EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

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The EFG London Jazz Festival returns in November, bringing a diverse bill of music across a variety of venues in the city. Now in its 27th year, the festival will run for 10 days from 15- 24 November and recently announced a second wave of shows.

The festival’s resident artist this year will be Terri Lyne Carrington, American drummer, singer, composer and producer. Carrington has developed an impressive reputation, having worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding, and will be playing at King’s Place over the festival’s opening weekend. This comes as part of the venue’s Venus Unwrapped series, a season devoted to showcasing the work of female artists and composers. 

A veteran of British free improvisation, saxophonist Trevor Watts will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year with a concert at the South Bank Centre. A founding member of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble – alongside John Stevens and Paul Rutherford – Watts will be appearing on stage at the Purcell Room on 15 November with his quartet, including John Edwards (bass), Mark Sanders (drums) and Veryan Weston (piano).

Also appearing at London’s South Bank Centre this year will be saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Trio Tapestry, featuring Marilyn Crispell on piano and Carmen Castaldi on drums (17 November). Award-winning Swiss singer Lucia Cadotsch will play with her Berlin-based trio music from Speak Low, an album of classic American standards by the likes of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Dinah Washington, performed with a contemporary European twist (19 November). And Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez will be launching his new project, Global Messengers, with music written for piano, cello, laouto, violin, vocals and percussion (22 November). A renowned social activist, Perez will bring together musicians from Palestine, Greece and Jordan in this cross-cultural project inspired by an uncertain social climate.

Jean Toussaint will present the release of his latest album Live At The Jazz Café, at Cadogan Hall on 23 November. The saxophonist made a name for himself after joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982 and has since gone on to build an impressive discography of 11 albums as a leader. Live At The Jazz Café will feature new compositions as well as live takes of music from his 11th studio album Brother Raymond, which was nominated for album of the year at the Jazz FM Awards this year. Toussaint will be joined by Byron Wallen (trumpet), Dennis Rollins (trombone), Andrew McCormack (piano), Daniel Casimir (bass), and Shane Forbes (drums).

This year’s EFG London Jazz Festival will also showcase music from the current London jazz scene. Saxophonist Camilla George will appear at Cadogan Hall (19 November) with American pianist Christian Sands, considered one of the most in-demand pianists working in jazz. And SEED Ensemble, led by Cassie Kinoshie and featuring young musicians like Theon Cross (tuba), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet) and Chelsea Carmichael (tenor saxophone) will play at Jazz Café on 24 November. 

Further line-up announcements are still to come, as well as talks, cinema programmes, and workshops. See the festival website here.