Preview: BopFest 2016

BopFest, the festival devoted to Britain's best bebop and straightahead musicians, returns to London's Ladbroke Grove with an extended programme

BopFest, the festival run by jazz musicians Nat Steele and Allison Neale (pictured right by Brian Payne), returns for its second year this November after its successful 2015 debut. The programme runs from 14-20 November, during the EFG London Jazz Festival.

According to Steele and Neale BopFest will feature "a week of the best bebop and straight ahead jazz Britain has to offer. Every gig last year sold out, and it received great praise from audiences for its unashamedly straight ahead programming".

This year's festival programme is twice the size of the 2015 event, with nine concerts featuring a total of 12 bands. Musicians appearing include trumpeter Steve Fishwick (pictured below left by Antonio Porcar), drummer Matt Home and pianist Leon Greening.

Highlights include three concerts devoted to bebop legends: trumpeter Freddie Gavita's 'Clifford Brown Story', Nat Steele's 'Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie/Milt Jackson Quintet' with Sammy Mayne on alto, and Neale and Robert Fowler's presentation of 'Art Pepper Plus 11', which has Neale in the role of Art Pepper on alto and Fowler in the role of Pepper on tenor.

The festival will be hosted in the impressive Victorian wood-panelled music room of The Elgin, 96 Ladbroke Grove, London, W11 1PY. The room features a Yamaha grand piano and high-quality sound system, with cabaret-style seating in front of the stage and a capacity of 80 people. Food and drink will be available during each concert: the organisers note that "The Elgin has an excellent kitchen". 

The full programme is as follows:

Monday 14 Nov [8.00pm]      - Graham Harvey Trio £12
Tuesday 15 Nov [8.00pm]      - Allison Neale/Colin Oxley 'Tribute to Paul Desmond/Jim Hall' £12
Wednesday 16 Nov [7.30pm] - Leon Greening Trio + Ofer Landesberg Trio (support) £12
Thursday 17 Nov [7.30pm]    - Freddie Gavita 'Clifford Brown Story' + Will Forster Trio (support) £12
Friday 18 Nov [7.30pm]         - Artie Zaitz Quartet + Gabriel Latchin Trio (support) £12
Saturday 19 Nov [2.00pm]    - Steve Fishwick / Alex Garnett Quartet £12
Saturday 19 Nov [8.00pm]    - Nat Steele 'Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie/Milt Jackson Quintet' £12
Sunday 20 Nov [1.00pm]      - Andrea Pozza Trio £12
Sunday 20 Nov [7.00pm]      - 'Art Pepper Plus 11' £15

Tickets are now on sale from the BopFest website or direct from Ticket Source.

Bruce Lindsay

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