Come mid-June, The Southbank Centre Meldown festival will open its sixteenth chapter.
This year's curator is the legendary jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer, Ornette Coleman, who was appointed at the end of March, thus succeeding the likes of Elvis Costello, David Bowie, John Peel, Morrissey and more directly, Massive Attack, who curated last year's edition. Meltown'09 will run from June 13th to 21st, hosting 11 performances across the two Southbank concert venues that are the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Opening on the 13th, will be Philadelphia's jazzy hip hop eight-piece The Roots, accompanied by saxophonist/clarinettist David Murray, who will play a show of his own the same night, alongside Guadeloupian percussionists Gwo Kan Masters as well as Coleman's longtime collaborator, free jazz bassist, Jamaaladeen Tacuma. June 14th will witness the family affair that is Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon, with The Yoko Plastic Band, Cornelius and other guests. Senegalese singer songwriter (and second-timer to The Meltdown, after featuring under Robert Wyatt's 2001 curatorship), Baaba Maal, will perform on June 15th, as will the cult US indie rockers Yo La Tengo. June 16th will mark electro-rock mogul Moby's first appearance at the festival, before his new album, 'Wait For Me' comes out on June 30th. Then, it will the turn of cheerful jazz scatter Bobby McFerrin to entertain on June 17th, followed by former curator Patti Smith, alongside The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra on the 18th. And on June 20th, Charlie Haden, an original member of Coleman's quartet from the late 1950s, will set up home for one night, to play with his Liberation Music Orchestra, Carla Bley and former Meltdown curator Robert Wyatt. Coleman himself, accompanied by the legendary Moroccan group, led by Bachir Attar, Master Musicians of Jajouka, will perform two of his masterpieces, 'The Shape Of Jazz to Come' on June 19th, and close the curtains with 'This is Our Music' on June 21st.
Tickets, which range from £18.00 to £40.00, depending on the performance, are on sale now.