15-24 Nov 2019; various showtimes
The EFG Jazz Festival (15-24 Nov 2019) is catapulting the musical genre into the future. The festival opens with a bang thanks to Jazz Voice (15 nov) at the Southbank Centre, during which a 42-piece orchestra plays compositions by trumpeter Guy Barker.
Traditionalists who miss out on tickets to the gala can listen to saxophone beats on the same night (15 Nov) at the same venue, as the Trevor Watts Quartet perform ahead of the lead’s 80th birthday. The following night, you can catch New Orleans trumpeter, Christian Scott, at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney).
If it’s big names you’re after then you can also catch American jazz legend Herbie Hancock at the Barbican (17 Nov), Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae at the Southbank Centre (18 Nov) and fellow Grammy Award winner Cécile McLorin Salvant at the Barbican (16 Nov).
Many of the performances fuse music with other art forms, revolutionising jazz for a new generation. Fans keen to experience something radical will enjoy composer Nik Bärtsch’s dramatic melodies – influenced by funk, jazz and contemporary classical music – played on a piano that appears to float on a pool of water. A large screen behind him will depict shimmering water and light effects created by visual artist Sophie Clements. Catch it at the Barbican (15 Nov).
Like Bärtsch and Clements, Dan Tepfer brings 1920s jazz into the 2020s with his futuristic performance, Natural Machines, at Kings Place (24 Nov). A talented programmer, the pianist improvises on the piano while the instrument responds with its own notes, guided by algorithms that he has programmed into his computer. As the keyboard’s keys depress themselves, it’s as if his ghost is performing a duet by his side. Tepfer’s coding also turns data into animated visual art to create a multimedia performance.
- Lambeth North