Preview: EFG London Jazz Festival 2018

London's annual winter jazz festival has announced the first acts for 2018, including Bobby McFerrin, Myra Melford and Astral Weeks re-interpreted

Following on from last year’s 25th anniversary event, the EFG London Jazz Festival returns in 2018, from 16 to 25 November, and has announced its first set of acts from what will be another extensive programme of jazz at venues across the capital.

The first raft of concerts includes Madeleine Peyroux’s new Anthem tour, a return visit for Bobby McFerrin and a rare London show from Lea DeLaria (pictured right by Kharen Hill) - most recently known as Boo from Orange Is The New Black, but with a lengthy jazz career behind her. Vibraphonist Orphy Robinson will present a reinterpretation of the classic Van Morrison album Astral Weeks, with vocalists Zara McFarlane and Sarah Jane Morris, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album’s release, and Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance will perform in a new collaboration with the WDR Big Band. Concerts from vocalist and pianist Youn Sun Nah, pianist Myra Melford (pictured below left by Bryan Murray), Eddie Parker’s Debussy Mirrored Ensemble and the Tord Gustavsen Trio are among others that have been announced.

On Saturday 24 November at Cadogan Hall, Richard Pite & the Jazz Repertory Company present The World Gone Mad – 1899-1919 Jass, Ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and the Blues, featuring the music of British bands and composers as they responded to the new sounds coming from across the Atlantic. Jazz Voices, with Guy Barker’s 42-piece orchestra, will again open the festival. The concert will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 16 November.

The festival organisers, Serious, have also announced that the festival will host the final of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018. The festival's learning & participation programme will be launched later in the spring. The programme aims to bring high-profile artists together with people of all ages and abilities for opportunities to engage with music, from jazz shows for toddlers to large-scale mass participation events.

Tickets for these shows are now on sale. More shows are still to be announced. For information about the programme and ticket bookings go to the EFG London Jazz Festival website.

Bruce Lindsay

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