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More Festival shows announced

As summer heats up, it’s fitting that we’re announcing the pyrotechnic swing and incendiary rock of fire-cracker Japanese pianist Hiromi​ — she’ll be in town to challenge and defy expectations of the piano trio.

Miroslav Vitouš​ — founding member and bassist for Weather Report​ — makes his long-awaited return to London with the award-winning pianist and composer Emil Viklický​.

At Wigmore Hall, there’s a very rare opportunity to experience a solo bass performance by one of the outstanding improvisers on the planet, Dave Holland

After last year’s sold-out performances in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, we’re back with Courtney Pine and Zoe Rahman’s beautiful collaboration for bass clarinet and piano. Grammy-nominated Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez also appears in the candlelit indoor space.

Cecil Sharp House plays host to Adriano Adewale’s new large scale work for massed voices and percussion, Within The Waves. The performance will feature Cecil Sharp House Choir and Werca’s Folk from Northumberland.

Shows already on sale include Kurt Elling (as part of the EFG Excellence Series), Cécile McLorin Salvant, Cassandra Wilson, Maceo Parker, Nik Bärtsch, Melody Gardot (as part of the EFG Excellence Series), Manu Katché & Ibrahim Maalouf, James Farm (feat. Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland), Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, David Virelles, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Andy Sheppard, Average White Band & Kokomo, Jarrod Lawson, Terence Blanchard, Phronesis, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, and many more.

For full details of all shows visit efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/events

More shows announced

In this third wave of artists, we’re delighted to announce what will be a true Festival highlight; the highly-influential trumpeter Terence Blanchard, playing music from his new Blue Note album with his E-Collective band in a landmark Barbican concert.

Phronesis celebrate their tenth birthday by playing with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band at Barbican/Milton Court. New arrangements of Phronesis material have been scored by Julian Argüelles for this stunning combination.

Arild Andersen marks his 70th birthday with a Kings Place concert by his new sextet, and there’s a wealth of European talent announced this week, including remarkable tuba virtuoso Daniel Herskedal, also at Kings Place. From France we welcome bassist Stéphane Kerecki, Albanian singer Elina Duni plays with Colin Vallon at Kings Place and the Marcin Wasilewski Trio are at Barbican/Milton Court – both flying the flag for ECM Records.

Singer Emilia Mårtensson performs at Wigmore Hall alongside percussionist Adriano Adewale and accordionist Janez Dovč for a journey to some amazing places created entirely by the power of words, music and your imagination.

Finally, we are proud to present the first British performance at Barbican/Milton Court of A Clear Midnight – Kurt Weill and America, Julia Hülsmann’s much-lauded ECM collaboration with vocalist Theo Bleckmann on the songs of Kurt Weill.

With a wealth of further shows planned for announcement next week, keep an eye on your inbox!

Shows already on sale include Kurt Elling (as part of the EFG Excellence Series), Cécile McLorin Salvant, Cassandra Wilson, Maceo Parker, Nik Bärtsch, Sons of Kemet, Melody Gardot (as part of the EFG Excellence Series), Manu Katché & Ibrahim Maalouf, James Farm (feat. Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland), Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, David Virelles, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Andy Sheppard, Seckou KeitaAverage White Band & Kokomo, Jarrod Lawson, and many more.

For full details of all shows visit efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/events

Claire Whitaker receives OBE

Claire Whitaker, one of the three Serious directors, has been appointed an OBE for Services to Jazz in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours List. The award recognises her long-standing commitment to the scene through her work at Serious, which has included ground-breaking jazz education and professional development schemes, BT River of Music​, and securing sponsorship for the EFG London Jazz Festival​ from long-standing partners, EFG​, to help grow this significant event.  

In addition to her work at Serious, Claire is also chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society​, council member of the The Caine Prize for African Writing​, trustee of Africa 95 and Magna Carta Trust, chair of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Artworks initiative and spent seven years as arts adviser for their Arts Programme Committee. Following an MA in Cultural Leadership at City University London​, she was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women To Watch in 2010. 

Second wave of concerts announced

Second wave of EFG London Jazz Festival concerts announced

Continuing the theme of showcasing jazz vocalists, we are delighted to announce Melody Gardot at the Royal Festival Hall – this being the third show in the much-lauded EFG Excellence Series. Rising star Cécile McLorin Salvant takes to the Cadogan Hall stage with her latest album, and Juliet Kelly will lead three performances of our Family Jazz All-Stars, at artsdepot and Cadogan Hall.

Away from the concert-halls we see innovative music at its best, and the introduction of new venues to the Festival – seeing Hidden Orchestra’s avant-garde audiovisual show at St. John-at-Hackney, and Maceo Parker playing his definitive funk-sax at Under the Bridge

We see novel pairings, with Manu Katché joining Ibrahim Maalouf, and a tribute to the everlasting compositions of Billy Strayhorn with David McAlmont and Allan Harris. 

Shows already on sale include Kurt Elling (as part of the EFG Excellence Series), Cassandra Wilson, Nik Bärtsch, Sons of Kemet, James Farm (feat. Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland), Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Jarrod Lawson, and Average White Band & Kokomo.

Click here for full festival information. 

Vote for Jazz FM Awards

Have your say and vote for your favourites in the 2015 Jazz FM Awards!

The 2015 Jazz FM Awards, produced by Serious, return on Wednesday 10 June to celebrate the wealth of talent dominating the jazz scene over the last 12 months and you can decide who walks away with an accolade. There are three Audience Vote Awards with the nominees for; Live Experience of the Year, UK Jazz Act of the Year and Album of the Year revealed today.

The Live Experience of the Year will see the UK’s biggest jazz events go head to head with their most memorable performances of the past year, with Loose Tubes at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, EFG Excellence Series concert Blue Note 75 at EFG London Jazz Festival and Jamie Cullum at Love Supreme Jazz Festival all in the running.

The second award with an audience vote is the UK Jazz Act of the Year sponsored by Yamaha with nominees being jazz-meets-electronica rising stars, GoGo Penguin, unique jazz/Caribbean/African-take band, Sons of Kemet and drummer/composer Sebastian Rochford’s Polar Bear.

The Album of the Year category is wide open with six albums nominated for the Audience vote;

Ambrose Akinmusire - The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint
D'Angelo - Black Messiah
Dianne Reeves - Beautiful Life
Chris Potter Underground Orchestra - Imaginary Cities
Polar Bear - In Each and Every One
Troyka Ornithophobia

Get involved and see your favourite artist or band honoured at this prestigious event by visiting the Jazz FM Awards website to place your vote and listen in to Jazz FM to hear the latest news and insight as momentum for the awards gathers pace. Voting closes on Wednesday 10 May.

There are 11 awards in total to honour musicians and performers that have made exceptional contributions to the Jazz, Blues and Soul music scenes, with renowned South African musician and Serious Trust patron, Hugh Masekela receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. This is a fitting and timely reward for this musician whose talent, charisma and career longevity has inspired and motivated a generation of South African artists. Don't miss the opportunity to see Hugh live in London, tickets are still available to see him perform alongside pianist Larry Willis, at the Barbican on Monday 8 June.

Additional awards to be given out on the night include Breakthrough Act, Instrumentalist of the Year, Jazz Innovation of the Year, International Jazz Artist of the Year, Blues Artist of the Year, Soul Artist of the Year (sponsored by Conrad London St. James Hotel) and Vocalist of the Year.

The Jazz FM Awards 2015 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious and is made possible with the support of Yamaha, Aberdeen Asset Management, Taylor’s Port, Mishcon De Reya, Arqiva, CityJet, Audemus Gin and Vinopolis.