The first names have been announced for the milestone 25th anniversary of the EFG London Jazz Festival, which takes place from 10 to 19 November at venues across the capital. Kicking off its quarter-century edition in style is an opening-night concert hall show from revered guitar guru Pat Metheny who brings his new Quartet to the Barbican (10 Nov). The group made their London debut last year over four nights at Ronnie Scott's and feature rising star US bassist Linda Oh, acclaimed UK pianist Gwilym Simcock and powerful Metheny drum cohort Antonio Sanchéz, all performing material from the group's debut recording that's set for release later this year on Nonesuch.
The first Friday also marks the 10th anniversary of Jazz Voice, Guy Barker's Herculean celebration of vocal jazz with the 42-piece London Jazz Festival orchestra performing with a diverse selection of high-profile singers at the Royal Festival Hall. The latter venue also hosts a groove-heavy opening weekend of gigs, which include 1970s Brit-funk icons The Average White Band with support from soul-jazz vocal group LaSharVu (RFH, 11 Nov), followed by former Miles Davis bass maestro and producer Marcus Miller who brings his stellar live show and youthful band to the capital following his acclaimed 2015 Afrodeezia album (RFH, 12 Nov).
International names also appearing at the Southbank include Italian poet, painter and singer-songwriter Paolo Conte (RFH, 13 Nov), a rare collaboration between two South African jazz icons as pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and his group Ekaya unites with trumpeter/singer Hugh Masekela for a powerful summit as The Jazz Epistles (RFH, 14 Nov), while high-energy, spiritually-charged sounds come in the form of the Harlem Gospel Choir (RFH, 17 Nov). The globe-trotting styles continue with leading Portuguese fado singer Carminho, who explores gems from the Jobim songbook with a band that includes renowned Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum (Barbican, 17 Nov), and Cuban jazz pianist Omar Sosa lines up with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita to play music from their new album Transparent Water (Barbican, 19 Nov).
The first concert announced for the 600-seater Milton Court will feature powerful Scandi-Brit trio Phronesis who team up with Engines Orchestra to explore edgy new material by composer Dave Maric as a super-sized group under the direction of Phil Meadows (12 Nov). And the first show to be announced for Cadogan Hall features drummer Richard Pite's pithy pit-stop musical tour entitled 1957: A Jazz Jukebox, which celebrates music from Ella Fitzgerald's centenary year (12 Nov).
The festival, for which Jazzwise is media partner, takes place at over 50 venues across the capital and features over 300 gigs in performance spaces (with many free-entry and pop-up events) alongside live radio broadcasts, popular family-orientated daytime concerts and an extensive learning and participation programme.
– Mike Flynn
These shows are now on-sale at efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk