London Jazz Festival

Lukas-Ligeti, composer/percussionist Lukas Ligeti @ London Jazz Festival, November 2009. Photo by: Maarit Kyt Uharju
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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival London, England UK
Festival Contact Information

London Jazz Festival
Serious International Music Producers
51 Kingsway Place
Sans Walk
Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0LU
England UK
Phone: (44) (0)20-7324-1800
Fax: (44) (0)20-7324-1881

Festival Description

The London Jazz Festival hosts world-class artists and emerging stars, packed into back-to-back concerts across London over a ten-day period.

Festival Dates November 15 - 24, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Programming 2013:
  • Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Friday 15 November
    • A rare opportunity to experience the intimate side of South African maestro Hugh Masekela, in a sumptuously lyrical series of duets with master pianist Larry Willis, revisiting a long friendship stretching back to their days together at college in New York in the 60s.
  • Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra
    Purcell Room, Friday 15 November
    • This concert marks Sulzmann’s 65th birthday, leading a big band that features star soloists who span the last five decades of British jazz at the very highest level. “Ravishing, delicious, powerful and direct…meticulously written, sometimes echoing the imaginative and much-missed orchestra of Michael Gibbs” The Guardian
  • Arild Andersen
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Saturday 16 November
    • Following his London Jazz Festival performance as featured soloist with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in 2011, Arild Andersen returns with a terrific new, international quintet that features some of the continent’s most individual soloists - Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith, Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and the effervescent French drummer Patrice Heral.
  • Schlippenbach Trio Vs Noszferatu
    Purcell Room, Saturday 16 November
    • A new project combining two virtuosic trios with asymmetrical takes on new music. Alex Von Schlippenbach’s Trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lovens brings together three of the godfathers of European free jazz while Noszferatu are one of the most versatile British new music groups comprising award-winning composer-musicians who work across new composition, jazz, rock , theatre, tango and improvisation.
  • Wayne Shorter: Quartet and BBC Concert Orchestra
    Barbican Sunday 17 November
    • Wayne Shorter returns to London to celebrate his 80th birthday year with the stellar quartet of Danilo Perez (piano) John Patitucci (bass) and drummer Brian Blade. A wholly distinctive saxophonist and a hugely respected composer, he has been consistently at the cutting edge of jazz since he joined Art Blakey in the early 60s, followed by landmark stints with Miles Davis and Weather Report before leading his own groups. His music transcends genre and keeps the improvisational genius and surprise of jazz burning at the centre. Expect rushes of individual virtuosity and intuitive interplay in the rare opportunity to see Wayne in two different settings: firstly with his quartet and in the second half of the concert bringing the quartet together with the BBC Concert Orchestra to play a new repertoire of Wayne’s music.
  • Charlie Parker on Dial
    Purcell Room, Sunday 17 November, 2 performances: 3pm and 7.45pm
    • Alex Webb’s jazz-into-theatre events have illuminated key moments in jazz history in successive Jazz Festivals with affection and imagination, the most recent being his acclaimed 2011 tribute to Cafe Society. For the 2013 Festival, he explores Charlie Parker’s period with Dial Records (1946-47), telling the story of how Parker’s musical genius was documented during his most significant record company relationship. Spanning the explosive Night In Tunisia / Ornithology sessions to the classic New York quintet recordings, a hand-picked group of London soloists celebrate the music of the bebop saxophonist who transformed jazz in the 1940s.
  • Sonny Rollins
    Royal Albert Hall, Monday 18 November
    • Playing still with the imagination and vitality that helped turn jazz on its head in the 1950s and 1960s, Sonny Rollins live is a not-to-be-missed experience. He returns to the Festival for our 21st birthday to play the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in what is bound to be a very special occasion, marking a relationship with London that stretches back to extended residencies at Ronnie Scott’s in the 60s that have become the stuff of legends. Part of the EFG International Excellence Series.
  • Tigran Hamasyan + Elina Duni
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tuesday 19 November
    • Pianist Tigran Hamasyan’s unusual marriage of jazz and Armenian folk tradition lies at the heart of one of the most distinctive talents to emerge on the international jazz scene in some years. He follows his stunning Wigmore Hall solo concert with a new set for his band – atmospheric jazz improv fused with the evocative vocal sounds of his native country. Albanian singer Elena Duni’s debut album for ECM Matane Malit created a real stir. In common with Hamasyan, her music carries profound echoes of her own cultural heritage, and brings her delicately balanced Swiss trio – featuring pianist Colin Vallon - to her first Festival performance.
  • John McLaughlin + Zakir Hussain: Remember Shakti
    Royal Festival Hall, Thurday 21 November
    • John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain celebrate their 40th anniversary of friendship and music since the original Shakti made such a massive impact with its astonishing acoustic fusion of eastern and western musics. The headlong interplay between guitarist McLaughlin and tabla virtuoso Hussain that is the hallmark of Remember Shakti also features Shankar Mahadavan (vocals), U.Shrinivas (mandolin), V.Selvaganesh (kanjira, ghatam, mridangam).
  • Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana: Mehliana
    Barbican, Thursday 21 November
    • World-renowned pianist Brad Mehldau switches to Fender Rhodes and a battery of vintage synths to partner up with acclaimed drummer Mark Guiliana in a collaboration whose rare US club sets and recent intimate UK dates have generated a massive buzz. Playing without set compositions, this is quintessential Brad and Mark that takes in free improv, forays into drum ‘n’ bass and a nod back to the dance funk spirit of the early 1970s.
  • Gilad Atzmon
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Thursday 21 November
    • 20 years after landing in the UK, saxophonist and composer Gilad Atzmon has become an intensely creative presence on the European scene, whether leading successive editions of his Orient House Ensemble, developing new work for string quartet alongside interpretations of the evocative Charlie Parker with strings project, or playing with the Blockheads and Robert Wyatt. This concert offers a journey through Gilad’s varied musical activity, including some very special collaborations.
      “Atzmon’s spirit and soul inhabit every one of his compositions, and his playing is truly exceptional” All About Jazz
  • Madeleine Peyroux
    Royal Festival Hall, Sunday 24 November
    • “The only thing that matters is the song” says singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. That conviction, along with a ‘one of a kind’ voice, has carried her from busking on the streets of Paris all the way to mainstream recognition. Through intensely distinctive renditions of old classics and modern tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, Peyroux has proved to be an uncannily insightful ‘interpreter’ with her consistently impeccable choice of material. Following her forthcoming season at Ronnie Scott’s, that is already sold out, she joins us at the Royal Festival Hall. Part of the EFG International Excellence Series.
More shows…. 2013:
  • Hossein Alizadeh
    Friday 15 November, Queen Elizabeth Hall
    • Two great figures of Persian classical music step forward for an evening of extended ecstatic improvisation. Hossein Alizadeh, who plays tar, setar and lutes, joins forces with renowned percussionist Pejman Hadadi for a rare British concert, produced by Nava Arts.
  • Jazz Cubana! Alfredo Rodriguez, Pedrito Martinez and Ramon Valle Sunday 17 November, Queen Elizabeth Hall
    • A triple bill bringing together three of the hottest new talents in the world of Cuban jazz, driven by the irresistible rhythms and headlong improvisations that define this music. Quincy Jones describes Alfredo Rodriguez as ‘one of the most prolific and gifted jazz pianists of the 21st century’. Ramon Valle made a huge impact at a previous London Jazz Festival – incendiary interplay is the hallmark of a trio that’s guaranteed to lift the roof. Charismatic percussionist Pedrito Martinez brings a band that has audiences dancing on the tables of the restaurant that’s their Manhattan home, and a new recording on Motema - the New Yorker said ‘if anyone can move Afro-Cuban music into greater visibility, it’s Martinez’.
  • Michèle Drees - Jazz Tap Project
    Monday 18 November, Purcell Room
    • Michèle Drees has been the rhythmic bedrock of the London Tap Jam at Ronnie Scott’s, and now she’s created a dance spectacular especially for the Festival, featuring legendary New York tap master extraordinaire Andrew Nemr and UK’s very own Rhythm Tap Master, the incredible Junior Laniyan.
  • Lee Konitz with Dan Tepfer + Kenny Wheeler Quintet
    Monday 18 November, Queen Elizabeth Hall
    • Two friends who go back many years come together in this two-part concert - beautifully crafted, the music of these two jazz giants continues to bewitch and enchant. In the first half trumpeter Kenny Wheeler plays an intimate show with his quintet. After the interval there’s sophisticated music from saxophonist Lee Konitz, who played a key role in the classic Birth of the Cool recordings in the late 40s, and who is joined tonight by pianist Dan Tepfer.


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