London’s biggest pan-city music festival takes place from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 November 2012.

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London Jazz festival

Friday 9th – Sunday 18th November 2012

The London Jazz Festival, produced by Serious in association with BBC Radio 3 is delighted to announce its third wave of concerts.

The capital’s biggest pan-city music festival takes place this year from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 November. The Festival has long been acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the Festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience in one of UK’s landmark music events.

Tickets for the following concerts go on sale on Tuesday 22 May:

Friday 9 November, 7.30pm

Jazz Voice: Celebrating a Century of Song


£35, £25, £20, £15, £10 + bkg

The Festival’s signature opening-night gala returns once again with its epoch-spanning celebration of singing and song. The list of past guests stretches from Georgie Fame, Natalie Merchant, Kurt Elling and Sheila Jordan, Gregory Porter, Paloma Faith and Shingai Shoniwa. Arranged, scored and conducted by Guy Barker, this year’s extravaganza will see a brand new clutch of singers and a 40-piece orchestra mark the major anniversaries, birthdays and milestones that link the decades stretching back from 2012.

“It would be difficult to imagine a more impressive curtain-raiser to the London Jazz Festival than Jazz Voice, and this year’s vintage was the finest yet. One sensed from the very opening bars that something remarkable was about to unfold, and so it proved.” The Arts Desk

Part of the EFG International Excellence Series


Friday 9 November, 7.30pm


Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall

£20, £1O + BKG

Ambrose Akinmuire has been heralded “a major creative figure in the making” (Jazzwise) and “comparable with some of the biggest names in African-American jazz, Miles Davis included” (Guardian). He started out performing with a string of acclaimed musicians, including Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman, and he’s since gone on to play in the bands of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Since the release of his debut Blue Note album When The Heart Emerges Glistening, Akinmusire has played to packed houses at Ronnie Scott’s and across the UK, fast becoming one of the most striking figures on today’s jazz scene.


“Ambrose Akinmusire is the new jazz sensation, the messiah of the post-bop trumpet. With his hyper-talented and youthful quintet, the Californian delivered a set that rang all the changes from the soft and lyrical to high-energy heat.” The Arts Desk


Friday 9 November, 7.30pm

Salif Keita

Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall

£30, £25, £20, £15, £10 + bkg

The “golden voice of Africa”, Salif Keita has been at the forefront of modern Malian music for many years. Keita has extended musical frontiers and carved out a distinctive musical voice, in which rock, funk and jazz combine with the deepest West African griot traditions. This year’s Festival sees him return to London with a new album produced by The Gotan Project.

“The best thing about him was his voice. A grainy and searing tenor, its power continues to drop jaws, cause goosebumps.” Evening Standard


Friday 9 November, 7.30pm

Tigran Hamasyan

Wigmore Hall

Pianist Tigran Hamasyan has been raising eyebrows and dropping jaws worldwide since winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006. His unusual marriage of jazz and Armenian folk has picked up high-profile fans including Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau and Herbie Hancock; his most recent album, A Fable, topped the jazz charts in France. “There are many brilliant and perfectly finished young jazz pianists around,” declared The Telegraph earlier this year in a four-star review, “but Hamasyan stands out because he has something important and urgent to say.”


Saturday 10 November, 7.45pm



Southbank Centre / Purcell Room

£20, £10 + bkg

Featuring saxophonist Greg Osby, this international collaboration returns to London around the release of their debut album Banned in London, recorded at a sold-out LJF Pizza Express show last year. Led by Michael Janisch and Aruan Oritz, alongside drummer Rudy Royston and trumpeter Raynald Colom, the quintet will perform critically acclaimed original music alongside reinterpretations from the jazz lexicon, using either template as a means for passionate sonic exploration.


Saturday 10 November, 7.30pm

Melody Gardot


£27.50, £25, £10 + bkg

M. Gardot

M. Gardot

Melody Gardot has mastered the art of capturing mood and emotion. Her hauntingly smooth voice, drenched in the mellow blues, shows an expressive candor reminiscent of greats like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone. Building on the success of her two best-selling albums Worrisome Heart and My One And Only Thrill, Gardot performs from her new album Absence at this year’s Festival, weaving a seductive sound of her own.

“A triumphant performance by a singer-songwriter who is becoming one of the major talents of our time. Her singing had a sotto voice quality that was simply mesmerising.” The Times

Part of the EFG International Excellence Series


Sunday 11 November, 7.30pm

John McLaughlin


£35, £25, £20, £10 + bkg

John McLaughlin remains at the forefront of electric jazz. Not only playing on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew but also forming his pioneering Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the groundbreaking Shakti, it is without hyperbole that The Guardian calls McLaughlin “one of the few Europeans to divert the course of jazz history”. The rock influences remain – this is a man who played with Jack Bruce and even jammed with Hendrix – but so too do traces of everything from blues to flamenco. The 4th Dimension, featuring multi-instrumentalist Gary Husband, Cameroonian bassist Etienne M’Bappe, and Indian drummer Ranjit Barot, sold out Ronnie Scott’s weeks in advance last summer and now return to a London concert hall for the first time in two years.


Sunday 11 November, 7.45pm


Southbank Centre / Purcell Room

Two of Europe’s radical young bands join forces in this unbeatable big band special.

The award-winning 14-piece Beats & Pieces perform originals – plus the odd Radiohead cover – under the leadership of composer and arranger Ben Cottrell. “Their rich ensemble sound, delivered with the disciplined power of a fervent brass band, is this orchestra’s real signature,” wrote the Evening Standard. “And also the true definition of Northern Soul.” Norway’s Ensemble Denada set out ‘to achieve small-band dynamics with thrice the number of people’, and The Guardian described their recent Finding Nymo as “a cracker of a contemporary big-band album.”


Part of Jazz in the New Europe supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union


Monday 12 November, 7.30pm

Bill Frisell

The Great Flood

Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall

£27.50, £25, £10 + bkg

One of the most original guitarists on the planet today, Bill Frisell has worked with everyone from John Zorn to Elvis Costello, and yields a consistently personal and illuminating musical vision. He comes to LJF with an evening-long suite of original music, and accompanying film and staging by Bill Morrison, based on the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and the ensuing transformation of American society and music. Frisell’s wide-ranging musical palette will use elements of the vocabulary in American roots music but, as always, it will be refracted through his own inimitable lens.

“It’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell.” The New York Times.


Tuesday 13 November, 7.30pm

Jan Garbarek Group

With Trilok Gurtu

Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall

£35, £25, £20, £10 + bkg

40 years after his ECM debut, Norway’s Jan Garbarek remains one of the most recognisable voices in jazz. He has been fundamental in creating a distinctly European perspective on the music, as well as in establishing the so-called ‘Nordic tone’. Yet the saxophonist negotiates his expansive, ethereal soundscapes with rare humanity, his sound like warm breath floating in frosty air. Garbarek’s new band, featuring the master Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu, is a fusion act in the true sense – and a clear highlight of this year’s festival.

“Neither classical nor jazz, neither new nor old, this music simply exists, for everyone’s wonder and nourishment” The Times.


Tuesday 13 November, 7.30pm


Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall

£15, £12 + bkg

In this special one-off BBC Radio 3 commission Shabaka Hutchings: saxophonist, composer, and BBC Radio 3 New Generation artist joins forces with the BBC Concert Orchestra. At the heart of the performance is Shabaka’s new band, Sons Of Kemet, comprising tuba sensation Oren Marshall and both Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford on drums. The Guardian has already declared them “almost certain to dominate the best of 2012 lists at the end of the year”. But this premiere also features beatboxer Jason Singh and sonic frontiersman Leafcutter John, in an ambitious amalgamation of jazz, minimalist classical music and electronica.

Wednesday 14 November, 7.30pm

Brad Mehldau Trio

Brad Mehldau

Brad Mehldau


£30, £20, £15, £10 + bkg

“Brad Mehldau is the doyen of contemporary jazz pianists”, says The Guardian, “an improviser whose instinctive, emotional command of the instrument is complemented by a formidable intellect.” Performing internationally since the mid-1990s, Mehldau is renowned for his distinctive combination of jazz standards and originals with compositions by Nirvana, Radiohead and Nick Drake. He’s worked with everyone from Willie Nelson to Charlie Haden, and is a renowned solo performer, but is perhaps at his finest when leading his trio, featuring Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier. They return to the Festival performing from their latest Nonesuch album Ode.



Wednesday 14 November, 7.30pm


Queen Elizabeth Hall

£27.50, £20, £10 + bking fee

Two consummately talented vocalists celebrate the essence of the art of jazz singing.

Kurt Elling is one of the most distinctive male singers in jazz today. Combining agile vocal abilities with sensuous emotion, Elling has wooed jazz critics and audiences across the globe with his sumptuous take on classics from the Great American Songbook, as well as writing original songs of real character. “The label “heir to Sinatra” is a heavy one for any singer, but Kurt Elling wears it with ease,” says the Telegraph. “He can float into stratospheric falsetto one minute, and indulge in comically razor-sharp rhythmic scatting the next.” Following his landmark Barbican concert last year, Elling returns to London with a consummate band that features long-standing collaborator, pianist Laurence Hobgood, and with a brand new Concord album due for autumn release.

Sheila Jordan’s career stretches back to the 1940s and the heady days of bebop. Mentored by Charlie Parker, studying with Charles Mingus, singing with George Russell and Steve Kuhn, and Blue Note’s first recorded jazz singer way back in 1962, Jordan has garnered legendary status. Earlier this year, she scooped a lifetime achievement award from the NEA Jazz Masters, adding to a string of accolades that verify her standing as one of the pioneers of her generation and a lasting influence on jazz vocalists today. A “chemistry of innocence and laconic worldliness” (Guardian) lies at the heart of an artist imbued with the spirit of jazz.


Thursday 15 November, 7.30pm


Radio Music Society

Royal Festival Hall

£32.50, £25, £20, £10 + bkg

Last year saw Esperanza Spalding pip Justin Bieber to the post for Best Newcomer Grammy, and play two sell-out concerts at the Barbican with her Chamber Music Society project. This year, she brings her driving, funk-influenced alter-ego to the fore with latest release Radio Music Society, which plays the Royal Festival Hall hot-on-the-heels of selling out Camden’s Koko.

“If Spalding can get rock audiences singing Wayne Shorter tunes, then she really has got a musical Midas touch that goes well beyond the confines of just being jazz’s next big thing.” Jazzwise

Part of the EFG International Excellence Series


Wednesday 14 November, 7.45pm



Southbank Centre / Purcell Room

£20, £10 + bkg

Famed for her association with The Communards in the mid-1980s, and infamous for a banned rendition of the classic ‘Me and Mrs Jones’, Sarah Jane Morris joins forces here with composer and cellist Enrico Melozzi to create a special programme of her songs and music by writers from Tom Waits to Tracy Chapman, scored for her voice, guitarist Dominic Miller and no less than 14 cellos.

“Spinetingling.. a unique artist.” John Fordham, The Guardian



Thursday 15 November, 7.30pm




£17.50 adv + bkg

Niney The Observer – one of Jamaica’s most innovative and respected reggae artists – plays a special gig at LJF. Renowned for the creation of many classic reggae releases during the 1970s and 1980s, and Niney The Observer is the true reggae renaissance man. He’ll be backed by brothers Leroy “Mafia” Heywood and Dave “Fluxy” Heywood – one of the UK’s top-notch reggae rhythm sections. To open and close the evening, the Soul Jazz Records Sound System will play a dancefloor-friendly selection of reggae hits.

Produced by Bolygo Music Productions


Thursday 15-Saturday 17 November, 7pm


Ronnie Scott’s

£55-£40 + bkg

Dee Dee Bridgewater live is a fantastic live performer. One of today’s leading female jazz vocal stars, she has worked with all the great instrumentalists, counting Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach and Roland Kirk among her list of past collaborators. Her landmark portrayal of Billie Holiday in stage show ‘Lady Day’ saw her nominated for an Olivier Award. Two Grammy Awards later, she’s still going strong. “Dee Dee Bridgewater has a technique and musicality that bests most performers of her generation,” declared The Guardian in a recent 4* review, “and her understanding of the “great American songbook” makes pretenders pale in comparison.”


Friday 16 November, 7.30pm

Sonny Rollins

<p>Sonny Rollins</p>

Sonny Rollins


£75, £60, £40, £10 + bkg

He’d worked with Miles Davis and Bud Powell before he turned 20. And, with Coleman Hawkins as his idol and Thelonious Monk as his mentor, Theodore Walter Rollins went on to establish himself as one of the finest tenor saxophone players of all time. A near-legendary performance at the 2010 London Jazz Festival proved that he still plays with the imagination and vitality that helped turn jazz on its head in the 1950s and 1960s.

“The most revered and honoured jazz musician on the planet.” The Telegraph

Part of the EFG International Series






Friday 16 November, 7.30pm
Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall
£50, £35, £20, £10 + bkg


Paco De Lucia, the grand master of flamenco, returns to London for the first time in two years. While he is best known as flamenco’s greatest living exponent, Paco De Lucia’s outlook is broad enough to have taken in, for instance, his enduring work with John McLaughlin, while the presence within his band of young Spanish and Cuban players reflects a recognition that even a traditional music requires the writing of new chapters. Though an undoubted virtuoso, Paco’s is above all music of passion. “You need a certain technique to be able to play,’ explains the guitarist, ‘but the rest must come from your heart.”


“Nothing in de Lucia’s performance is contrived, “targeted” or predictable. The pieces evolve from light to shade, from fury to reflection – like the mood swings, intense passions and adrenaline-driven actions of everyday human experience, in laughter, fear, anger or love. That’s why flamenco speaks to everyone.” The Guardian

Friday 16-Sunday 18 November


Pizza Express Jazz Club

A welcome return to London of a masterly saxophonist – a disciple of Charlie Parker who adds his own lyricism to the language of bebop – and who contributed essential sounds to the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood’s movie “Bird”. Also associated with the music of Charles Mingus, McPherson is bound to raise the Club’s roof with his eloquent and free-wheeling solo skills.


Saturday 17 November, 2pm


with the Goldsmiths (big) Strings


£12.50, £7.50 + bkg

Neil Cowley is a blazingly original pianist/composer with a subversive take on the traditional jazz piano. Today’s London Jazz Festival performance is the culmination of a never-been-done-before project created in collaboration with Goldsmiths College. Together with violinist/arranger Julian Ferraretto, Cowley aims to turn the way classical music is learned and played on its head. Cowley and Ferraretto will challenge a specially-assembled 30 piece ‘big strings’ orchestra to cast aside the principles of classical music, and replace with the theory of jazz improvisation and playing by ear, bringing new life to music from the trio’s highly acclaimed release, The Face of Mount Molehill, as well as material specially composed for the concert.


“Worth testing out on a recalcitrant teen who thinks all jazz is as forbidding as Sanskrit.” Sunday Times


On sale Tuesday 29 May.

Saturday 17 November, 7.30pm



£50, £30, £20, £10 + bkg

Chick Corea comes to the Festival with bassist Christian McBride, a marquee name in his own right, and Brian Blade, renowned for his peerless work with everyone from Bob Dylan to Wayne Shorter. One of the most prominent jazz musicians of the last fifty years, Corea is a masterful acoustic pianist, whether at the heart of a stellar trio such as tonight’s, or in collaboration with the likes of Bobby McFerrin or Bela Fleck, as well as an acknowledged pioneer of fusion stretching back to the landmark Miles Davis albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. 18 Grammy awards reflect his status as one of the most prominent jazz musicians of the last half-century.


Sunday 18 November, 2pm


Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall

£17.50, £15, £10 + bkg

Composer and multi-instrumentalist John Surman has been a leading figure in European jazz since the 1960s, his transcendent music drawing not only on jazz but also folk, electronica and the English choral tradition. In this joint commission with BBC Radio 3 and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, he appears at LJF with his new work, Lifelines, for piano, saxophones and an all-male choir. Surman will also play a solo set, drawing on material from Saltash Bells, his first solo record on ECM in some years, and one in the same tradition of pastoral electronica as his landmark The Road to St Ives.


“Perhaps the most gifted British jazzman of this generation” The Times.



Sunday 18 November, 7.30pm



Queen Elizabeth Hall

£25, £20, £10 + bkg

This special Festival double-bill celebrates two defining figures in contemporary jazz.

In a career spanning nearly seven decades, “Jazz’s greatest living guitarist” (Jazz Times) Jim Hall has worked with Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer, Bill Evans, Paul Desmond and Ron Carter. With each new project, he reveals yet another facet of himself, not just as a player and composer, but also as a collaborator and explorer. Hall’s influence continues to shape the work of jazz’s top guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell, and has left a lasting mark on the music of this generation, and generations to come.


“Jim Hall is the reigning master of the jazz guitar. This poetic player says more with fewer notes than any living improviser.” The New Yorker

Kenny Wheeler and one of the great big bands make a rare London appearance, performing from their latest CD– and the first recording for this band in 20 years – The Long Waiting. Originally written to commemorate Wheeler’s 80th Birthday in January 2010, this music has never yet been performed in London. An opportunity to witness a true master at work in an all-star big band.


Sunday 18 November, 7.45pm


An Armenian in America

Southbank Centre / Purcell Room

£25, £20, £15 + bkg

Ara Dinkjian is one of the world’s leading oud players. The founder of the seminal 1980s band Night Ark with percussionist Arto Tuncboyacian, he has made five albums mixing jazz sensibility with Armenian and Middle Eastern folk, while his song Homecoming (Dinata Dinata) was performed by Eleftheria Arvanitaki at the closing of the Athens Olympics as well as being a hit for Turkish diva Sezen Aksu.


“Dinkjian shines as an instrumentalist, interpreting his own themes and then using them as improvisation vehicles, often augmenting the textures with wordless vocals. The album slowly builds an intensity, retaining the feeling of a live performance – at times pensive, at times joyous celebration – carrying the listener away in the unique musical world of this Armenian in America” Songlines


Produced by Kazum Productions


Sunday 18 November, 7pm



£16 + bkg

Mulatu Astatke, the “father of Ethio-jazz” brings his distinctive blend of pop, modern jazz, traditional Ethiopian music, Latin rhythms, Caribbean reggae, and Afro-funk to LJF, performing favourites from his back catalogue and striking new material from his latest EP, out this autumn. The first African student at Berklee College of Music, Mulatu went on to work with Duke Ellington, found a music school, and open his own club, shepherding in a golden age in Ethiopia’s pop and jazz circles and making a lasting mark on the tradition.

Produced by 2 for the Road Productions






020 7638 8891 /


Southbank Centre

0844 875 0073 /



0207 490 1198 /


More acts will be announced through the summer. There will also be an extensive club programme, a broad learning and participation programme and numerous free events. Stay tuned for the latest news. / /




For press and radio enquiries please contact Sally Reeves

+44 (0)1223 864710 / +44 (0)7790 518756


For TV enquiries please contact Tom Ville

+44 (0)20 3023 9018 /


Issued by Amy Coombe at Serious

+44 (0)20 7324 1880 /





The London Jazz Festival is produced by Serious, one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music. Serious produces events that range from major concerts, festivals and national and international tours through to learning and participation programmes, conferences and specially commissioned bespoke events. Alongside its core role as a live music events producer, it works in artist and rights management.


The London Jazz Festival was created in 1992 by live international music producers, Serious. The Festival emerged from the long-standing Camden Jazz Week which was created in 1970; with the active support of the London Arts Board (now Arts Council England, London), Serious – who had for some years produced the Camden Jazz Week, engineered a transition that saw the evolution of the Festival. Taking a mix of international and British artists and a commitment to education activity, the London Jazz Festival began to spread its wings. The aims of the Festival still remain the same today; celebrating the place of jazz in a city which is at ease with its rich cultural diversity, and drawing in a multitude of venues across London who present the music, week in, week out, throughout the year.

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts programmes and drama. Last year BBC Radio 3 broadcast over 600 complete concerts and operas from venues and festivals across the UK and beyond. BBC Radio 3 is the home of The BBC Proms and broadcasts every concert live. It supports composers, writers and new young performers and last year broadcast over 30 new drama productions.


Autore: Romano Viazzani

Romano Viazzani ha scritto 44 articoli.

Fisarmonicista, compositore e didatta londinese. Spazia dal teatro al palcoscenico concertistico con diverse formazioni: dalle orchestre sinfoniche e cameristiche ai gruppi Jazz.

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