LJF: Rollins, Shorter, Mehldau, Masekela, Peyroux for sale from Friday

LJFGood Golly Miss Holiday! It’s the first day when I haven’t switched the heating on in my office and I find that tickets for some events at the London Jazz Festival – or should that be the EFG London Jazz Festival? – will go on sale on Friday.

First the important stuff. These are the concerts you will be able to book for nearly now, with all the official press release blurb:

Friday 15 November, 7.30pm
Jazz Voice
£35-£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, Boy George,  Kurt Elling and Sheila Jordan to Gregory Porter, Paloma Faith and Patti Austin. 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 2013.

Friday 15 November, 7.30pm
Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis
Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall
£27.50-£10 + bkg
A rare opportunity to experience the intimate side of South African maestro Hugh Masekela,  in a sumptuously lyrical series of duets with master pianist Larry Willis, revisiting a long friendship stretching back to their days together at college in New York in the 60s. Their release ‘Friends’ ( ‘damn do they swing’ **** Rolling Stone) is a masterpiece of chamber jazz combined with the sheer exuberance of the Masekela style.

Friday 15 November, 7.45pm
Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra
Southbank Centre / Purcell Room
£20-£10 + bkg
Stan Sulzmann is one of the most highly respected musicians in the UK today and a source of inspiration to many of Britain’s emerging young musicians. Sulzmann’s career stretches back to the 60’s when, as part of a talented crop of British musicians, he played with Graham Collier, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Gordon Beck, as well as leading many groups of his own. Since that time, Stan has been at the forefront of European contemporary jazz, both with his warm, expressive playing and as an accomplished and distinguished composer.  This concert marks Sulzmann’s 65th Birthday, leading a big band that features star soloists who span the last five decades of British jazz at the very highest level.

Saturday 16 November, 7.30pm
Arild Andersen
Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall
£25-£10 + bkg
Norwegian master bassist and ECM recording artist Arild Andersen is a seminal figure in the evolution of European jazz.  Following his London Jazz Festival performance as featured soloist with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in 2011, he returns with a terrific new, international quintet that features some of the continent’s most individual soloists – Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith, Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and the effervescent French drummer Patrice Heral.

Saturday 16 November, 7.45pm
Schlippenbach Trio vs Noszferatu
Southbank Centre / Purcell Room
£20-£10 + bkg
A new project combining two virtuosic trios with asymmetrical takes on new music. Alex Von Schlippenbach’s Trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lovens brings together three of the godfathers of European free jazz while Noszferatu are one of the most versatile British new music groups comprising award-winning composer-musicians who work across new composition, jazz, rock , theatre, tango and improvisation.

Sunday 17 November, 7.30pm
Wayne Shorter: Quartet and BBC Concert Orchestra
£40-£10 + bkg
Wayne Shorter returns to London to celebrate his 80th birthday year with the stellar quartet of Danilo Perez (piano) John Patitucci (bass) and drummer Brian Blade.   A wholly distinctive saxophonist and a hugely respected composer, he has been consistently at the cutting edge of jazz since he joined  Art Blakey in the early 60s, followed by landmark stints with Miles Davis and Weather Report before leading his own groups.  His music transcends genre and keeps the improvisational genius and surprise of jazz burning at the centre. Expect rushes of individual virtuosity and intuitive interplay in the rare opportunity to see Wayne in two different settings: firstly with his quartet and in the second half of the concert bringing the quartet together with the BBC Concert Orchestra to play a new repertoire of Wayne’s music.

Sunday 17 November, 3.00pm and 7.45pm
Charlie Parker on Dial
Southbank Centre/ Purcell Room
£20-£10 + bkg
Alex Webb’s jazz-into-theatre events have illuminated key moments in jazz history in successive Jazz Festivals with affection and imagination, the most recent being his acclaimed 2011 tribute to Cafe Society.  For the 2013 Festival, he explores Charlie Parker’s period with Dial Records (1946-47),  telling the story of how Parker’s musical genius was documented during his most significant record company relationship.  Spanning the explosive Night In Tunisia / Ornithology sessions to the classic New York quintet recordings, a hand-picked group of London soloists celebrate the music of the bebop saxophonist who transformed jazz in the 1940s.

Monday 18 November, 7.30pm
Sonny Rollins at the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
£80-£10 + bkg
Playing still with the imagination and vitality that helped turn jazz on its head in the 1950s and 1960s, Sonny Rollins live is a not-to-be-missed experience.  He returns to the Festival for our 21st birthday to play the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in what is bound to be a very special occasion, marking a relationship with London that stretches back to extended residencies at Ronnie Scotts in the 60s that have become the stuff of legends.  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.

Tuesday 19 November, 7.30pm
Tigran Hamasyan + Elina Duni
Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall
£25-£10 + bkg
Pianist Tigran Hamasyan’s unusual marriage of jazz and Armenian folk tradition lies at the heart of one of the most distinctive talents to emerge on the international jazz scene in some years. He follows his stunning Wigmore Hall solo concert with a new set for his band – atmospheric  jazz improv fused with the evocative vocal sounds of his native country.
Albanian singer Elena Duni’s debut album for ECM Matane Malit  created a real stir.  In common with Hamasyan, her music carries profound echoes of her own cultural heritage, and brings her delicately balanced Swiss trio – featuring pianist Colin Vallon – to her first Festival performance.

Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm
Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana: Mehliana
£25-£10 + bkg
World-renowned pianist Brad Mehldau switches to Fender Rhodes and a battery of vintage synths to partner up with acclaimed drummer Mark Guiliana in a collaboration whose rare US club sets and recent intimate UK dates have generated a massive buzz. Playing without set compositions, this is quintessential Brad and Mark that takes in free improv, forays into drum ‘n’ bass and a nod back to the dance funk spirit of the early 1970s.

Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm
John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain: Remember Shakti
Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall
£40-£10 + bkg
John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain celebrate their 40th anniversary of friendship and music since the original Shakti made such a massive impact with its astonishing acoustic fusion of eastern and western musics.   The headlong interplay between guitarist McLaughlin and tabla virtuoso Hussain that is the hallmark of Remember Shakti also features Shankar Mahadavan (vocals), U. Shrinivas (mandolin) and V. Selvaganesh (kanjira, ghatam, mridangam).

Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm
Gilad Atzmon
Southbank Centre/Queen Elizabeth Hall
£20-£10 + bkg
20 years after landing in the UK, saxophonist and composer Gilad Atzmon has become an intensely creative presence on the European scene, whether leading successive editions of his Orient House Ensemble, developing new work for string quartet alongside interpretations of the evocative Charlie Parker with strings project, or playing with the Blockheads and Robert Wyatt.  This concert offers a journey through Gilad’s varied musical activity, including some very special collaborations.

Sunday 24 November, 7.30pm
Madeleine Peyroux
Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall
£40-£10 + bkg
The only thing that matters is the song,” says singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. That conviction along with a ‘one of a kind’ voice, has carried her from busking on the streets of Paris, all the way to mainstream recognition. Through intensely distinctive renditions of old classics and modern tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, Peyroux has proved to be an uncannily insightful ‘interpreter’ with her consistently impeccable choice of material.
Following her forthcoming season at Ronnie Scott’s, that is already sold out,  Madeleine’s new CD, ‘The Blue Room’, sees the genre-blending singer reworking some landmark musical gems, in a repeat collaboration with longtime Peyroux producer Larry Klein. The result is a terrific recording – a moving and sophisticated album that pays tribute to the spirit of Ray Charles and his classic 1962 album ‘Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music’.

The other important information, in that if it wasn’t for these guys we wouldn’t be able to get to hear all these marvellous musicians, is that London Jazz Festival has a new headline sponsor in EFG.

Again, according to the press release:

“London Jazz Festival is delighted to announce that global private banking group EFG International is becoming its new headline sponsor, with a three-year sponsorship in place. EFG has been supporting the Festival since 2008, when it came on board to create the EFG International Excellence Series: an annual programme of major concerts from some of the leading lights in jazz, now well established as a highlight of the Festival.

“EFG steps into the role of headline sponsor of the EFG London Jazz Festival in 2013; a fundamental role in supporting the overall Festival programme. EFG is the Private Bank for Jazz and has a worldwide relationship with the music. The EFG London Jazz Festival is the centerpiece of this commitment, and this crucial support will enable the Festival to realize its artistic ambitions in this, its 21st year, and beyond.”


020 7638 8891 / www.barbican.org.uk

Southbank Centre
0844 875 0073 / www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Royal Albert Hall
0845 401 5034/ www.royalalberthall.com

www.twitter.com/londonjazzfest / www.facebook.com/londonjazzfestival

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