Archie Shepp, Phronesis, Kandace Springs and Kit Downes added to EFG London Jazz Festival


The line-up for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 16 to 25 November, is taking shape with some major names and specially curated shows added to the programme. Chief among these is an appearance by revered sax firebrand Archie Shepp who performs his emotive Art Songs and Spirituals show (Barbican, 19 Nov). This features key contributions from Hammond organist Amina Claudine Myers and celebrated US singer Carleen Anderson who leads a choir alongside Shepp's top-notch band including highly-respected drummer Hamid Drake. Another show announced for the Barbican is Anthony Joseph & Friends present 'Windrush: A Celebration' (17 Nov). This sees the poet, novelist and musician lead a multi-faceted tribute to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Essex, which arguably kick-started multiculturalism in Britain. The concert is a culmination of a series of events throughout the programme exploring the impact and success of Caribbean culture in the UK, with saxophonist and composer Jason Yarde premiering his 'Windrush Suite', to be performed by a pan-Caribbean ensemble featuring guests including legendary 78-year-old Calypsonian singer-songwriter, Calypso Rose.

There's also a major celebration of the life and music of late great South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who died on 23 January this year aged 78, and who had a longstanding relationship with the UK and the London Jazz Festival. Monikered 'The Boy's Doin' It', the concert brings together musicians who Masekela worked with, including vocalist Sibongile Khumalo, great Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi, plus Tsepo Tshola and his seminal band Sankomota (Royal Festival Hall, 18 Nov).
Elsewhere, US singer Kandace Springs returns to the capital following her well-received Blue Note album, Soul Eyes, with a concert at the newly opened Queen Elizabeth Hall (17 Nov), while guitar icon Bill Frisell is set to play Cadogan Hall (18 Nov). Acid jazz Hammond hero James Taylor leads his Quartet plus Orchestra for a large-scale take on the movie score Electric Black (Cadogan Hall, 21 Nov) and virtuoso accordionist Richard Galliano explores Astor Piazzolla's 'New Tango' works (Wigmore Hall, 23 Nov). Jazz Cubano is the banner heading for a wide-ranging concert featuring renowned pianist Arturo O'Farrill (son of Chico), and his two sons, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill and drummer Zack O'Farrill; the polyrhythmic fireworks of pianist Omar Sosa and violinist Yilian Cañizares, plus an appearance by inspirational piano prodigy Alfredo Rodriguez (Barbican, 23 Nov).

The Southbank plays host to some contrasting concerts, including Kit Downes playing an unmissable lunchtime organ recital at the RFH (23 Nov); Scandi-Anglo super trio Phronesis lining up on a double-bill with Nordic noiseniks Supersilent (QEH, 23 Nov); rising UK sax star Camilla George and emerging piano talent Sarah Tandy line-up for a double bill (Purcell Room, 23 Nov) and acclaimed soul-jazz singer Sarah Jane Morris celebrates the music of troubled folk-jazz genius John Martyn under the banner Sweet Little Mystery (Purcell Room, 24 Nov).

The second Saturday features the live final of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 with the five finalists each playing a set. Trumpeter Alexandra Ridout, 2016's winner, will perform while the judges make their decision, to be announced at the end of the concert (QEH, 24 Nov). These dates join those already announced in Jazzwise, who are festival media partners, including: Jazz Voice (RFH, 16 Nov); Dave Douglas' UPLIFT (QEH, 16 Nov); Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound (Kings Place, 16 Nov); Tord Gustavsen Trio (Cadogan Hall, 16 Nov); Bobby McFerrin (Barbican, 18 Nov); Lea DeLaria (Bridge Theatre, 18 Nov); Elina Duni/Rob Luft (Clapham Omnibus, 18 Nov); Orphy Robinson's Astral Weeks (QEH, 19 Nov); Youn Sun Nah (QEH, 20 Nov); Stanley Clarke Band, plus Headhunters (RFH, 20 Nov); Leyla McCalla and Melissa Laveaux (Cadogan Hall, 20 Nov); Eddie Parker's Mirrored (Purcell Room, 20 Nov); Darius Brubeck Quartet (Kings Place, 21 Nov); Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (Purcell Room, 23 Nov); Richard Pite's Jazz Repertory Company (Cadogan Hall, 24 Nov); Avishai Cohen/Shai Maestro/Mark Guiliana Trio (Barbican, 24 Nov); Madeleine Peyroux (RFH, 24 Nov) and Monty Alexander (Cadogan Hall, 25 Nov).

Mike Flynn
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