Artists’ Picks for the EFG London Jazz Festival 2020 [Online]

EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL 2020
FRIDAY 13 — SUNDAY 22 NOVEMBER

“The EFG London Jazz Festival will be going ahead as a huge range of shows and special events online, with live concerts now streamed from venues across London and remaining an integral part of the programme. There are a host of streams and online events in the Festival, many available free to view: new work, new collaborations, unique performances, bespoke productions from international artists, talks, family events and interactive sessions, bringing this exceptional 10-day event to audiences across the world.” — Serious

In September I wrote ‘A Jazz Musician’s Guide to the 2020 EFG London Jazz Festival’, for London Jazz News, in which I spoke excitedly of phoenixes rising from ashes… it seems that, enormous though this brewing phoenix may turn out to be, that for the time being it’s been told to stay in and keep quiet — we have Lockdown MkII.

…well, not quite ‘keep quiet.’ Being, as we are, in the 21st century, we have another option — go online. While an online concert wouldn’t be the first choice for most Jazz musicians, we’re a a resilient and resourseful bunch. Where there are problems we find solutions. The EFG London Jazz Festival is going ahead online this year. It’s a little more stripped back than any of us would like, but it’s still jam packed with great music to keep you entertained without needing to change out of your pyjamas. Crack open a bottle of wine and relax— this year the Jazz is coming to you from the comfort of your home.

As I mentioned in my London Jazz News article, I’ve curated a series of gigs for the EFG London Jazz Festival at Oliver’s Jazz Bar. I’m happy to announce that we’ve now moved these online to the club’s new virtual venue. I asked the acts I’m presenting which gigs they’re looking forward to checking out from the full festival programme, and this is what they told me:

George Crowley — “really impressive stuff from start to finish.”
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine

“My pick for this year’s festival has to be London’s own Nathaniel Facey streaming from the Green Note on Friday 13th. A terrifying saxophonist and musician, he plays with such commitment, intensity and downright beauty, and I can’t wait to hear him with the top drawer quartet of David Preston, Tom Farmer and Shaney Forbes.” — George Crowley

Click here to watch Nathaniel Facey at the Green Note on Friday 13th November.

Click here to watch George Crowley at Olivers Jazz Bar on Monday 16th November.

Rachael Cohen — “Cohen dances over her own unpredictable chord structures with articulacy and wit, elegantly blending Desmond’s cool, Konitz’s quirk and Coleman’s lyrical astringency.” — MOJO

“My picks are Nathaniel Facey, Deschanel Gordon and Linda Oh. Nathaniel is my favorite alto player in London, Deschanel is a serious up and coming talent, and Linda Oh is a master bass player. They should all be great shows”- Rachael Cohen

Click here to watch Deschanel Gordon at the 606 Club, on Monday 16th November.

Click here to watch Linda May Han Oh on Monday 16th November.

Click here to watch Rachael Cohen at Oliver’s Jazz Bar on Wednesday 18th November.

Dave Storey — “Twisty trips around post-bop topography, fuelled by high-octane virtuoso drumming” London Jazz News

“It’s been inspiring to see that, regardless of the current pandemic, there are still so many gigs still going ahead online. I’m particularly excited to tune in to see Nathaniel Facey’s band featuring Shane Forbes, Dave Preston and Tom Farmer (13th November at 7:45pm — Green Note Livestream). Nat is one my favourite musicians in London — the passion and energy he brings to every performance is exhilarating and joyous to hear.” — Dave Storey

Click here to watch Dave Storey at Olivers Jazz Bar on Saturday 21st November.

Preston Glasgow Lowe — “Reimagining jazz — rock fusion with modern invention and creative innovation”
★★★★ Jazz Journal

“My picks from the festival are Linda Oh and Nathaniel Facey. I’d also like to draw people’s attention to Matt Calvert’s ‘Typewritten,’ which was due to take place at Kings Place, but is being rescheduled for the near future.” — David Preston

Click here to check out Matt Calvert.

Click here to watch Preston Glasgow Lowe at Olivers Jazz Bar on Saturday 21st November (daytime).

Sam Leak Organ Trio — “Multi-faceted and smart as a pin, this is poetic chamber jazz of a very high order” MOJO ★★★★

“In addition to all of the gigs that I’ve curated at Olivers which, it should go without saying, feature some of my favourite musicians from the London Jazz scene, my picks from the festival include the brilliant Nathaniel Facey at the Green Note, my old piano teacher (and general piano genius) Gwilym Simcock at the 606, and Pigfoot at Karamel.” — Sam Leak

Click here to watch Gwilym Simcock at the 606 club on Thursday 19th November.

Click here to watch Pigfoot at Karamel on Saturday 21st November.

Click here to watch Sam Leak’s Organ Trio at Olivers, on Sunday 22nd November (5pm).

So there you have it. It looks like the man of the hour, recommended by all of the acts I’ve curated, is Nathaniel Facey — clearly a musicians’ favourite!

Nathaniel Facey

Alongside my ‘Sam Leak Presents’ series at Oliver’s Jazz Bar, Olivier Reveault (the owner of Oliver’s) has booked several of his favourite acts, who are well worth checking out too: Basil Hodge, Gwilym Jones, Francesco Lo Castro, and Alex Bryson. Tickets for our virtual jazz club are on a pay-what-you-deem-reasonable basis, with a suggested a minimum of £10 and a £0 option available for those that need it. You can pick up your tickets here.

The EFG London Jazz Festival 2020 Online Programme at Oliver’s Jazz Bar

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