Preview & Playlist: EFG London Jazz Festival (London; Friday 11th to Sunday 20th November 2022)

It always feels like a privilege exploring London’s EFG London Jazz Festival hosted by Serious Music. And this year they celebrate their 30th birthday, planning to unravel us with a sizzle and a bang. Held across over 60 venues, you can expect to be submerged in almost ten days of incredible music.

This year’s line-up is as resourceful and compelling as ever. Double bassist Ron Carter (Cadogan Hall on 13/11) is a stand out star, having played with many jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. Self-quoted as being from the planet of elegance, he’ll gracefully move you in seismic ways.

If you are looking for a band that will show you something new, we at Rhythm Passport HQ think The Brother Moves On (EartH Hackney Theatre on Tuesday 15/11) should not be missed! From South Africa they are a collective where the musicians ‘move through’ creating an ever-evolving soundscape. They are genre-shifting and hate to be labelled. But you could expect elements of Xhosa funk, rock, jazz, electronic beats set against spoken word and fierce dance moves.

On the first weekend, there are free shows at the Southbank Centre where Africa ManiFest: Sounds of West Africa will present a mini-programme. Learn some West African rhythms with One Drum (14/11) as they use cultural expression as a catalyst to change perceptions. After being infused with song and dance, the day-long set ends with some afrobeat night fever from Dele Sosimi.

Having been nominated for multiple Grammys and having performed with Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock and Disclosure, Fatoumata Diawara (Southbank Centre on 12/11) brings her cool and commanding presence to the festival. Expect contemporary Malian vocals, smooth Saharan-blues licks and some funky bass lines.

Up in Clapton, Church of Sound will be gracing their heavenly home with the expansive sounds of Surya Botofasina, Nate Mercereau and Carlos Niño (on Friday 11). Niño’s exploratory percussion texturizations and Mercereau’s guitar synth and live sampling, will be shepherded by Botofasina’s spiritual keyboard playing, much inspired by his learnings from Swamini Alice Coltrane.

Xhosa Cole (Cafe OTO; 13/11), Lady Blackbird (Barbican; 18/11), Mark Kavuma (Milton Court; 18/11) and up-and-coming Ineza and Emily Jane Roberts (Woolwich Works; 19/11) are also some of our must-see recommendations. These horn and vocal combinations will have us swinging through the tube between events for this 30th anniversary jamboree.


- You can find the full programme of the festival
and book your ticket/s for the events HERE


...and enjoy our playlist featuring
some of our EFG London Jazz Festival's picks