Heads Up: London Jazz Festival

Blowing its trumpet: London Jazz Festival swings into town

What are we talking about? It's the 20th year of the London Jazz Festival, with more than 250 gigs and concerts at 50 venues round the capital.

Elevator pitch Blowing its trumpet: the UK's biggest jazz fest hits 20.

Prime movers The festival director is John Cumming, who helped found the festival in 1992, as a member of jazz music producers Serious.

The stars Take your pick: there are "jazz giants" of the likes of Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, and Jack DeJohnette (celebrating his 70th birthday). Fresher performers include the Robert Glasper Experiment with Doom, Hyperpotamus, Esperanza Spalding and Mara Carlyle. The opening gala promises to kick things off with a swing, with Guy Barker's celebration of "a century of song" featuring the vocal talents of Imelda May, Patti Austin, Juliet Roberts, Claire Martin and Junior Giscombe. Lucinda Williams gets a whole weekend at the Barbican, while two big bands – the UK's Beats & Pieces and Norway's Ensemble Denada – join forces to blow you away, as may Macy Gray with the David Murray Big Band.

Early buzz Website LondonTown wrote: "If jazz is dead, someone forgot to tell the thousands of performers and fans who flock to the annual London Jazz Festival. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the 10-day festival returns to the capital with a flamboyant programme which reflects the diverse roots of our great city." Another website dedicated to the capital, Londonist, commented that "Themes this year include a look at the roots of American music but, to be honest, the programme feels more like a great big pile of jazz than a cleverly curated programme."

Inside knowledge Astonishingly, Herbie Hancock is playing his first ever UK solo gig – and will apparently blend "acoustic piano and electronic innovation" to re-invent his own classics, such as "Canteloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" and "Chameleon".

It's great that… if you can't make it to London for the festival, you can still listen on Radio 3, which will broadcast more than 40 hours of highlights.

It's a shame that… tickets to the really big names will already have been snaffled… so be prepared to venture into uncharted jazz territory!

Hit potential Bound to please jazz lovers, but an eclectic programme should reach beyond traditionalists.

The details The London Jazz Festival is at various venues across London, 9 to 18 November

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'