Latest news

Win a luxury stay and concert tickets with Radisson Blu Edwardian

Our official hotel partner Radisson Blu Edwardian are offering you the chance to win a luxury overnight stay in London for two with breakfast with and tickets to Melody Gardot’s sold out show at the Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday 17 November.

Born in London. Inspired by London. Radisson Blu Edwardian, London is a distinctive collection of individual hotels in great locations across London, from bijou boutique to large-scale luxe. A surprising fusion of English eccentric and European cool, think contemporary design that doesn’t compromise on comfort, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout and buzzing bars and restaurants, with service that anticipates but never assumes. It’s an experience that relaxes and stimulates in equal measure.
To win this prize just tweet, Facebook, Instagram or email us a photo of your favourite album with the hashtag #thisismyjazz

Closing date Monday 5 October. We’ll let you know our favourite/winner in the email.

Bloomsbury • Canary Wharf • Covent Garden • Fitzrovia • Kensington • Leicester Square • Marble Arch • Mayfair • Oxford Street •The May Fair

Pop-up radio station: BBC Music Jazz

We are very proud and excited to be at the heart of the ground-breaking BBC Music Jazz pop-up station.

Working in collaboration with a vast array of BBC radio stations this is a fantastic extension to our BBC partnership which has grown and developed over the last fifteen years. We are also delighted that this ambitious initiative involves our good friends at Jazz FM and are very pleased to be working with them on this year’s festival.

We’ll let you know more about the project as the schedule is announced. You’ll be able to find out more at which also lists other broadcasts across the festival.

Keith Jarrett – The Solo Concert

Keith Jarrett has come to be recognised as one of the most creative and uncompromising musicians of our time – acclaimed as an improviser of genius; a master of jazz piano; a classical pianist of great depth, and as a composer who has written for his various jazz groups, as well as extended works for orchestra, soloist and chamber ensemble. 

We're excited to announce that Keith plays the EFG London Jazz Festival for the first time, in this, his 70th year, returning to the Royal Festival Hall for this acoustic solo concert following his ecstatically-received performances in 2013 and 2008, the latter of which was recorded and subsequently released to critical acclaim on ECM.

‘A terrific performance whose contrasts were sustained through to the rolling rhythms and dazzling lines of the fourth and final encore’ (***** Financial Times)


The Langston Hughes Project

Article by Margaret Busby

Margaret Busby describes how the poetry of Langston Hughes, with its close relationship to the music of its time, still resonates strongly with many of today’s issues.

More than half a century has elapsed since Langston Hughes (1902–67) – unofficial poet laureate of Harlem and a major presence in African-American cultural history – composed his epic multimedia suite of poems, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz. He had begun writing it with the Newport Jazz Festival of 1960 as a backdrop, and its content explored the struggles for artistic and cultural freedom then taking place. Ask Your Mama was dedicated to Louis Armstrong, ‘the greatest horn player of them all’, and opposite the poetry (all written in capital letters), in the right-hand margin of each page, Hughes gave musical cues about how the work should eventually be performed ‘for the benefit of those who might like to hear the music that I heard in my mind as I wrote’. There were even liner notes provided at the end of the book, as if it were a record.

In his writing, Hughes had always had a close relationship with jazz (he collaborated on albums with the likes of Charles Mingus and Randy Weston). The musical journey he takes in this extraordinary twelve-part work naturally engages with the African-American heritage of blues and gospel, Dixieland and New Orleans, bebop and beyond. Hughes also linked his subject matter with Afro-Cuban music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso and African drumming.  

Ask Your Mama is aptly described as a soundtrack to the sixties, yet its powerful social commentary on the struggle for freedom and equality remains ever relevant. While rooted in African-American cultural history, it is a transnational work, connecting the US with Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Hughes addresses weighty and radical issues including segregation, Pan-Africanist ideology and the cultural fabric of the world, referencing and paying homage to a variety of individuals – Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman – expanding African America’s image of itself (as well as alluding to such homegrown wordplay as the practice of ‘signifying’ and ‘playing the dozens’). 

Ask Your Mama was yet to have its first performance by the time of its author’s death in 1967, but the brilliance of its conception has ensured that it still resonates powerfully with many of today’s issues. The vitality, poignancy and sometimes humour of Hughes’ words, his prescience and the range of world history he connects have now been brought to life in The Langston Hughes Project, through which rapper and actor Ice-T joins musical director/trumpeter Ron McCurdy in a brilliant 21st-century realisation of Langston Hughes’s creative masterpiece. Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz recreates a magical moment in a journey from the Harlem Renaissance through the beat poets and the birth of bebop, to the looming explosion of black performance arts in the 1960s.

Using a vivid visual backdrop, this extraordinary multimedia performance evokes themes of unity, cooperation, pride in identity and diverse culture, interpreting and illuminating Hughes’ original vision for his work in a way that resonates as strongly today, ever inspired and ever inspiring.

This article appeared first in the Barbican November 2015 Guide. 

​Ice-T and Ron McCurdy bring the work of Langston Hughes to life on Saturday 21 November as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Just like great jazz, great wine is meant for sharing!

With Plaimont Producteurs becoming the official wine sponsor to the EFG London Jazz Festival, we have a case of wine to give away to our most passionate jazz fan! 

You just have to answer our burning question: What is your jazz? What musicians blow your mind? What makes you dance? What was your first album? Who nails it every single time?

Tweet it, post it or email it, do it in 140 characters or less and tell us just what your flavour of jazz is and remember to use #thisismyjazz 

Tell us before Thursday 24 September and we’ll pick our favourite answer and send the lucky winner 12 bottles of elegant French wine to toast your victory. 

Plaimont Producteurs, located in South-West France, love jazz and have linked this passion with their wines to select for you 6 bottles of Rosé d’Enfer & 6 bottles of Colombelle Côtes de Gascogne white wine. Plaimont is the leading producer of wine in the South-West of France. Their winegrowers’ vineyards stretch over four main appellations (AOC Saint Mont, Madiran, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Côtes de Gascogne) and are exclusively made from local grape varieties.  

Share your jazz enthusiasms far and wide using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or get in touch with us via email.

Applicants must be 18 years or over and based in the UK.