugh Masekela to whom tribute will be paid during the festival
Spread over eight amazing locations from the prominent Barbican Centre and Cadogan Hall, to more intimate venues such as Village Underground, the EFG London Jazz Festival (or LJF) is set to run between 16-25 November later this year. The festival is one of the world’s most ambitious and hopes to celebrate the entirety of the jazz genre from traditional be-bop and modal, to acid and afro-Cubano. Below are some highlights for what’s ahead. 

Jazz Voice – festival opening gala, Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall, 16 Nov 

The festival’s signature opening gala often has a stellar cast of performers and this year is no exception. LFJ veterans and international stars Seal, Angélique Kido and Mica Paris are returning with some soulful ballads. Gregory Porter is set to bring his new register of Nat King Cole classics, meanwhile the boundless vocal strength and energy of Paloma Faith will also make an appearance.

Tord Gustavsen Trio, Cadogan Hall, 16 Nov

Returning to his renowned trio format, Tord Gustavsen aims to transport audiences into the subtle bustle of Norway’s cities. A pioneer of what he coined as ‘Nordic Blues’, he’s taught at some prestigious music schools and is a veteran of major jazz festivals including most recently Vinterjazz 2016. Tuning into the Trio’s performance is a great way to experience some easy-listening blues as LJF.

Bobby McFerrin, Barbican Centre, 18 Nov

A ten-time Grammy winner, Bobby McFerrin is instantly recognisable for his 1988 hit Don’t Worry Be Happy, in which he showed himself to be a master vocalist. He also recorded the first jazz vocal album without any accompaniment and has performed worldwide with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Herbie Hancock. For LJF he’s bringing his ground-breaking a cappella group, Voicestra, to perform alongside local singers. There will probably be some fun audience participation for which McFerrin is also known.

James Taylor Quartet and Orchestra, Cadogan Hall, 21 Nov

With over 30 years of touring experience with his close-knit quartet, celebrated Hammond organist James Taylor promises to liven up LFJ with some acid jazz. The James Taylor Quartet has previously collaborated with Tom Jones, The Pogues, and Manic Street Preachers, and had numerous hits including Love Will Keep Us Together. At Cadogan hall they will premier their new electro-cinematic inspired album Soundtrack from Electric Black, essential new listening for those who want to widen their jazz horizons.

Darius Brubeck, Kings Place, 21 Nov

Perhaps the most experienced performer at LJF, Darius Brubeck shone on the world stage as part of his father Dave Brubeck's quartet in the 1970s. More recently, he spent a lot of time teaching internationally and made a name for himself in South Africa. His quartet, which includes UK saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, will bring cool jazz and the unusual time signatures for which the Brubeck’s are famed to Kings Place. 

Lea DeLaria, Bridge Theatre, 18 Nov 

Probably best known for her role as Big Boo in Orange Is the New Black, Lea DeLaria is also a vocalist who focuses on traditional and modern be-bop jazz. She’s got a great history of Broadway performances, adding some extra pizzazz to the world of jazz. Expect her to bring a rich, soulful voice to some classic jazz ballads at the Bridge Theatre.

Richard Galliano, Wigmore Hall, 23 Nov

This performance at Wigmore Hall is a rare chance to see world famous accordionist Richard Galliano completely strip away the accompanists and amplification to play an intimate solo recital. Inspired by the sound of New Tango, Galliano has proven himself as a key pioneer of the accordion  taking jazz improvisation and giving it an interesting musical outlet. 

Jazz Cubano! A Showcase, Barbican Centre, 23 Nov

The Barbican will feature several Jazz Cubano performers over the course of a lively evening. Two-time Grammy winner Arturo O’Farrill, an accomplished jazz pianist who has worked with a range of artists from Harry Belafonte and Dizzy Gillespie, offers an unparalleled range of traditional Latin Jazz. Omar Sosa and Yilian Cañizares are more experimental and showcase the violin as a jazz instrument. Alfredo Rodriguez returns to the UK after a successful set at the BBC Proms last year and is widely acknowledge as a new virtuoso under the guidance of legendary producer Quincy Jones.

by Sam McPhail
from www.culturewhisper.com
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