The EFG London Jazz Festival launched its 30th birthday celebrations on Wednesday, 21 September, revealing a fantastic programme that includes both leading and rising names in jazz, blues, hip-hop and more.
The Festival will take over some of London’s most iconic concert halls and famous jazz clubs for 10 days from Friday 11 to Sunday 20 November 2022 and this year’s special 30th birthday line-up explores every corner of the jazz world.
From established icons to the next generation of superstars, the programme embodies the variety, creativity and inspiration that is found in jazz. Five-time Grammy award winning American vocalist Dianne Reeves, Cuban legend Chucho Valdés, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim all feature, as well as modern supergroup AZIZA and a celebration of the life of American jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, which includes his daughter Nenah Cherry.
The UK’s next generation of jazz superstars are represented by the likes of Emma Jean Thackray, former BBC Young Jazz Musician Xhosa Cole and saxophonist Camilla George. The Festival’s on air and digital offering will include BBC TV and radio broadcasts.
Richard AA Thomas, MBE, CEO EFG Private Bank Limited congratulated the Festival on reaching such an epic milestone, saying:
“It’s an amazing achievement for one of the world’s greatest jazz festivals to celebrate its 30th birthday. The EFG London Jazz Festival has creativity, innovation and collaboration at its heart, all values we admire and aspire to share, and every year it invites the audience to come together and experience something special”.
He added: “we are proud to have been a key partner for much of this journey and over that time, the LJF has gone from strength to strength and evolved into a vital platform from which young artists can flourish. As a result, there is now an impressive ‘jazz alumni’ of talent who have grown up with the Festival and are now established artists in their own right, making an impact on the global music scene”.
This year’s EFG Elements Series was also revealed at the launch. The EFG Elements Series is four shows hand-picked in conjunction with Festival organisers Serious, which we feel exemplify the richness and diversity of the programme. The series reflects our shared values of innovation, collaboration and passion, and also reinforces our commitment to emerging young artists and the creation of new music.
The EFG Elements Series shows for 2022 are:
Jazz Voice, Friday 11 November, Royal Festival Hall
Joining Guy Barker and the 42-piece EFG London Jazz Festival Orchestra for this year’s dazzling signature opening gala evening so far are two-time Grammy winner and one of the greatest jazz vocalists of our time, Kurt Elling; reggae and jazz-funk legend, Carroll Thompson; West End and Broadway star Marisha Wallace, alternative country and blues singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah and Van Morrison collaborator and jazz singer, Dana Masters.
Ron Carter Quartet, Sunday 13 November, Cadogan Hall
Ron Carter, the three-time Grammy award winning jazz legend and the most recorded jazz bassist in history, will be making his first appearance in the UK in over seven years. This special concert will celebrate his milestone 85th birthday and he will be joined by Donald Vega on piano, Jimmy Greene on tenor saxophone and Payton Crossley on drums.
Guy Barker’s Guitar and Clarinet Concerto with the Southbank Sinfonia, Eugene Pao and Giacomo Smith, Thursday 17 November, Cadogan Hall
The EFG London Jazz Festival will be premiering a unique collaboration and two new works from composer, conductor Guy Barker. He joins forces with Hong Kong’s most recognised jazz musician, guitarist Eugene Pao, and has arranged a new composition for youth orchestra Southbank Sinfonia. The evening will also feature a new clarinet concerto, written and performed by Giacomo Smith, the leader and creative director of Kansas Smitty’s.
The music will be driven by the wonderful Southbank Sinfonia, who EFG have supported since 2008. Each year, 33 of the world’s most promising graduate musicians come together to form an orchestra and this year they also celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Melody Gardot, Saturday 19 November, Royal Festival Hall
The American songstress has drawn comparisons to Nina Simone and Eva Cassidy and in 2020, she worked with award winning producer Larry Klein (known for his work with Joni Mitchell) on ‘Sunset in the Blue’, a work that showcases her beautiful alto voice. She will be performing this album for the first time in London, exclusively for the Festival audience.