Robert Glasper Experiment, Bobby McFerrin and Norma Winstone at 75 for EFG London Jazz Festival

This year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs between 11 to 20 November, is starting to shape up as the next wave of names are confirmed with some exciting new additions. First among these is the news that the festival’s grand opening-night vocal gala, Jazz Voice, is set to move to the Royal Festival Hall for its ninth edition. It will once again be inspired by pertinent jazz anniversaries that coincide with 2016 featuring a huge range of vocal stars, soon to be announced, who will perform with the 42-piece EFG Jazz Festival Orchestra on specially written and arranged material by Guy Barker.

Among the newly confirmed headliners are highly respected Brit-jazz singer Norma Winstone, who will be celebrating her 75th birthday year. She will appear with her European trio comprising of saxophonist Klaus Gesing and pianist Glauco Venier, as well as a specially-formed big band and orchestra from the Royal Academy of Music with guests such as pianist Nikki Iles and bassist Chris Laurence (Cadogan Hall, 16 Nov). Multi Grammy-winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper follows his acoustic trio album and gigs last year with the return of his acclaimed Experiment band – who will be playing material from their forthcoming new Blue Note album that’s set for release this autumn, ahead of their headline show at KOKO (15 Nov). Wildly virtuosic US singer Bobby McFerrin is also set to appear, performing works by Gershwin and backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Bill Charlap Trio (Barbican, 16 Nov), while Norwegian sax star Marius Neset also explores an expanded musical setting when he appears with a 19-piece ensemble from the London Sinfonietta playing pieces influenced by his mentor Django Bates and composer Edvard Greig (LSO St Luke’s, 18 Nov).

Fellow Norwegian, keyboardist and Jazzland label boss Bugge Wesseltoft, continues the 20th anniversary celebration of his New Conceptions of Jazz with a residency at Kings Place with appearances by Beady Belle (18 Nov) and his brand new solo piano project with visuals (19 Nov), as well as the new all-female version of his New Conceptions band. Mesmerising Tunisian oud and vocal star Dhafer Youssef headlines the Barbican to play soaring music from his forthcoming album on OKeh records (19 Nov), and the leftfield avant-cabaret trio of British vocalist Maggie Nicols, French bassist Joëlle Léandre and Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer reunite their ‘wickedly satirical’ 1990s group, Les Diaboliques (Kings Place, 19 Sat).

Popular chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux also appears (RFH, 20 Nov), this time in an intimate trio to perform works from her new album Secular Hymns, which draws on a diverse range of material from Allen Toussaint, Willie Dixon and Sister Rosetta Tharpe through to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tom Waits and Jacques Brel for inspiration. These names join those already announced in March by Jazzwise, who are media partner for the festival, and include Wayne Shorter Quartet (
Barbican, 20 Nov); MCA Power Trio (Cadogan Hall, 19 Nov); Jan Garbarek Group with Trilok Gurtu (RFH, 13 Nov); Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman Duo (Barbican, 12 Nov); Tord Gustavsen Trio with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad (Milton Court, 12 Nov); Dave Holland/Chris Potter/Lionel Loueke/Eric Harland (Cadogan Hall, 15 Nov); Lizz Wright (Cadogan Hall, 12 Nov) and Christian Scott (Scala, 16 Nov).

– Mike Flynn


For more info and tickets www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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