Press room

EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 at the Barbican

Herbie rocking the keytar

EFG London Jazz Festival at the Barbican
Friday 15 – Sunday 24 November 2019

Featured artists across the festival at the Barbican include:

Nik Bärtsch, Sophie Clements, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Sullivan Fortner, The McCormack & Yarde Duo, Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop, Eliane Elias, Vinícius Cantuária, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Junius Paul, Dudu Kouate, Abel Selaocoe, Michael Wollny, Wolfgang Heisig, Emile Parisien, Leafcutter John, Max Stadtfeld, Dawn of Midi, Daniel Brandt, O-Janà, Hobby Horse, Tomorrow’s Warriors, LUME and Bitches Brew

The annual EFG London Jazz Festival – produced by Barbican Associate Producer Serious – comprises hundreds of concerts and gigs across London, celebrating the ever-influential body of work of jazz giants and their ongoing legacies and giving profile to the fresh voices of the scene. As one of the festival’s major venues, the Barbican presents a cross-section of concerts alongside a programme of film screenings and FreeStage events. Highlights of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 at the Barbican include:

  • Pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch and visual artist Sophie Clements present the UK premiere of their striking new collaborative audio-visual performance When The Clouds Clear, a meditation on elemental forces and cycles, featuring amplified solo piano, sculpture, film and installation design (Fri 15 Nov)
  • Legendary American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock makes two festival appearances alongside his band – in a solo show (Sun 17 Nov) and in a collaborative performance together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel (Tue 19 Nov)
  • A UK exclusive performance by Iggy Pop, presenting material from his critically acclaimed new album Free (Thu 21 Nov) 
  • The Art Ensemble of Chicago celebrate their 50th anniversary, featuring special guest artists including bassist Junius Paul, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Dudu Kouate and a collaboration from Manchester based South African cellist Abel Selaocoe (Sat 23 Nov)

In the Hall

Nik Bärtsch & Sophie Clements: When The Clouds Clear
A Light and Sound Poem
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Fri 15 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 8.30pm 
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee 

Pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch’s and visual artist Sophie Clements’ new collaborative audio-visual performance When The Clouds Clear is a meditation on elemental forces and cycles, featuring amplified solo piano, sculpture, film and installation design.
Inspired by a Zen poem entitled The Moon in the Water, the performance uses elements of water, light, reflections and music, all combined into one dramatic art and sound installation. The piano seemingly floats on top of a water tank on stage and a large screen behind shows filmed material of water in its various states, intercut with sharp graphical light effects.

Both artists began working together in 2015, drawing upon influences in Asian philosophy, fine art, theatre, science and minimalism, resulting in When The Clouds Clear, which is an extension of both Bärtsch’s and Clements’ artistic practices and their mutual focus on simple forms.
ECM artist Nik Bärtsch is a Zurich-based composer, pianist and producer and label, club and festival co-founder. He is internationally known for his modular Ritual Groove Music, which is influenced by funk, new classical music, Jazz and Japanese aesthetics.

Sophie Clements is a London-based artist whose work occupies a space between filmmaking, sculpture and sound. Her output ranges from solo gallery work to large-scale collaborative pieces with composers/musicians. Commissioned by Enjoy Jazz Festival and co-commissioned by the Barbican. Produced by the Barbican. Jazz Festival  
 

Cécile McLorin Salvant with Sullivan Fortner
+ The McCormack & Yarde Duo
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sat 16 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £25 – 35 plus booking fee

Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant redefines the Great American Songbook as she performs selections from her newest release The Window with pianist Sullivan Fortner. The programme includes songs by Stephen Sondheim, Stevie Wonder, gems of French cabaret, and early rhythm and blues, alongside McLorin Salvant’s original compositions. Support comes from The McCormack & Yarde Duo featuring Andrew McCormack (piano) and Jason Yarde (saxes) who will be opening the show with a cross-genre of world, jazz and classical music. Produced by the EFG London Jazz Festival
 

Herbie Hancock 
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sun 17 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £40 – 65 plus booking fee 

Sold out - returns only

Herbie Hancock with the Los Angeles Philharmonic / Dudamel
Part of Los Angeles Philharmonic International Orchestral Partner residency

Tue 19 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £40 – 85 plus booking fee
Sold out - returns only

American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, his trademark keytar and band return to the Barbican and the EFG London Jazz Festival for two performances this year, following their appearance at the Centre in 2017. On Sun 17 Nov Hancock will be performing selections of his classic music from his extensive back catalogue, and on Tue 19 Nov he will collaborate in a concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, celebrating the LA Phil’s centenary. On both dates Herbie Hancock will be joined by his band, featuring James Genus (bass), Lionel Loueke (guitar & vocals) and Justin Tyson (drums), and flautist and vocalist Elena Pinderhughes will join them for the concert on 17 Nov.

Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining his unmistakable voice. With an illustrious career spanning over five decades and 14 Grammy™ Awards, including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters – an honour which only a handful of jazz musicians ever received – he continues to amaze audiences across the globe. Herbie Hancock is the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Creative Chair for Jazz.

Iggy Pop
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Thu 21 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Tickets £49.50 – 69.50 plus booking fee
Sold out - returns only

This date is a UK exclusive performance of Iggy Pop’s critically acclaimed new album Free, as part of this year's EFG London Jazz Festival.
From breaking new grounds in punk rock with The Stooges to his radio show on BBC 6 Music, Iggy Pop has always challenged norms, defied expectations and has been a major influence on countless musicians from a wide range of genres. His new record builds on years of jazz collaborations with the likes of Medeski Martin and Wood, singing on Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte's Loneliness Road, and his jazz, chanson and literature influenced 2009 album Préliminaires. Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

Eliane Elias + Vinícius Cantuária
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Fri 22 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £25 – 39.50 plus booking fee

This evening celebrates 60 years of bossa nova with two inspirational musicians from the heart of the Brazilian jazz scene – vocalist and composer Eliane Elias, and musical polymath Vinícius Cantuária.

Both musicians are renowned for building musical bridges between their homeland and New York City. Eliane Elias’s distinctive style blends her Brazilian roots with her love for American jazz, and tonight she performs selections from her new album Love Stories which, in her own words, is one the most romantic sets of music she has ever produced.
Singer, guitarist, composer, and percussionist Vinícius Cantuária is hailed as one of the pioneers of neo-Brazilian music. Similarly, he found new musical energy and inspiration in New York City, and has collaborated with downtown icons Laurie Anderson and Arto Lindsay, as well as artists as eclectic as Brian Eno, Brad Mehldau and Caetano Veloso. Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

The Art Ensemble of Chicago 
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sat 23 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £25 – 40 plus booking fee

The Art Ensemble of Chicago has been at the forefront of creative improvised and African diasporic music – what they have long-termed “Great Black Music” – since 1969. This year the ensemble celebrates its 50th Anniversary at the Barbican with a tribute to its founder members Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman and Malachi Favors Maghostut as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2019. The evening will also feature some very special guest soloists including bassist Junius Paul, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Dudu Kouate and a collaboration from Manchester based South African cellist Abel Selaocoe.

The ensemble that evolved from founder Roscoe Mitchell's musical vision, explorations and adventurous collaborations in Chicago, is renowned for its integration of musical styles that span the history of jazz and multi-instrumental group improvisations.  

Their live performances of original compositions, written by all the members, are visual, auditory and sensual spectacles with elaborate costumes, face paint, props, theatre, poetry, dance and more. Currently with a rotating group of 13 to 18 members, the ensemble appears as a completely new constellation in the creative scene and they recently released two-disc masterpiece We are on the Edge, after a studio recording hiatus of 15 years, to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Produced by the Barbican in association with EFG London Jazz Festival
 

Bauhaus 100th: A Musical Exploration
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sun 24 Nov 2019, Barbican Hall, 7pm
Tickets £29.50 – 39.50 plus booking fee

This concert date features music to mark the 100th anniversary of a colossal revolution in the philosophy of aesthetics and purpose, architecture and design: Bauhaus.
The EFG London Jazz Festival celebrates the movement’s impact with a show created around the Bau.Haus.Klang project. Following its Berlin premiere in January 2019, composer and pianist Michael Wollny challenges the question of how the Bauhaus manifesto could be translated into today’s sound.

The improvisational skills of a jazz pianist dared by the mechanics of the 'phonola', a music machine from the twenties that operates a second grand piano programmed by Wolfgang Heisig. Emile Parisien, Leafcutter John and Max Stadtfeld accompany this stimulating dialogue. The Brooklyn based acoustic, minimalist music trio Dawn of Midi perform their musical response to the movement by bringing their mesmerising grooves and refined rhythmic structure in association with Erased Tapes, and percussionist Daniel Brandt performs his Eternal Something project.

Produced by the EFG London Jazz Festival Created around the Bau.Haus.Klang project commissioned by the Bauhaus Festival – a celebration for the opening of the Bauhaus 100-year activities in Germany.

In the Cinema

The film strand of the festival brings together new and classic jazz documentaries, including: Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (USA 2019) in which the legendary musician’s life and music are given a fascinating re-telling in this new film from Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution); and Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops' Story (US 2019 Dir John Whitehead), co-presented with Doc’n Roll Film Festival, an insightful account of this North Carolina trio who re-fashioned a nineteenth-century musical style for twenty-first century listeners.

Other highlights include: Bolden (US 2019 Dir Daniel Pritzker), an impressionistic portrait of the pioneering cornetist Buddy Bolden – sometimes credited as the ‘father’ of jazz – which looks back at his glory years in turn-of-the-century New Orleans; and Art Blakey: The Jazz Messenger (UK 1987 Dir Dick Fontaine), that examines the musical career and legacy of Art Blakey, legendary drummer and bandleader of The Jazz Messengers.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (12A*)
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sat 16 Nov 2019, Barbican Cinema 2, 2pm
Tickets £12 plus booking fee

Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops' Story (12A*)
Part of Doc'n Roll/EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sat 16 Nov 2019, Barbican Cinema 2, 4.30pm
Tickets £12 plus booking fee

Bolden (18*)
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sun 17 Nov 2019, Barbican Cinema 3, 4pm
Tickets £12 plus booking fee

Art Blakey: The Jazz Messenger (12A*) + Introduction
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Sun 24 Nov 2019, Barbican Cinema 3, 4pm
Tickets £12 plus booking fee

On the Freestage

As part of the Festival there will be free live performances presented on the Barbican FreeStage.

I-Jazz: O-Janà + Hobby Horse
EFG London Jazz 2019 Festival FreeStage

Sat 16 Nov 2019, Barbican Level G, 5pm
Admission Free

Audiences can discover the new sounds of the burgeoning Italian jazz scene as I-Jazz brings together O-Janà and Hobby Horse for this FreeStage performance.
They are two acts whose music would be equally at home in a jazz club or a nightclub. O-Janà – a collaboration between vocalist Ludovica Manzo and electronic musician Alessandra Bossa – create new forms from a blend of free improv, electronics and song writing.
Hobby Horse bring together a similarly diverse set of influences, borrowing from slam poetry, techno, bossa nova, prog, hip-hop and beyond.
Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

Tomorrow's Warriors Takeover
EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 FreeStage

Sun 17 Nov 2019, Barbican Level G, 4pm
Admission Free

The future stars of British jazz in form of music development and performance collective Tomorrow’s Warriors jam in the Barbican Foyers as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.
No story about the revitalised London jazz scene is complete without mention of Tomorrow’s Warriors, the grassroots organisation founded by Gary Crosby, championing emerging talent and increasing opportunities within jazz.
Their list of alumni is a who’s-who of the biggest names in the scene – graduates include Shabaka Hutchings, Soweto Kinch, Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, Binker & Moses and more.
Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

LUME Collective
EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 FreeStage

Sat 23 Nov 2019, Barbican Level G, 5pm
Admission Free

LUME return to the EFG London Jazz Festival, showcasing new music-making and spontaneous sounds on the Barbican FreeStage.LUME began its life in 2013 as a weekly night for new original and improvised music, run by musicians Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne. Since then, they have run monthly nights at Vortex Jazz Club, embarked on a tour, and even run a LUME Festival – and, of course, becoming an EFG London Jazz Festival partner in 2013 and 2014.
They embody the excitement of the new jazz scene, not only providing a platform for new music, but also building a supportive community for continued innovation. 
Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

Bitches Brew
EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 FreeStage

Sun 24 Nov 2019, Barbican Level G, 2pm
Admission Free

Improvisation collective Bitches Brew celebrates the raw energy of female performers, bringing together the best new acts from across jazz, folk, rock and beyond.
With a cheeky nod to Miles Davis’s 1970 opus, Bitches Brew was founded in 2015 by bassist Emma Smith to showcase the profound but too-often-sidelined talent of women improvisers.
Previous line-ups have featured musicians such as Lauren Sarah Hayes, Fiona Rutherford, Una McGlone, Joanna Nicolson, Kate Young and Emma Lloyd.
Produced by EFG London Jazz Festival

In the Library

Ronnie Scott's 1959-69
Photography by Freddy Warren

12 Oct 2019 — 4 Jan 2020, Barbican Library
Admission Free

This exhibition is a warm and intimate series of portraits marking the 60th anniversary of London’s legendary jazz club and the publication of a new book.
To celebrate the work of Freddy Warren, a selection of photographs is showcased in this exhibition that captures the atmosphere and movement of jazz.
His photographs include performance shots and off–stage pictures of Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone and more. A previously unseen archive of his work also features behind the scene images of Ronnie Scott, personally overseeing the construction of the club's iconic Soho venue.
A Barbican Music Library Exhibition curated by Reel Art Press.