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EFG London Jazz Festival returns to the Barbican for 30th Birthday celebrations

Picture of Matana Roberts with the Barbican logo on the side, marked up with "EFG London Jazz Festival"

Press Reminder: EFG London Jazz Festival returns to the Barbican for 30th birthday celebrations



Fri 11—Sun 20 Nov 2022

The EFG London Jazz Festival returns to the Barbican this November, with live performances from some of the world’s most talented contemporary jazz musicians, alongside screenings and workshops.

Presented by the Barbican’s Associate Producer Serious, the festival comprises hundreds of gigs across the city and sees jazz popping up everywhere, from concert halls to street corners. The Barbican will play host to fifteen events, two of which feature musicians who performed in the festival’s very first iteration back in 1992 — Anthony Braxton and Abdullah Ibrahim.

“We’re delighted to welcome the EFG London Jazz Festival back to the Barbican as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. Every year, the programme offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see jazz musicians from all over the world come together for some of the most spellbinding musical performances imaginable. The Barbican is proud to be a longstanding venue and partner for what is surely among the world’s most exciting contemporary music festival programmes today.” — Will Gompertz, Artistic Director, Barbican


Full details of the EFG London Jazz Festival concerts at the Barbican follow below:

  • CHICAGO x LONDON brings together artists from scenes within two cities at the zenith of contemporary jazz. This one-night-only cosmic encounter will feature Chicago avant-garde artists from pioneering label International Anthem alongside artists from London’s Total Refreshment Centre circle. Performers include London-based Mancunian poet, saxophonist and composer Alabaster DePlume, Chicago’s spiritual jazz oracle Angel Bat Dawid, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer Ben LaMar Gay, and guitarist Jeff Parker. (12 Nov) Ahead of the main event, a series of free performances will take place on the FreeStage, located on Level G foyers at the Barbican, featuring Rosie Turton and tyroneisaacstuart.


  • A double-bill of unfettered improvisation from two iconic luminaries of the Chicago avant-garde jazz movement, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and woodwind player Henry Threadgill and free jazz musician, woodwind improviser and composer Anthony Braxton, who was the first artist in history to record an entire album of unaccompanied saxophone music. (13 Nov) Prior to the event starting, two cutting-edge Avant-Garde duos – Johnny Hunter + John Pope and Caroline Kraabel + John Edwards – will be performing on the Barbican FreeStage, located on the ground floor from 16:30.


  • Chicago-born composer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner Matana Roberts performs their landmark 2019 album Coin Coin Chapter IV: Memphis from the epic 12-album suite Coin Coin with a full live band for the first time. Described as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, Memphis oscillates between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites. (17 Nov)


  • Yahael Camara Onono the charismatic bandleader, lead djembe player, composer, and arranger of Balimaya Project and Milton Court Artist-in-Residence* in 2022 presents a night of music, dance, and discussion, focusing on the extensive and complex historical and contemporary repertoire of the Mandé peoples of West Africa. For this performance, he will be joined onstage by special guests. (15 Nov). The following day, Camara Onono will host a Masterclass inviting Guildhall School students who play horns, drums or percussion to learn how to build a piece of Mande music, with members of the public invited to observe (admission free). (16 Nov)


  • British jazz trumpeter and band leader Mark Kavuma presents a night celebrating his new record label Banger Factory Records, featuring Zaitz & KavumaThe Banger Factory and Kinetika Bloco. This one-off event brings together an all-star line-up of musicians and special guests from across the London jazz scene, including Sheila Maurice GreyTheon Cross and Deschanel Gordon. (18 Nov)


  • Coinciding with the release of the Don Cherry tribute album on Spiritmuse records, this creative homage to the iconic trumpeter’s work will feature an extraordinary line-up of musicians, including the legendary Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (Corey Wilkes on trumpet, Alex Harding on baritone sax, and El’Zabar on percussion), with very special guests: renowned LA vocalist Dwight Trible; the eldest son of Don Cherry - internationally renowned pianist David Ornette Cherry; and other members of the Cherry family including Naima Karlsson and Mexican pianist Ana Ruiz who collaborated with Don Cherry in the seventies. (20 Nov)


  • Generation-defining jazz supergroup Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade reunite to perform music from their classic 1994 album, MoodSwing and forthcoming album LongGone. (14 Nov)


  • South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim performs an intimate solo show, taking the audience on an odyssey into his musical oeuvre – a sacred and secular melting pot of gospel and jive, American jazz and classical music. (15 Nov)


  • Genre-defying composer-cellist-singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson is joined by the LSO Percussion Ensemble for a jazz-infused night including new works for percussion. (12 Nov)


  • Los Angeles-based vocalist Lady Blackbird brings her wholly fresh take on the jazz vocal idiom to the Barbican stage. Billed as the next superstar of jazz Lady Blackbird comes to the Barbican following the release of her debut album Black Acid Soul, which received a five-star review from The Guardian and features Miles Davis’s former pianist, Deron Johnson. (18 Nov)


  • Tunisian oud master, vocalist and composer Dhafer Youssef unites the modern and ancestral, the East and the West, freeing his instrument from traditional confines, bringing it into the realms of jazz. For this special performance, he’ll be joined on stage by Ballaké Sissoko, whose swirling, polyrhythmic kora playing reveals a similar vision and approach as Youssef, and Eivind Aarset whose wide sonic palette stretches from Nordic styles to African rhythms. (19 Nov)


  • On its penultimate day, EFG London Jazz Festival presents a free showcase of some of Ireland's foremost improvising musicians on Level G. Adventures in Irish improvisation shines a light on some of the most daring artists in the Irish jazz and improvising music scenes – featuring the exhilarating electronic duo Ex Isles and a collaboration between violinist Cora Venus Lunny and pianist Izumi Kimura. (19 Nov)


  • This year’s accompanying film season at the Barbican, Jazz on Screen (12-20 Nov) celebrates the centenary of Charles Mingus through the iconic London noir, All Night Long, trawls the BBC archives for classic TV recordings from the seminal series Jazz 625 and opens with a double-bill The Cry of Jazz, and American Revolution 2two different portrayals of Chicago, race relations and politics throughout the 1960s which provide a back-drop to the radical jazz movements that would emerge across the decade.      

*The Milton Court Artist-in-Residence programme is a partnership between the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama



Jazz on Screen: The Cry of Jazz + American Revolution 2 (15) (Sat 12 Nov 2022, Barbican Cinema 3, 4pm)

● International Anthem presents: CHICAGO X LONDON (Sat 12 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

 Ayanna Witter-Johnson with the LSO Percussion Ensemble (Sat 12 Nov 2022, LSO St. Luke’s, 8pm)

 Threadgill’s Zoid and Anthony Braxton (Sun 13 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

  MoodSwing: Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade (Mon 14 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm)

  Ankata Niogonfé: A night of Mande music and folklore / Yahael Camara Onono (Tue 15 Nov 2022, Milton Court, 7.30pm)

  Abdullah Ibrahim (Tue 15 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

  Yahael Camara Onono: Masterclass (Wed 16 Nov, Milton Court Concert Hall, 2pm)

  Jazz on Screen: All Night Long (15) (Wed 16 Nov, 18.30, Barbican Cinema 2)

  Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter IV band + Slauson Malone 1 (Thu 17 Nov 2022, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm)

  Mark Kavuma presents Banger Factory Records (Fri 18 Nov, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7:30pm)

  Lady Blackbird (Fri 18 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

  Dhafer Youssef with Ballaké Sissoko & Eivind Aarset (Sat 19 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)

  Jazz on Screen: Jazz 625 (PG) (Sun 20 Nov 2022, Barbican Cinema 2, 2pm)

  Don Cherry Tribute featuring the Cherry family and special guests (Sun 20 Nov 2022, Barbican Hall, 7:30pm)