The Jazzwise guide to the unmissable acts at this year's EFG London Jazz Festival

EFG London Jazz Festival

This year's EFG London Jazz Festival runs from Friday 13 to Sunday 22 November and will host many of the most exciting jazz musicians from around the world. This is our guide to the concerts that we are most looking forward to, complete with links to fascinating interviews with each of performers to help you find out more about their music

Sons of Kemet at Rich Mix (Friday 13 November 2015, 8:30pm)

Sons of Kemet

Sons of Kemet – Rhythms of Remembrance

The supercharged double-drums, tuba/sax four-piece led by clarinettist and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings – arrived with a bang in 2013 with their aptly-titled, incendiary debut album, Burn. Winning a MOBO Award and a ton of critical praise the album’s dub-edged mash up of jazz, reggae, African and Caribbean sounds encapsulated a melting pot of music and cultural references in an organic sound-system assault. Selwyn Harris spoke to bandleader Hutchings about how the groups’s new album, Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do, takes these socio-cultural ideas into rawer, even more unfettered sonic realms… Read the interview

 

Kamasi Washington (as part of 'New Jazz, New Dance – Gilles Peterson presents...') at the Barbican (Saturday 14 November 2015, 7:30pm) 

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington – Big Bang Theory

There are few, if any, jazz triple albums that have made quite the impact that Kamasi Washington’s The Epic has had this year. Kevin Le Gendre spoke to the Los Angeles-based saxophonist about how his seismic spiritually-charged music came from his formative years playing in church and a deep well of like-minded forebears... Read the interview

 

Cécile McLorin Salvant + Femi Temowo at Cadogan Hall (Saturday 14 November 2015, 7:30pm)

Cecile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant – Something Old, Something New

In a world obsessed with looking back instead of forward extraordinary jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant is something of a paradox: a deeply soulful virtuoso capable of taking 100 year old songs and making them sparkle anew. Possessed of one of the most remarkable voice’s in jazz today, she’s already whipped up a critical storm in her native US. With the release of her new album For One to Love, Peter Quinn discovers it’s the pitfalls and pain of falling and being in love that have inspired her most personal and powerful work to date... Read the interview

 

Cassandra Wilson: Coming Forth By Day at the Royal Festival Hall (Sunday 15 November 2015, 7:30pm) 

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson – Sowing New Seeds

For all of the welcoming warmth of her instantly recognisable voice, Cassandra Wilson has never taken the safe option in a career that now spans almost three decades. From her key phase with New York’s M-Base collective in the 1980s, she’s journeyed far and wide through jazz, popular song, country and soul. Yet, as she tells Stuart Nicholson, taking on the musical and personal legacy of Billie Holiday on Coming Forth By Day, required an aptly fearless approach to capture the true spirit of this most iconic of jazz singers... Read the interview

 

Kurt Elling + The Swingles at Cadogan Hall (Monday 16 November 2015, 7:30pm) 

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling – Out of this World

Kurt Elling’s richly resonant, subtly virtuosic voice is one of the most recognisable and celebrated in jazz earning him a Grammy for his 2009 album Dedicated To You alongside 10 other Grammy nominations, and seen him top numerous critics polls. Yet with the end of his 20-year musical partnership with pianist Laurence Hobgood, Elling is now seeking out new artistic territory, as heard on his latest album, Passion World, which sees his globetrotting tastes exploring music from Brazil, Ireland, France, Scotland, Iceland and Cuba. Peter Quinn spoke to the singer about his journey into the unknown, embracing change and his hopes and fears for the heart and soul of humanity... Read the interview

 

Hiromi at the Royal Festival Hall (Wednesday 18 November 2015, 7:30pm)

Hiromi

Hiromi Uehara – Alive and Kicking

Right from her student days at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, when she also recorded her debut album Brain, Hiromi Uehara always stood out from the crowd with her molten mix of classical technique, compositional daring and rock-edged-fusion, all delivered with sky-high energy levels. The irrepressible pianist appears at the EFG London Jazz Festval on 18 November and talks to Andy Robson about how her latest album, Alive, features music that reflects a turbulent time for both her and her homeland of Japan... Read the interview   

 

Andy Sheppard – Surrounded by Sea & Håkon Kornstad at Kings Place, Hall One (Friday 20 November 2015, 7:30pm and 10pm)

Andy Sheppard

Andy Sheppard – Heavy Lullabies

Saxophonist Andy Sheppard has been a constant presence on the British, and international, jazz circuit since he emerged as part of the late 1980s young UK jazz scene, yet for all his widespread popularity he’s remained hungry for exploring sonic pastures new. Selwyn Harris spoke to the saxophonist about how his self-taught artistic journey has always been about drawing on life’s lessons and not those of musical academia... Read the interview

 

Phronesis: Major Tenth with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band conducted by Julian Argüelles at Barbican / Guildhall School Milton Court (Sunday 22 November 2015, 2:00pm)

Phronesis

Phronesis – Above and Beyond

Since their breakthrough 2010 album, Alive, Scandi-Brit jazz trio Phronesis have been building an unrelenting momentum thanks to the special energy that sparks between bassist/band director Jasper Høiby, pianist Ivo Neame and drummer Anton Eger. Transmuting their visceral, highly kinetic live performances once again into a bristling, melodically-charged new live album, Life To Everything, Selwyn Harris spoke to all three members about the band’s success in Australia, America and Europe, their collective bond, their fight to get their music to audiences beyond the jazz world and, of course, their latest album... Read the interview

For more information about the 2015 EFG London Jazz Festival, visit: efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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