The EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off in spectacular style on Friday, 10 November at the Royal Festival Hall with Jazz Voice. This year’s Jazz Voice promises to be very special, as to celebrate the 15th-anniversary milestone, arranger and composer Guy Barker has invited back some of his favourite vocalists from the show’s 15-year history. The star-studded line-up includes China Moses, Omar, Brendan Reilly, Judi Jackson, Naomi Banks and Vanessa Haynes. Emeli Sandé will also make an exclusive guest appearance ahead of her debut headline show at the Festival.
The opening night gala evening Jazz Voice is always the first show in the EFG Elements Series, four shows we handpick every year in conjunction with the organisers Serious, to reflect the richness and diversity of the Festival programme.
The other shows in the EFG Elements Series include influential American artist Marcus Miller, who is joined by the talented young London-based saxophonist Camilla George on Sunday, 12 November at the Royal Festival Hall; in addition, one of the most successful Brazilian legends of all time, Sérgio Mendes, brings his joyful style of music to the Barbican on Wednesday, 15 November. The series closes with a salute to the life and musical legacy of the great jazz visionary Wayne Shorter in ‘The Symphonic Music of Wayne Shorter’ on Sunday, 19 November at the Royal Festival Hall.
In 2023, the EFG London Jazz Festival programme celebrates the timeless influence of some of the most iconic global jazz stars whilst simultaneously looking to the future and the next generation of aspiring young artists. Highlights include nine-time GRAMMY award winner Norah Jones, legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter, young singing sensation Samara Joy, renowned American drummer Makaya McCraven together with the London Contemporary Orchestra, vocalist and storyteller Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Avishai Cohen Quartet who join forces with Emma Rawicz, a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician competition and Bill Laurance and Michael League from the globally acclaimed jazz collective, Snarky Puppy.
Presented by the Barbican’s Associate Producer Serious, the festival comprises hundreds of gigs across the city, seeing jazz popping up everywhere, from concert halls to street corners. The Barbican will host nineteen events from 10 – 19 November 2023 including FreeStage performances in the Barbican foyers, a collaboration with the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra, and legends and newcomers alike in the Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall and the Barbican’s public foyers, as well as performances from Guildhall Jazz musicians.
For a taste of what lies in store at this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, you can watch the 2023 trailer:
EFG London Jazz Festival 2023 - Launch Film
and check out the full Festival line-up on the official website here.
One of the iconic venues of the festival is Barbican:
Fri 10 Nov – Sunday 19 Nov 2023
The programme of live performances features an electrifying line-up of global stars, jazz masters, cutting-edge ensembles, moving tributes, special collaborations, and the finest and freshest music from the London scene. Festival events at the Barbican include concerts in the hall, a FreeStage programme as well as screenings in our cinemas. Full listing details are below and here.
Musician, composer, arranger, and the ‘father of Ethio-jazz’ Mulatu Astatke takes to the Hall stage in his 80th year to open the EFG London Jazz Festival 2023 at the Barbican. (10 Nov)
Renowned American drummer and producer Makaya McCraven presents an evening of musical exploration at the Barbican, joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ames. This special performance will see McCraven perform his boundary-pushing album In These Times in the Barbican Hall. (11 Nov)
Contemporary classical composer and pianist Joep Beving returns to his piano solo roots with Hermetism Light Sculpture, a live audio-visual performance in collaboration with contemporary artists Boris Acket and Merijn Versnel in Milton Court Concert Hall. (12 Nov)
Following the success of MoodSwing in 2022, globally acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Redman returns to the Barbican to lead a remarkable new group in an evening of captivating jazz, performing his latest project WHERE ARE WE. The performance will feature vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa joined by Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Joel Ross (vibraphone). (12 Nov)
Renowned Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi takes to the stage in the Barbican Hall with a performance promising to push the boundaries of jazz, classical, and pop. (13 Nov)
American saxophonist and music producer Sam Gendel will take to the stage at Milton Court Concert Hall, bringing his unique approach to jazz and experimental music together in a one-of-a-kind performance. For this performance, Gendel will be joined by Philippe Melanson on electronic percussion. (14 Nov)
World-renowned Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes brings his iconic mix of bossa nova and samba to the Barbican Hall. (15 Nov)
One of the most important and innovative recording artists of our time, the late saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, is honoured in The Harvest Time Project at the Barbican, part of a global tribute series to his 1977 record Pharoah. Following Sanders‘ passing in 2022, this project reinterprets the iconic track Harvest Time. The Barbican performance features Brazilian singer Domenico Lancellotti, original Pharoah guitarist Tisziji Muñoz, musical director Joshua Abrams, and London-based progressive jazz trio Ill Considered with more special guests to be announced. (16 Nov)
In his debut performance with the London Symphony Orchestra, virtuoso cellist, singer, and percussionist Abel Selaocoe brings South African and European traditions together with his own music and jazz-flecked pieces by Gary Carpenter and Bartók. The performance will be led by dynamic composer Duncan Ward, preceded by free concert performances by Guildhall Jazz musicians in the Barbican Foyers. (16 Nov)
After an unforgettable sold-out performance in 2021, Charles Lloyd, the iconic American saxophonist, flautist, and early global music pioneer, returns to the Barbican with his new trio of pianist Gerald Clayton and guitarist Marvin Sewell. (17 Nov).
Miles Davis’ legendary album Bitches Brew is reimagined in the first-ever performance from British jazz supergroup London Brew. (18 Nov)
A rising star of the jazz world, American singer Samara Joy makes her Barbican debut in an exclusive one-night-only performance. (19 Nov)