Free jazz events at the Barbican for London Jazz festival 2010!

Posted: 29th October 2010

London Jazz Festival
London Jazz Festival

The words "free" and "jazz" appearing in the same sentence can strike fear into the hearts of many a music lover (myself included), but this is my favourite kind of free jazz: the kind that means you don't need to rummage through your pockets to cough-up some of your hard earned money.

This year's London Jazz Festival is proving to be a real humdinger with the previously announced headliners including some of the heavyweights from the jazz world [don't get personal! - Ed], including: Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Sonny Rollins, Loose Tubes' Andy Sheppard, Gary Burton and South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who will be joined by the inimitable Mahotella Queens.

It's also the first year that the festival has broken free of it's central London roots, with gigs in Streatham's Hideaway and the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

The free gigs come from acts which have been bubbling-under on the jazz scene - waiting for their turn to be one of the headline acts, no doubt. They all play the "freestage" in the Barbican foyer, and it's a case of turn up on the day at the required time and check them out.

Emma Smith On Friday 12th November from 6pm, Londoner Emma Smith brings her brand of jazz to the foyer, singing songs from the Great American Songbook as well as her own original songs. Emma's show precedes the "Before Jazz Voice: Celebrating a century of song" gig.

Denis Colin, Pulcinella and Hadouk Trio are in the foyer to entertain you on Saturday 13th November - before the Brad Mehldau "Highway Rider" concert. Hadouk Trio are the first of the French acts on stage at 3pm, then it's the turn of Pulcinella who play from 4:30 until 5:30pm, with clarinettist Denis Colin hitting the freestage from 6 until 7pm.

Soul Rebels Brass Band

New Orleans jazz/ funk ensemble Soul Rebels Brass Band take to the freestage on Sunday 14th November at 6pm, preceded by the Joshua Jaswon Quartet (5pm), Living Room (4pm) and East London Creative Jazz Orchestra featuring pianist Robert Glasper for 'Golden Thread' at 2PM. The evening's main concert features the Terence Blanchard Quintet and the Robert Glasper Trio.

Kairos 4tet play their blend of improv on Wednesday 17th November at 6pm, ahead of the Charles Lloyd Quartet and Norma Winstone Trio gig. The quartet, featuring saxophonist Adam Waldmann were hailed as rising stars earlier in the year by John Fordham writing for the Guardian.

Younger Zen Before Chucho Valdes and the Afro Cuban Messengers plus Ibrahim Maalouf take to the stage on Thursday 18th November, Younger Zen take to the freestage at 6pm, playing their brand of dancefloor-friendly calypso/ funk and jazz. The band is comprised of member from England, the Congo and Trinidad.

Edition Records is jazz pianist Dave Stapleton's record label, and home to the bands which will be playing ahead of the Sonny Rollins gig on Saturday 20th November. The free music starts at 3pm when nu-jazzers Neon Quartet hit the freestage, followed by saxophonist Martin Speake at 4:30pm, and finally Dave Stapleton and his quintet from 6pm

Omar Puente Sunday 21st November brings the London Jazz Festival 2010 to a close, with AfroCubism taking to the Barbican stage, preceded by Damon Brown and Ed Jones' Killer Shrimp - doing their drum'n'bass thing from 3:15pm, James Morton's Pork Chop hitting the stage before dinner at 5pm and long-time Courtney Pine collaborator and violinist Omar Puente taking to the stage from 6:30pm.

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