The London Jazz Festival 2011 reveals eclectic line-up drawn from many genres

Posted: 2nd August 2011

November will mark the return of the eagerly-anticipated London Jazz Festival. Much like last year's broad palette of performers, the 2011 edition will include performers from across many genres, not just jazz music and will run from 11th to 20th Nov.

The main hub of the festival will once again be the South Bank Centre, although there are also related shows earmarked for King's Place, the Barbican and Green Note, the latter of which will be presenting a Fringe series of low-key concerts throughout November.

We've picked a hot octet of shows worth attending - all tickets are on sale now, but you can bet the following will sell very quickly. Check below for more LJF 2011 shows. NB - Alison Krauss's shows have already sold out!!

An incredible saxophonist who, for 25 years, has been infusing his Ghanaian roots into his exuberant performances and wowing audiences in the process. His recent album, "Harvesting Semblances and Affinities", will no doubt feature heavily during this 'Reflex' show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 11th November. £20.

This is the German multi-instrumentalist's first UK show in 35 years - yes, you read that right. The Purcell Room will host this rare show from a man who has quietly issued four decades of stunning work on ECM, opting to play a seemingly endless array of unusual global, tribal and urban instruments and objects, as well as vocalizing in his own made-up language. £20/£25 - 11th Nov.

If you know the Impulse label, you know McCoy Tyner and trio, a name that has adorned many classic albums during the past few decades in one form or another. On 12th November at the Barbican Hall, he will be joined by acclaimed vocalist José James and upcoming tenor-sax man, Chris Potter. £37.50.

You won't find Sanborn performing improvised free-jazz blasts on his saxophone. More likely he'll delve into his vast catalogue of smooth soul, pop and even the influence of Ray Charles, as with his latest CD, "Only Everything". For this show on 15th November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, he is joined by Joey de Francesco on Hammond. £25.

There are South American singing legends and then, another level up, there is the distinctive soulful bluesy sound of Cesaria Evora. Melding Brazilian, Cuban and Afrique styles, the Cape Verdean vocalist will celebrate her 70th birthday in style with an all-too-rare show at the Royal Festival Hall on 18th November. £45 (best seats).

Portico Quartet Portico Quartet
Buy Tickets

Heading back to their cultural roots and humble beginnings, the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Portico Quartet are set to appear at the Purcell Room on 19th November, armed with a line-up change (or two), an intriguing and beautiful catalogue to pick from and an intimate setting. £20.

Grammy-winning American guitar-maestro Frisell will bring his 858 Quartet line-up to the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the closing night, 20th November, for a dip into his recent work inspired by the painter, Gerhard Richter. Entitled "Sign of Life", the foursome will feature strings and that all-important unmistakable sound that Frisell creates. £25.

Louis: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and the Birth of Jazz is a new silent film with live music composed by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. On Sunday 13th November, it will receive its European premiere, with two screenings at the Barbican - one at 3PM, one at 8PM. Playing the live score is a hand-picked ensemble of Wynton's closest associates, including saxophonist Wes Anderson, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and drummer Herlin Riley, brought together under the direction of trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Jazz Times describe it as "a once-in-a-lifetime, not-be-missed event". £25.
Buy Tickets
Abdullah Ibrahim Abdullah Ibrahim
Buy Tickets

Also appearing at this year's festival are the South-African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (Wigmore Hall, 18th - £30), multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of contemporary jazz Henry Threadgill (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 19th - £25) and the classic grouping of Steve Swallow, Carla Bley and Mercury-nominated Gwilym Simcock (plus others, as The Impossible Gentlemen) (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13th - £25).

See below for all other scheduled events.

Paul Pledger