EFG London Jazz Festival 2018 recommendations

The EFG London Jazz Festival is the capital's biggest pan-city music festival, taking place annually in November, which has long been acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the Festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience, in one of UK's landmark music events.

The festival is produced by Serious, one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music. This year the festival runs from the 16th-25th November; it's aim to celebrate the place of jazz in a city which is at ease with its rich cultural diversity, and draw in a multitude of venues across London who present the music, week in, week out, throughout the year.

Below are our presenter recommendations for this year's festival. You can see the full listings and buy your tickets here.

 

Friday 16th November

Jez Nelson

Dave Douglas, Southbank Centre. ‘This is an intriguing line up! Dave Douglas never stands still and is a tireless and brilliant composer. Mary Halvorson is a superb and always surprising guitarist. And then Bill Laswell ! A master of the unexpected! It could go any way but I suspect this will be a treat.’

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Chris Philips

Christian Sands Trio, Pizza Express Jazz Club. 'Brilliant young American pianist Christian Sands brings his astounding virtuosilty to an intimate venue with music from his latest album ‘Facing Dragons.'

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Anne Frankenstein

MF Robots. ‘I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night than getting down to MF Robots - former Brand New Heavy Jan Kincaid and powerful vocalist Dawn Joseph released their eponymous album earlier in the year and it’s an absolute disco monster, one of my favourite records of the year. I saw them at Love Supreme this summer and I can attest that the live show will blow you away and is guaranteed make you move!’

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Jeff Young

Chip Wickham at Corsica Studios. ‘In the last 18 months Chip has released two superb albums of storming jazz. This promises to be a blockbuster.

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Saturday 17th November

John Osborne

Anthony Joseph & Friends.‘Windrush: A Celebration”, London Barbican. ‘Not only an outstanding musician but also a thought provoking poet, lecturer and novelist bringing together a celebration of British multiculturalism, this will be an experience not to miss.’

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Ruth Fisher

Marc Copland & Dave Liebman Duo at Pizza Express. 'Have always enjoyed both of these artists playing and have featured their recent albums on Full Circle. Both are brilliant improvisers creating exciting originals but also creative re-workings of various pieces from the ‘standards’ repertoire.'

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John Osborne

Judi Jackson. ‘I’ve been enjoying her new live album of 14 original tracks recorded at the Theatre Royal Stratford East London. It gets released on 16th Nov, the day before her performance at the London Southbank Centre. The album creates a superb atmosphere so I’m sure Ms Jackson will be amazing live.’

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Jeff Young

Deva Mahal, St Marys Music Hall. ‘Daughter of Taj Mahal, Deva is a superb vocalist with some powerful songs on her debut album "Run Deep". As you would expect she is a superb performer.’

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Sunday 18th November

Ruth Fisher

Bobby McFerrin at the Barbican. ‘I remember vividly the very first time I saw him do a solo gig in London in 1982, then again in Jerusalem in the 1990s where he conducted the Israel Philharmonic. His shows are spellbinding! There is no-one quite like him!’

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Mark Walker

Serious Sings - Emily Dankworth. ‘For any of you aspiring singers, this is a must. Grand-daughter o UK Jazz Royalty giving you all the tricks of the trade!’

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Tim Garcia

The Boy’s Doin' It. 'A celebration of the life and music of Hugh Masekela – ‘A needed tribute to the late great pioneer of South African Jazz Hugh Masekela. Lead by some of South Africa's best musicians and people who worked closely with 'Bra Hugh' I couldn't think of a more fitting ode to one of Jazz's greatest musicians.’

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Monday 19th November

Tim Garcia

Archie Shepp - Art Songs and Spirituals + Red Circle. ‘A rare treat this one the Free-Jazz pioneer joining forces with some of the UK’s finest musicians exploring his musical output at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and what better place to see it than the best auditorium in London…?’

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Nigel Williams

Vula Malinga at Pizza Express Holborn. ‘Powerful soulful voices don’t get better than this and she’s one of our own.’

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Chris Gilvear

Orphy Robinson presents Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks' – the 50th Anniversary Concert. ‘One of my favourite albums of all time - turns 50 this November, a fine vintage! We have only heard great things about Orphy Robinson’s jazz interpretation which he’s been developing over the last couple of years – now is a great chance to see it performed live with an all-star band and some of the best British vocalists in Sarah Jane Morris and Zara McFarlane.’

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Tuesday 20th November

Tony Minvielle

Seed Ensemble at Vortex. ‘The big band led by gifted composer, arranger, musician Cassie Kinoshi and featuring the cream of the UK's new young jazz talent is a must see if you have your eyes on the future.’

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Nigel Williams

Richard Bona at the Jazz Cafe. ‘This Cameroonian bassist and vocalist is one of Quincy Jones chosen few. Truly unique.’

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Tony Minvielle

Jazzmeia Horn at Ronnie Scotts. ‘The gig of the festival as far as I'm concerned from a lady with the most mesmeric voice in jazz who is at the top of her game. On our last meeting the power of her voice quite literally pulled me across the room to the front of the stage. This will be truly amazing.’

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Mark Walker

Youn Sun Nah at Southbank Centre. ‘A Beautiful Original voice with support from the amazing Alice Zawadski, not one to be missed!’

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Wednesday 21st November

Chris Gilvear

Cherise Adams-Burnett Albert Hall, Elgar Room. ‘This young and very talented UK singer is making several appearances at the festival but here is a chance to see her solo show, which is sure to feature some originals and standards in a beautiful space that’s perfect for a relaxed jazz vibe. Jazz FM has been lucky enough to see Cherise’s career really develop in the last couple of years and we can’t wait to see what she does next.’

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Tim Garcia

Komeda’s Incarnations, QEH. ‘An All-star band led by the killing James Morton, celebrating the work of the most important musican to come out of Poland in the last 100 years. Komeda's work Astigmatic will always be remembered as one of the great works of European Jazz. A Must See!’

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Jamie Crick

James Taylor Quartet & Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. ‘The James Taylor Quartet has always been deeply rooted in jazz funk and the party vibe they created blew us away on the main stage at Love Supreme Festival earlier this year. James has always been an innovative writer and arranger, with his recent ‘Rochester Mass’ project integrating a full cathedral choir into the fold. Now for this show, he has the chance to play with a complete orchestra – sure to be a sensational sound, not to be missed.’

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Thursday 22nd November

Sarah Ward

Bugge Wesseltoft. Magnus Öström. Dan Berglund RYMDEN at Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank Centre. ‘I'm intrigued by the debut of Rydem, the trio led by Norway's indomitable Bugge Wesseltoft with the rhythm section of Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom from the glory days of the EST trio.’

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Jez Nelson

Myra Melford - Snowy Egret - Kings Place (Hall One). ‘Pianist Myra Melford’s new album with her band Snowy Egret is one of my favourites of the year so far. It’s an all-star group of exciting players including guitarist Liberty Elman and drummer Gerald Cleaver playing Myra’s wholly distinctive music.’

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Helen Mayhew

Stan Sulzmann's Neon Orchestra - Southbank Centre / Purcell Room. ‘The Stan Sulzmann Neon Orchestra is a cross-generational big band, re-convened for a series of concerts to celebrate Stan’s 70th birthday ( which is on 30th November this year) and playing his own highly original and finely-crafted compositions and arrangements. Expect top class ensemble playing and top class solos too from revered veteran musicians like Henry Lowther and Pete Hurt, and from youngsters like Jonny Mansfield, Alex Munk and Josh Arcoleo. Catch the Neon Orchestra at the Purcell Room on Thursday 22nd.’

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Friday 23rd November

Chris Philips

Jazz Cubano at the Barbican. ‘Cuban piano maestro Omar Sosa and young Cuban violinist and vocalist Yilian Cañizares bring two genrations of the music together, along with Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz bandleader Arturo O’Farrill featuring his sons and Quincy Jones-mentored young Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez all provide a joyous celebration of the Island’s rich musical legacy.’

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Nigel Williams

Emily Saunders at the Exchange Twickenham. ‘Like me Emily is a huge fan of Brazilian music. She combines these influences with her own poetic lyrics sung in her truly unique style.’

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Tony Minvielle

Ghostnote with Mono Neon at Ronnie Scott’s. ‘Expect a feast of percussion with two Snarky Puppy alumnis Nate Smith (percussion) and one of the world great drummers and producers Robert 'Sput' Searight bringing the goods. Also joined by phenom bass player Mono Neon. Unmissable.’

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Saturday 24th November

Jeff Young

Makaya McCraven & Nubya Garcia. ‘Awesome double bill. Lots of people talking about Makaya's new album "Universal Being". This innovative drummer is always superb live.’

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Chris Philips

Jazz In The Round, Kings Place Hall Two. ‘An affordable ticket to see three amazing British bands. For openers Wonky Logic led by keyboardist Dwayne Kilvington, the three piece chamber jazz trio String Ting and the finale from British saxophonist Toni Kofi and The Organisation, all presented by Jez Nelson and Chris Philips in association with Jazz FM.’

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Helen Mayhew

Ian Shaw: Shine Sister Shine, Kings Place. ‘Jazzfm presenter Ian Shaw’s concert at Kings Place on the 24th looks to be a very special event indeed, as Ian will be performing songs from his excellent current album Shine Sister Shine, and will be joined as well by the Citizens of the World Choir, a group of singers from all backgrounds including asylum-seeker and refugees, some of whom Ian first met when working at refugee camps in Calais. Bound to be one of the most moving and uplifting events of the festival.’

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Nigel Williams

Antonio Forcione at the Bulls Head Barnes. ‘One of my favourite guitarists and a regular visitor to Jazz FM. He has mastered a range of styles and creates a fusion of sounds from Africa and Europe.’

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Sunday 25th November

Nigel Williams

Monty Alexander at Cadogan Hall. 'A formidable artist who I guess will bring a vibrant, jazzy, blues, gospel, calypso, reggae and soulful vibe to his performance, it would be crazy to miss this man while he’s in town.'

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Anne Frankenstein

Yazmin Lacey at the Jazz Cafe. ‘Yazmin’s album When The Sun Dips 90 Degrees has been the soundtrack to my summer and I’m thrilled to have been able to catch her live at a few festivals and in a gorgeous Jazz FM studio session earlier in the year. Her star has been rising at a rapid rate with the likes of Giles Peterson and Lauren Laverne singing her praises. Catch her at Jazz Cafe and prepare to have your heart lifted and broken all at once by her gorgeous voice and masterful song writing.’

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Jamie Crick

Melody Gardot with Live Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. ‘A Jazz FM favourite, her reputations precedes her, one of the best vocalist i've seen live and accompanied by an orchestra.. I mean Wow!’

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