Saved events

Press room

Barbican announces first wave of international artists for EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

Charles Lloyd
  • Hiromi’s sonicwonder (Mon 13 Nov 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)
  • Sergio Mendes (Wed 15 Nov 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)
  • Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio (Fri 17 Nov 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)
  • Samara Joy (Sun 19 Nov 2023, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

Today (12 April) the Barbican announces the first wave of performances for this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival in collaboration with Barbican Associate Producer Serious. Now in its 31st year, the annual festival will happen in November at the Barbican as well as taking over 60+ venues across the city to showcase some of the best global and local jazz talent.

The Barbican's live performance programme will feature an electrifying line-up of jazz masters, emerging stars, and fresh new talent - making it an event that no music lover should miss.

On Monday 13 November, Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi will take to the stage at the Barbican Hall. The award-winning musician's powerful performances have captivated audiences worldwide, and this concert is set to be no exception. Two days later, on Wednesday 15 November, legendary Brazilian producer, composer, keyboardist, and vocalist Sergio Mendes will bring his signature mix of bossa nova and samba to the London audiences at the Barbican. On Friday 17 November, the Charles Lloyd Trio featuring pianist Gerald Clayton and guitarist Marvin Sewell, return to the Barbican to entrance audiences with their unique blend of spiritual jazz. Finally, on Sunday 19 November the Barbican welcomes American vocalist Samara Joy, whose silken voice and fresh approach to jazz have earned her widespread critical acclaim and millions of fans worldwide. Further waves of exciting artists for the festival will be announced in the coming weeks and months. 

Full listing details below and here.


Hiromi’s sonicwonder

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

Renowned Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi is set to take to the stage at Barbican Hall in London on 13 November 2023 with a performance promising to push the boundaries of jazz, classical, and pop music.

Hiromi made her mark on the music industry with her debut album, Another Mind, which became an instant classic upon its release in 2003. With its electrifying energy and captivating creativity, the album received Gold, selling 100,000 units, and was awarded the Recording Industry Association of Japan's Jazz Album of the Year. Since then, Hiromi has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world with her virtuosic performances and ground-breaking compositions.

Over the years, Hiromi has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, including jazz legend Chick Corea on the album Duet and bassist Stanley Clarke on the GRAMMY-winning release Jazz in the Garden. She also had the honour of performing at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

Now, Hiromi is back with her latest album, Silver Lining Suite (Telarc, 2021), which showcases her hybrid style and emotional depth. As the world navigated the challenges of the pandemic, Hiromi found strength and hope in her music, creating a powerful work reflecting the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit.

The Barbican Hall performance encompasses an unforgettable journey through Hiromi's unparalleled creativity and artistic vision. With a repertoire that spans jazz, classical, and pop, Hiromi brings her unique brand of musical fusion to London audiences.

Produced by Serious, part of EFG London Jazz Festival


Sergio Mendes

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

World-renowned Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes brings his iconic, joyful mix of bossa nova and samba to the Barbican Hall on 15 November 2023. The three-time GRAMMY award-winning producer, composer, keyboardist, and vocalist has been captivating audiences over a six-decade and more than 35-album career - making him one of the most successful Brazilian artists of all time.

Mendes is renowned for his distinctive pop instrumentation and signature sound, which have come to define Brazilian music. His hit single Mas Que Nada made history as the first Portuguese language song to ever hit Billboard's U.S. Pop chart. In 2011, Mendes' most iconic album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, alongside some of the most significant recordings of all time.

Throughout his illustrious career, Mendes has contributed to the foundations of bossa nova and has brought an infectious spirit of joy to his audience. His Oscar-nominated theme song from the animated hit movie Rio (2011) is a testament to his undeniable talent and versatility.

Mendes’ upcoming performance will bring his legendary Latin Jazz sound to life. This is a rare opportunity to see one of the most iconic musicians of our time performing live.

Produced by Serious, part of EFG London Jazz Festival


Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

After an unforgettable sold-out performance in 2021, Charles Lloyd, the iconic American saxophonist, flautist, and early global-music pioneer, is set to return to the Barbican with his new trio with pianist Gerald Clayton and guitarist Marvin Sewell.

With a career spanning over 60 years, Charles Lloyd has captivated audiences worldwide with his entrancing performances and has travelled widely in his own fertile imagination to cultures way outside his jazz origins. Cemented as one of the greats of our time, he has worked with jazz, blues, and rock giants including B.B. King, Ornette Coleman, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, and many more.

From his early albums for Atlantic through his great recordings for ECM and now Blue Note Records, he has never stopped experimenting with new sounds, new techniques, and new collaborations. After making his first appearance in the 1960s with avant-garde improvisations, Lloyd entered a state of semi-retirement in the 1970s but later made a comeback with his first album under the roof of ECM, Fish Out of Water in 1989, opening a whole new chapter in his career.

With their fresh approach and mesmerising synergy, the new trio will captivate and enchant audiences in London later this year.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious.


Samara Joy

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

A rising star of the jazz world, American singer Samara Joy makes her Barbican debut in an exclusive one-night-only performance on Sunday 19 November 2023. Joy is a young singer whose sultry and powerful voice has been captivating audiences around the world.

The American vocalist has been described by the New York Times as the ‘silky-voiced rising star’ for ‘helping jazz take a youthful turn’. Samara has made her case as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation, joining the likes of Sarah, Ella and Billie, recorded by the venerable Verve Records.

Samara has gained support from Anita Baker, Regina King, Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Hudson, along with appearances on the TODAY Show, The Tonight Show, The Late Show, CBS Morning, and millions of likes on TikTok. She also won Best Jazz Vocal Album and the auspicious Best New Artist award at this year's (2023) GRAMMYs, cementing her status as the first Gen Z jazz singing star. Since winning the prestigious Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2019, Samara has been making waves in the jazz world, earning critical acclaim for her effortless vocal range and mature musicality. With her unique blend of classic jazz standards and modern original compositions, she has been praised for her ability to infuse old-school jazz with a fresh and contemporary sound. With her captivating stage presence and impeccable musicianship, Samara Joy has become a sought-after performer on the jazz scene, performing at renowned venues and festivals around the world.

The debut performance at Barbican will take the audience on a musical journey that is both soulful and sophisticated.

Produced by Serious, part of EFG London Jazz Festival