Herbie Hancock, the Brad Mehldau Trio, Marisa Monte, and the SFJAZZ Collective with Gretchen Parlato and Chris Potter will all perform at the Barbican this June, in the EFG London Jazz Festival’s 30th anniversary Summer Series (*). Charles Rees writes:
This November will mark the 30th year of the EFG London Jazz Festival. In celebration of this anniversary, the festival team have announced a celebratory long weekend of four concerts between 22 and 25 June at the Barbican. The summer season performers are…
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Herbie Hancock, who will be performing in the UK for the first time since his last appearance at the Barbican in 2019, also courtesy of the EFG London Jazz Festival (reviewed for theartsdesk by Sebastian Scotney).
Hancock, who will turn 82 next month, has been at the forefront of jazz innovation for the last six-decades and has proven himself to be one of the most versatile musicians of all time. Though the pandemic prevented international audiences from enjoying him in a live setting, Hancock will embark on a tour of Europe this summer that will bring him to the Barbican on Wednesday 22 June (booking link) and to the Glastonbury festival.
Multi-award-winning vocalist Marisa Monte will follow with a concert on Thursday 23 June (booking link). She is one of Brazil’s most exciting stars, credited with bringing samba right up to the present day by melding jazz, blues and funk rhythms with more classic Brazilian rhythms and styles. As a founding-member of the Tribalistas, she helped to bridge the gap between styles and musical generations, and to this day continues to surprise audiences with the originality and quality of her singing, songwriting and unique staging.
Also appearing is pianist Brad Mehldau, who – having headlined last November’s season – is no stranger to the EFG London Jazz Festival. Mehldau will be joined by Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard on drums for a performance on Friday 24 June (booking link).
Closing out the weekend on Saturday 25 June is the SFJAZZ Collective (booking link). The group embodies the climate of jazz in a musical and social sense, performing new music while also honouring the music’s history. Alongside such works, the ensemble performs pieces by their own members, many of which reflect on a number recent, ground-shifting global events.
For this performance, they mark the addition of three new members: saxophonist Chris Potter, vocalist Gretchen Parlato and drummer Kendrick A.D. Scott, all of whom will join the pre-existing lineup: Martin Luther McCoy, vocals; David Sánchez, sax; Etienne Charles, trumpet; Warren Wolf, vibes; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Brewer, bass.
The main festival will take place later in the year between 11 to 20 November 2022, with more announcements to come from mid-April onwards.
(*) At the time of publishing, the Barbican’s website has these four concerts, produced by Serious, on sale – but does not yet make any specific reference to the connection with the EFG London Jazz Festival