London Jazz Festival 30th Anniversary Unmissable Concerts

London has a major history of live jazz stretching back at least a century with festivals dating back to the 1970s. Building on this fine jazz heritage, the capital’s biggest annual music event, the EFG London Jazz Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a fantastic line-up. From November 11-20, big names like Dave Holland and Dianne Reeves and up-and-coming artists like Alabaster DePlume will delight jazz fans. The festival takes over more than 60 London venues with 300 shows and over 2,000 artists from November 11-20 at major venues like Cadogan Hall, the Barbican and the Southbank Center as well as numerous jazz clubs and independent venues from Cafe Oto, King’s Place and Club 606.


Over the past 30 years the festival has hosted many big names including Wayne Shorter at his first London gig, Sonny Rollins, Charles Lloyd, Stan Tracey, Archie Shepp and younger stars like Cécile McLorin Salvant.

The festival’s extensive programming is grouped into several streams: Icons, Homegrown, Beyond Margins, Voices, New Creations, Global Roots and Jazz Visionaries. Along with live concerts, the festival will showcase classic and rare jazz films like 1960s gems like All night long, The cry of jazz and American Revolution 2 at the Barbican plus a free screening of Charles Mingus’ big band masterpiece The black saint and the sinner at the Southbank Center.


Must-see concerts include two concerts at Queen Elizabeth Hall: Scandinavian pianist sensation Bugge Wesseltoft and legendary Grammy-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman takes the stage at the Barbican and legendary English jazz bassist Dave Holland will wow audiences at Cadogan Hall. Great British talent saxophonist Jason Yarde at the 606 Club, poet Anthony Joseph at Cafe Oto and multi-instrumentalist Toni Kofi at the Spice of Life are all essential.


Still of interest, the festival will present a new project bringing together innovators from the Turkish psychedelic music scene and British jazz musicians. Air Anatolia is a cross-generational supergroup creating a fresh take on the genre through contemporary sounds, arrangements of iconic tunes, and familiar folk songs.

Another key event of the first weekend will be African Manifest with Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Afla Sackey plus Afrik Bawatu and Falle Nioke at the Clore Ballroom, celebrating music from West Africa as part of the Global Roots strand of the festival , exploring music from the corners of the globe. Another highly anticipated show of the opening weekend, Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara at the Royal Festival Hall.


Other highly anticipated gigs include American jazz drummer Makaya MCcraven, whose new album In These Times is one of Forkof the year, Cuban jazz pianist Harold López-Nussa and a tribute to American jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.

The EFG London Jazz Festival was created by Serious, one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and contemporary music. The Festival programme, made up of world-class artists and emerging stars, will bring a mix of jazz, cutting-edge sounds, global music and an eclectic selection of other genres that draw inspiration from jazz and music. of improvisation. The aims of the 2022 Festival are the same as at the start: to celebrate the breadth of jazz, to showcase a mix of new work from international and UK artists and a commitment to educational activity, in a culturally diverse city.


EFG London Jazz Festival, various venues 11-20 November 2022.

Willie J. Johnson