Alice and John Coltrane Celebration, Nik Bärtsch and Eliane Elias added to EFG London Jazz Festival


A raft of new concert hall additions have been announced for this year's 25th anniversary EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 10 to 19 November. Swelling the programme's headliners will be an eagerly anticipated brass-heavy meeting between great Brit-jazz multi-reedist John Surman and composer John Warren on material from their recently released 'lost album', The Traveller's Tale, performed live by an all-star UK band (Kings Place, 12 Nov). Other large scale additions include an interstellar trip through the music of Alice and John Coltrane on a triple bill of free-blowing sax firebrand Pharoah Sanders' Quartet, top UK saxophonist Denys Baptiste's The Late Trane band and harpist Alina Bzhezhinska's Quartet with Tony Kofi (18 Nov). Adventurous string ensemble Britten Sinfonia team up with Swiss polyrhythmic pianist Nik Bärtsch (Wigmore Hall, 17 Nov) and there's a thrumming guitar summit from the massed six-strings of Chico and the Gypsies featuring original members of the Gypsy Kings (Royal Festival Hall, 18 Nov).

A triumvirate of vocalists appear at Cadogan Hall and include the sophisticated jazz-meets-samba sounds of Eliane Elias (14 Nov), jazzified Motown-songs from Dee Dee Bridgewater (16 Nov) and the witty culinary critic turned jazz-pianist Jay Rayner's Quartet (17 Nov). There's New Orleans jazz-funk from Trombone Shorty (Shepherd's Bush Empire, 13 Nov); gospel-fired fusion from Snarky Puppy keys master Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles (KOKO, 14 Nov) and heavy-jams from West Coast Get Down bass ace Miles Mosley (Islington Assembly Hall, 12 Nov). Cutting-edge sounds continue at two nights programmed by hip-and-happening music agency The Good Music Company (Rich Mix, 16 and 18 Nov), the first sees two NYC jazztronica collectives squaring up in the form of keyboardist Jason Lindner's Now Vs Now and the bombastic Kneebody, while the second features a triple bill two New York name and one Norwegian newcomer, with BIGYUKI, Butcher Brown and ROHEY all vying for attention.

Further additions include brilliant Quincy Jones piano protégé Justin Kauflin's Trio on a double-bill with finely poised trumpet/guitar duo Airelle Besson and Vincent Segal (Wigmore Hall, 16 Nov) and a rare concert hall appearance by celebrated US pianist Fred Hersch and his Trio at Hall One, Kings Place (18 Nov). The centenary year of iconic pianist and composer Thelonious Monk is marked with two concerts, the first a theatrical evocation of his life and music, entitled MONK MISTERIOSO – a journey into the silence of Thelonious Monk (Kings Place Hall 2, 18 Nov), written by prominent Italian writer Stefano Benni whose Theatralia brings together a stellar cast of vocalist Filomena Campus, Cleveland Watkiss, Pat Thomas, Rowland Sutherland, Dudley Phillips and Mark Mondesir. While the Monk-A-Thon (Cadogan Hall, 19 Nov) sees pianist Jonathan Gee and altoist Tony Kofi lead a top UK band through Monk's timeless songbook and a second half appearance by renowned trumpeter/arranger and Strata East label founder Charles Tolliver who will lead an 11-piece ensemble, playing music from Monk's legendary 1959 Town Hall concert which Tolliver himself attended. And finally there's a guitar-led freestage workshop and concert, A Brief History of the Coolest Instrument in the World..., led by top UK axe-slinger Chris Montague taking place at the Southbank Centre's Clore Ballroom (4.30pm, 18 Nov).

These shows join those already announced in Jazzwise (media partners of the festival), which include Pat Metheny Quartet (Barbican, 10 Nov); Jazz Voice (RFH, 10 Nov); Keith Tippett Octet with Matthew Bourne (Kings Place, 10 Nov), Michael Janisch Quartet with Rez Abbasi, Henry Spencer's Juncture, Zhenya Strigalev Trio (Rich Mix, 10 Nov); Tomasz Stanko's New York Quartet (Cadogan Hall, 10 Nov); Zakir Hussain's Crosscurrents with Dave Holland and Chris Potter (Barbican, 11 Nov); Average White Band + LaSharVu (RFH, 11 Nov); Andy Sheppard Quartet (Kings Place, 11 Nov); Brad Mehldau/Chris Thile (Barbican, 12 Nov); Roland Perrin Trio with the Blue Planet Orchestra (Barbican, matinee performance, 12 Nov); Led Bib, Schnellertollermeier and WorldService Project (Rich Mix, 12 Nov); Marcus Miller (RFH, 12 Nov); Richard Pite's 1957: A Jazz Jukebox (Cadogan Hall, 12 Nov); Knower (Scala, 13 Nov); Paolo Conte (RFH, 13 Nov); Abdullah Ibrahim/Hugh Masekela Jazz Epistles (RFH, 14 Nov) and Terrence Blanchard with the BBC Concert Orchestra (Barbican, 19 Nov), among many others.

– Mike Flynn

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