As one of the world’s great jazz cities, London is a great place to catch live jazz. From huge international stars to new talent and the annual EFG London Jazz Festival, London’s jazz venues have got it all. Here are our top picks from London’s calendar of upcoming jazz events.
The best jazz in London
There’s only one word that does justice to Melt Yourself Down: skronky. Saxophonist Pete Wareham, multi-reedist Shabaka Hutchings, Tom Skinner, Acoustic Ladyland bassist Ruth Goller, Kushal Gaya and Satin Singh were responsible back in 2013 for an awesome self-titled debut album that blended thrashy riffs and post-punk sounds with with horns, Nubian drums and sweaty funk. Now they’re back with a second that thumps just as hard. Catch them if you can.Read more
The most recent recordings by the legendary Celtic soul mystic have flitted between big band jazz, R&B, skiffle and folk, but on stage nowadays he’s been dipping deep into the blues as well as raiding his deep, deep discography (including cuts from his seminal ‘Astral Weeks’ and ‘Moondance’ albums). But don’t count on hearing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’.Read more
Manchester-based trumpeter Halsall brings his his stunning not-to-be-missed large ensemble, Gondwana Orchestra to town. Featuring flautist Lisa Mallett, Koto player Keiko Kitamura, harpist Rachael Gladwin, pianist Taz Modi, bassist Gavin Barrass and drummer Luke Flowers, they’ll be playing music from their latest album ‘When The World Was One’ and its follow-up, due this year. Special guest vocals from Spiritual jazz legend Dwight Trible complete the line up.Read more
Australian cult trio The Necks improvise every show they play, inspired by the audience, the venue and the different environments they find themselves in. Although no two performances are ever the same, the trio – pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton - do have their own inimitable style that marks them out as distinctive voice in jazz and improv.Read more
Sixty-something Holley is a folk artist from Alabama who creates sculptures out of trash, and his music has a similar aesthetic - rough, difficult, improvised and dipping into whatever he can find for inspiration. The result is a mesmerising mixture of soul, jazz lo-fi hip hop and folk, like Arthur Russell meets Sun Ra.Read more
A great free lunchtime gig to get to if you can. Liam Noble is an oft-underrated jazz pianist. He’s worked with other Brit jazz greats including Bobby Wellins, Mark Lockheart and Christine Tobin and has spent years as an integral part of the London jazz scene, honing his craft to perfection.Read more