EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 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 our good friends, Serious, who are one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music. This year the festival runs from the 15th-24th 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 15th November

Anne Frankenstein

Fatback Band at Jazz Cafe. 'I can’t overstate how much I love the Fatback Band - funk, disco, soul, rap, crazy basslines, crunchy synths, they’ve got it all. If the dancefloor is dying I just throw on a Fatback record and it brings the party right back around. Very excited about this rare UK show.'

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John Osborne

Da Lata at The Hidaway. 'I’m looking forward to experiencing the vibe that Chris Franck and Patrick Forge will create with their Brazilian blend of bossa, samba soul and jazz. Also hearing live versions of tracks from the pair's new album ‘Birds’.'

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Anne Frankenstein

Barb Jungr at Brasserie Zedel. 'Barb is well known as one of the world’s greatest cabaret singers and interpreters of popular song. Her new album of Dylan and Brel tracks, along with her own material, is utterly lush and this opportunity to see her in an intimate setting should be jumped at.'

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Tim Garcia

Total Refreshment Centre & Blue Note: Artists & Repertoire at Queen Elizabeth Hall. 'Curator Lexus Blondin puts together an unmissable show celebrating the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records, bringing together London Jazz stalwarts Emma-Jean Thackray, Free Movement Ensemble and special TRC supergroup (for one night only) that features members of Jake Long's Maisha and Rosie Turton Quintet. They'll be exploring that definitive 60's sound but with the Total Refreshment Centre ethos. A Must See!'

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Anne Frankenstein

Mr Bongo at Spiritland. 'Selectors from one of the best record labels in the UK playing records on one of the best sound systems in the UK, what could be better?'

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Saturday 16th November

Tony Minvielle

João Donato at the Jazz Café. 'This Brazilian maestro first appeared in ’65 with the bossa classic ‘The New Sound Of Brazil’ and he continued to enchant with the fender rhodes drenched masterpieces Quem é Quem and Lugar Comum. He makes a welcome return to the UK bringing with him his special brand of jazz infused soulful bossa. One not to be missed.'

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Mark Walker

Cecile McLorin Salvant at Barbican. 'Cecile has everything; grace, poise, a voice to die for. It’s no wonder that she is a firm favourite on Dinner Jazz. She is the real deal.'

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Tony Minvielle

We Out Here Presents Gary Bartz at the Royal Festival Hall. 'Saxophonist Gary Bartz is beyond legendary status with an incredible career spanning six decades, which has included work with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, Abbey Lincoln, Art Blakey, Pharoah Sanders, Norman Connors and so many more. After spending some time in the company of this amazing musician on his last visit I am so pleased that so many more people will get to witness the genius of the man that brought us ‘Music Is My Sanctuary’.'

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John Osborne

Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science Community at Kings Place. 'Having inspired so many artists over the years it’s a must-see gig to witness the multi-talented drummer, singer, composer and producer doing her thing live with an amazing line -up including Emma-Jean Thackray, Soweto Kinch, TrueMendous & Ayanna Witter-Johnson.'

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Sunday 17th November

Jamie Crick

Jan Garbarek Group at the Royal Festival Hall. 'Garbarak has played with medieval singing groups bringing his sax as a counter to the voices. His style is, as he says, ‘a rolling thing;’ everything from African influenced music to Norwegian songs on a fascinating night of meditative and lyrical music. Have a listen to 'In Praise of Dreams' to get started.'

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Chris Philips

John Scofield and Jon Cleary at Pizza Express. 'Guitarist John Scofield and New Orleans-based pianist and vocalist Jon Cleary come together in a rare duo show to play rootsy blues and funk at the intimate Soho venue. Two of my absolute favourite and prolific artists on one bill.'

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Sarah Ward

Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry with Marilyn Crispell and Carmen Castaldi at Queen Elizabeth Hall. 'I'd walk through wind and rain to hear the majestic tone of Joe Lovano on saxophone with his Trio Tapestry at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South bank on Sunday 17th. In support there's young UK guitar star Rob Luft in an intriguing collaboration with singer Elina Duni and then Rob hot foots it to the Omnibus in Clapham to join Dave O'Higgins for their fresh take on music by Monk and Trane.'

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Nigel Williams

Dave O’Higgins and Rob Luft at Omnibus Clapham. 'First class sax and guitar interpretations of Monk and Coltrane from this talented British Saxophonist and Guitarist.'

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Monday 18th November

Jeff Young

Hermeto Pascoal at Ronnie Scott's. 'Here is am almost unique opportunity to see Brazilian musician and composer Hermeto Pascoal. Don't miss it.'

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Ruth Fisher

Emmett Cohen Trio at Pizza Express Jazz Club. Curating The Performance Series on JazzFM, one of my favourite releases has been Emmet Cohen’s The Masters Legacy Series," a celebratory set of recordings and interviews honouring legendary jazz musicians such as Jimmy Cobb and Ron Carter. Marking his UK debut at the Pizza Express, judging by those live recordings, we’re in for a treat, and this could be the start of many more visits to the UK!

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Jez Nelson

Jason Yarde & ACOUTASTiC BOMBASTiC - Jazz In The Round at The Cockpit Theatre. A remarkable project from a hugely important British musician. A large ensemble roaming around an array of instruments with the audience taking a hand in what is played, who plays it and on what instruments! An interactive event in a fantastic intimate venue.

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Tuesday 19th November

Jez Nelson

Hermeto Pascoal at Ronnie Scott's. 'Hermeto is a massive hero of the jazz world. A glorious mix of Duke Elington, Sun Ra and … well Hermeto! He’s gigs are always a joyful affair and it’ll be a treat to see him in a small venue.'

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Jeff Young

Makaya McCraven at Village Underground. 'Trail blazer Makaya McCraven plays tonight. Incredibly talented and innovative drummer who shows never cease to amaze.'

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Chris Philips

Andreas Schaerer & Luciano Biondini at Pizza Express Holborn. 'Seeing Swiss improvising vocalist Andreas Schaerer can take your breath away. His astounding range and audacious creativity meld with a keen sense of timing and a touch of humour to create a unique and engaging show. Andreas shares the stage with Italian jazz and folk accordian player Luciano Biondini. A must see.'

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Helen Mayhew

Patricia Barber at the Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho.'One of the most original songwriters in Jazz, as well as being an accomplished jazz pianist and singer, her songs are often profoundly thought-provoking, and delivered in hushed tones. It’s a chance to see this mercurial performer in an intimate nightclub setting, hopefully one which will feel like home from home, as she performs regularly at the equally intimate Green Mill jazz club in Chicago.'

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Ruth Fisher

Christian Sands Trio at Cadogan Hall.'It doesn’t matter how many times I see Christian Sands perform, he still manages to surprise me with each performance! He has a joie de vivre that is infectious, his technique is ridiculous that it’s hardly surprising that he is one of the most sought after pianists in jazz! Miss this at your peril!'

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Helen Mayhew

Ashley Henry at EartH Hackney.'A rising star in Jazz, combining playing skills honed at Leeds College of Music and London’s Royal Academy of Music, with cutting edge influences including hip-hop, grime, and R&B. His long-awaited debut for the Sony Label came out in September, and features guests like Judi Jackson, Binker and Moses, Keyon Harrold and Theo Croker. This is a chance to see Ashley on the only UK date of a European tour, at the piano playing music from the album, 'Beautiful Vinyl Hunter’. '

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Wednesday 20th November

Chris Gilvear

Randolph Matthews - Walter Tull in B Major at Albany. 'Check out this Jazz FM Award nominated singer, multi-instrumentalist and electronic wizard with his masterful vocals and a talented ensemble alongside. Randolph is never shy from bringing politics into his music and live shows with a focus on the fascinating story of Afro-Caribbean footballer and WW1 army officer Walter Tull here. 100 years later, Randolph also shares his own passionate story about the Windrush scandal.'

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Chris Gilvear

Nat Steele's 'Portrait of the MJQ' at Cadogan Hall. 'What an opportunity to spend your lunch hour celebrating one of the most revered jazz ensembles of all time, with a stellar group of British musicians who will certainly do the MJQ justice – and the price represents extremely good value too!'

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Thursday 21st November

Tony Minvielle

Kassa Overall at Pizza Express Jazz Club. 'I first came across this incredible drummer a few years ago with Theo Croker’s band. He has gone from strength to strength... His versatility and digital savvy is now legendary and has made him one of the most in demand young musicians of the moment. Never known to be predictable and with a reputation for being a serious force of nature this is sure to be an unforgettable performance.'

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Friday 22nd November

Jamie Crick

Eliane Elias at the Barbican. '"Grammy award-winning with a melting voice and style mixing her Brazilian background with a sensuous sound she is a Jazz FM favourite and is joined by Neo-Brazilian performer Vinicius Cantuaria for a night of ambient, cool music with a subtle new age Brazilian twist. Listen to 'Speak Low' from The Dance of Time album.'

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Tim Garcia

Cykada at the Jazz Café. 'This group are modern day rockstars; the way they perform, the energy, the music, expect heavy vibes on this one.'

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Chris Philips

Dele Sosimi at Ninety One Living Room. 'London’s Afrobeat ambassador, a former member of the mighty Egypt 80 led by Fela Kuti, keyboardist Dele returns to Ninety One Living Room after a successful residency. This is set to be heat-seeking night of funky grooves with his four piece in an intimate venue.'

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Jez Nelson

Jaimie Branch at Church of Sound. 'One of the great emerging voices of modern music. Immersive and provocative music that stirs the soul and engages the brain. A must.'

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Sarah Ward

Danilo Perez'S Global Messengers at Queen Elizabeth Hall. 'On Friday 22nd ...I'd urge you to dive into the healing power of music for our tangled times with the thrilling , award winning musician Danilo Perez as his Global Messengers fuse jazz with sounds from around the world at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank.'

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Sarah Ward

Tomorrow's Warriors 'Bustin Outacube' at Pizza Express Jazz Club. 'Here's a thought... wind up your festival experience by legging it to the Pizza Express Jazz Club late late eve for a jam with Tomorrow's Warriors - the powerhouse of so much of the music coursing through the city.'

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Mark Walker

Omar Puente & Friends at Kings Place. 'London based Cuban violinist Omar Puente performs a special show in honour of his wife and campaigner Debbie Purdy who died in 2014. With guests Alex Wilson, Courtney Pine and Dennis Rollins, it will be an evening of eclectic, joyous sounds from around the world.'

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Saturday 23rd November

John Osborne

Mark Kavuma at Ninety One Living Room. 'Trumpeter Mark Kavuma promises to deliver a special night. I’m still enjoying his recent album 'The Banger Factory' and look forward to hearing his live interpretations of tracks from this and many more.'

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Ruth Fisher

Ralph Peterson - The Messenger Legacy at Cadogan Hall. 'Heavyweight drummer Ralph Peterson, the last drummer to play alongside the formidable Art Blakey in the Jazz Messengers Big Band, returns to London to celebrate the legacy of Art Blakey in the centenary of his birth! Cadogan Hall is going to rock with the sound of Ralph’s propulsive drumming accompanied by a stellar line up of musicians in his band! I can’t wait!'

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Sunday 24th November

Nigel Williams

Jamie Safir at Hampstead Jazz Club. 'Already a successful Musical Director, Jamie has an identifiable piano style that could reach incredible heights.'

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