Eight shows you can’t miss at London Jazz Festival 2018

15th November 2018

EFG London Jazz Festival, the biggest festival in London, launches its 26th edition on Friday 16 November. Celebrating International and UK Jazz scenes, it’s undoubtedly the best time of year to dive into some live music in the capital, with over a hundred shows to choose from. To save your scrolling — let’s face it, we do that enough — we selected eight unmissable shows. We’re aware some of these are on the same night;  adulting means making hard decisions. 

Chip Wickham

Fri 16 Nov, Corsica Studios

It feels as though flautist Chip Wickham has been with us much longer than the Summer of 2017 when he released his debut album. His high energy compositions swirl amongst latin, spiritual and modal. Wickham’s two albums, ‘La Sombra’ and ‘Shamal Wind’ encourage contemplation or joyous fast-pace dancing, making Corsica Studios a great fit for this London performance from the Mancunian, Madrid based artist.

Anthony Joseph & friends present Windrush: A Celebration

Sat 17 \\ Barbican

Anthony Joseph leads the concluding performance in a month long series of events that mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush to the UK. This newly commissioned suite celebrates Caribbean spirit and culture in the UK with the help of Joseph, a British-Trinidadian poet, novelist, and musician. He’ll be performing alongside legendary artist Calypso Rose, rhythm poet Brother Resistance, vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, and GAIKA.

Australian Art Orchestra

Sun 18 Nov \\ Southbank Centre

The AAO are one of Australia’s front-running contemporary orchestras. They draw on Jazz and the space between avant-garde and traditional, electronic and acoustic as well as art and music popular. Lead by Peter Knight, the AAO challenge what’s expected from an orchestra.

Jaimie Branch: Fly or Die

Wed 21, Thur 22 \\ Cafe Oto

With a two-night appearance, Brooklyn based trumpeter Jaimie Branch brings her ‘Fly or Die’ band to London. Her live shows tiptoe on the experimental, but tracks like ‘Theme Nothing’ provide satisfying hooks that are recognisable from her debut album. Expect a sweaty, entertaining and intense show.

Antonio Sanchez and Migration Band

Wed 21 Nov \\ Jazz Cafe

Not only has Antonio Sanchez had six critically acclaimed albums over the last eleven years; he’s also the drummer behind the award-winning ‘Birdman’ soundtrack. At Jazz Cafe, Sanchez will be revisiting his debut album ‘Migration’. Catch this show if you want to see a master at work.


Thurs 22 Nov \\ Ghost Notes

London based six piece Maisha have released their long awaited Brownswood debut, ‘There is a place’. Lead by drummer Jake Long, the record is a majestical, detailed journey that touches on granduer. It’s also a chance to hear Nubya Garcia move her talents from the saxophone to the flute. Catch their album launch south of the river at Ghost Notes.

Makaya McCraven and Nubya Garcia: CHICAGOxLONDON

Sat 24 Nov \\ EartH

Following the original event at Total Refreshment Centre in 2017 and the release of the ‘CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape’, McCraven and Garcia return to each deliver a headline performance. With energies high, an improvised session will team them together along with Jaimie Branch and Shirley Tetteh — who recently adopted the alias Nardeydey — amongst unannounced special guests. Total Refreshment Centre’s Lexus Blondin and Chicago label International Anthem will be DJing. 

Yazmin Lacey

Sun 25 Nov \\ Jazz Cafe

Nottingham’s hotly tipped vocalist has elevated herself into critically-acclaimed territory since the release of ‘When the Sun Dips 90 Degrees’ via First Word Records. Straight-talking, sultry and rewarding of repetitive listens, her EP will be coming to life in Camden on the closing night of the festival.

Maisha Picture credit \\ Sonni Rossi

Check out the full EFG London Jazz Festival listings here

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