Event Preview: EFG London Jazz Festival 2023
(London; Friday 10th to Sunday 19th November 2023)

Words by Jane Cocklin

Jazz is having a great time in London. And the music scene it’s at the heart of, is being watched by people across the world. It’s eclectic and diverse. This isn’t just a celebration of music from our city; it’s an invitation for musicians from around the globe to come, join in, and collaborate.

This year’s EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off on 10th November and will last for ten days. Hosted by Serious Music, they have curated performances across many prestigious and lesser-known venues across London. Here we’ve highlighted some of our favourite worldly picks.

K-Music punk-rock band JAMBINAI (Queen Elizabeth Hall; 10/11) will be bringing their fusion of intense post-rock sound, combining traditional folk, metal, and electronica. They are fairly new to performing on London shores, and this promises to be both experimental and evocative.

Mulatu Astatke (Barbican; 10/11), who takes the nickname of the father of Ethio-jazz, will be at the Barbican on Friday, the 10th of November. You can expect to see him leading his band on vibraphone and congas, a sound celebrated as part of Ethiopia’s Golden ’70s.

Latina pianist Eliane Correa (World Embassy Garden; 10/11) will also perform with a seven-piece outfit put together specially for this show. She’ll be showcasing soul, funk, and jazz music spanning her career with a Cuban contemporary twist.

Legendary Brazilian artist Sergio Mendes (Barbican; 15/11) is bound to draw an excitable crowd. He is one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time and has those pop, samba, bossa nova, and jazz licks that you’ll recognise. Tell me you haven’t started singing ‘Mas Que Nada’ already.

Bass virtuoso Ron Carter (Cadogan Hall; 16 & 17/11) will make his first appearance in the UK in over eight years with his Foursight quartet. The group includes drummer Payton Crossley, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Green, and pianist Renee Rosnes. And not to be short of great bass players, Marcus Miller will also be taking to a festival stage on Sunday, the 12th of November, at Royal Festival Hall. He is a two-time Grammy Award winner (U.S.), winner of the Edison Award for Lifetime Achievement In Jazz, the Victoire du Jazz, and in 2013 was appointed a UNESCO Artist For Peace. Not only has he played with some of the most celebrated musicians, but he is also a top-class jazz musician and, more recently, has been incorporating modern and urban elements from tap, hip-hop, R&B, and gospel.

And lastly, we recommend not to miss The Cookers (Cadogan Hall; 12/11) & Judi Jackson (Queen Elizabeth Hall; 12/11). The Cookers are a fast-paced all-star septet that brings an aggressive ’60s spirit with a potent collection of expansive post-bop. The last time we saw them at Church of Sound, it was a night of high-spinning energy. To finish our list of picks with a sweet touch, Judi Jackson brings her velvety jazz vocals with a hint of pop, blues, and soul. Jackson will take you on an emotional voyage performed right from the heart.

There are so many artists on the bill; make sure you check out the full lineup. We know here at Rhythm Passport HQ that we can’t wait to see what this year will bring.



You can find the complete EFG London Jazz Festival programme and ticket links by clicking HERE
And to immerse yourself in the festival's atmosphere, you can enjoy our playlist below...