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EFG London Jazz Festival, 2022

November 11 - November 20

LONdon Jazz Festival

November in the capital provides that magical 10 days when some of the world’s most ingenious musical talent gathers for the EFG London Jazz Festival.

The event turns 30 this year and will celebrate with its biggest line-up yet, spreading its special vibes to venues of all kinds across the city: from iconic spaces such as the Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall, Barbican and Jazz Cafe, to the more off-beat Total Refreshment Centre and Cafe Oto in Hackney and Dagenham’s The Broadway and The Wilds. It all takes place between the 11th and 20th of the month and all shows can be viewed and booked here.

This year the great will Ron Carter will celebrate his 85th birthday with a special 13 November show at Cadogan Hall. Carter is probably the most recorded bassist in jazz history, with more than 60 albums and countless sessions. His place in Miles Davis’ second quintet puts him with the gods. Carter will play as a quartet.

Abdullah Ibrahim
Abdullah Ibrahim

Another stunning evening is promised when The Cape Town jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Dollar Brand) sits at the piano at the Barbican on 15 November and Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek will also put on a birthday show, for his 75th year, at the Royal Festival Hall on 13 November. Carter, Ibrahim and Garbarek form part of Icons, one of five themes being introduced this year.

There is also a big buzz this year around Gilles Peterson-tipped Secret Night Gang and Nubiyan Twist. SNG deal in a classic British street-soul sound and were voted Best Breakthrough Act by Jazz FM, while the 10-piece Nubiyan Twist draw on jazz, hip hop, acrobat, reggae and more with seamless virtuosity.

The opening gala on 11 November will feature a celebration of the voice of the at Royal Festival Hall. The theme Voice will see 45-piece EFG London Jazz Festival Orchestra conducted by Guy Barker take the stage. He is joined by alt-country singer songwriter Amythyst Kiah, jazz and reggae singer Caroll Thompson, influential British jazz vocalist Ian Shaw, West-End and Broadway star Marisha Wallace, Dana Masters and Kurt Welling among others.

If you need a hit of the American songbook, catch Emma Smith and Georgina Jackson’s big band the Big Swing on 18 November at Cadogan Hall. More details of singers in the trad vein including Diana Reeves and Melanie Charles can be viewed here.

Part of the Gobal Roots theme is an immersion into West African music with Africa Manifest. A highlight here is Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara who plays the Royal Festival Hall on 12 November. Also on this night is the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Afla Sackey + Afrik Bawatu and Falle Nioke at the Clore Ballroom.

During the festival’s first week is the Beyond The Margins theme which leans towards the cutting-edge. A highlight here is the Generations of Chicago Weekend at the Barbican featuring two must-sees: free-improv saxophonists Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton. The theme also features Hidden Orchestra, Matana Roberts and a night celebrating Shabaka Hutchings’ new label Native Rebel Recordings, while Hackney’s Total Refreshment Centre will host a series of free shows.

At the core of the second week is “Afrocubanismo”, with its own mini festival Ultima Fiesta. Cuban pianists Chucho Valdes and Harold Lopez-Nussa are the hot tickets here and there are plenty of free shows to catch too.

For more information, you might like to view this short film for this year festival:

If you can’t make it to London, then why not try out the Jazz Brugge Festival instead.

EFG London Jazz Festival Dates

The EFG London Jazz Festival is from 11-20 November.

More information on the London Jazz Festival 2022

Click here.

Words By Robert Spellman.

Main image : Yilian Cañizares, photo Lauren Pasche.


November 11
November 20
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