Preview: BopFest! at the Elgin

A new festival seeks to complement the 'European/contemporary flavour' of the EFG London Jazz Festival with a week of bebop

A new jazz festival comes to London from 17 to 22 November. BopFest! brings six concerts of straightahead jazz and bebop to Ladbroke Grove venue The Elgin, including performances from the Leon Greening Trio, the Steve Fishwick/Osian Roberts Quintet, the Rob Barron Quartet and the Mark Crooks Quartet.

There will be five evening concerts, each one starting at 8.00pm. BopFest!'s closing concert on the Sunday afternoon features the Richard Shepherd Nonet playing Miles Davis's Birth Of The Cool plus music from JJ Johnson, Clifford Brown and others.

The festival's line-up includes some of the UK's best-known straightahead and bebop players, such as drummers Matt Home and Steve Brown, trombonist Winston Rollins, bassist Jeremy Brown and guitarist Colin Oxley.

The festival is being organised principally by Nat Steele and Allison Neale (pictured left), whose Neale Meets Steele Quintet will also appear, but all of the performing musicians have been involved in putting the festival together. The debut festival is being self-funded by the organisers, with no external support.

The BopFest! dates are also the final six days of the EFG London Jazz Festival. According to Steele, BopFest! is "...intended to complement the European/contemporary flavour of the concurrent official London Jazz Festival by providing some unashamedly straightahead, swinging jazz and bebop."

BopFest! will take place in the beautiful Victorian wood-panelled music room at The Elgin in Ladbroke Grove, central London. The venue, which has a capacity of 80 people, features a Yamaha grand piano and sound system, with cabaret-style seating in front of the stage. Food and drink will be available during the concerts.

Tickets cost £12 for each individual evening concert: a "stroller" ticket giving entry to all six concerts costs £60. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The full programme is as follows:

Tuesday 17 November, 8.00pm - Leon Greening Trio
Wednesday 18 November, 8.00pm - Rob Barron Quartet
Thursday 19 November, 8.00pm - Mark Crooks Quartet
Friday 20 November, 8.00pm - Neale Meets Steele Quintet
Saturday 21 November, 8.00pm - Steve Fishwick/Osian Roberts Quintet
Sunday 22 November - 2.00pm - Richard Shepherd Nonet Plays Birth Of The Cool [free event]

For further details, and to book tickets, go to the BopFest! website.

Bruce Lindsay

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