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EFG London Jazz Festival celebrates its 21st birthday in style by bringing jazz to a mass audience

  • Date: 3 October 2013
  • Area: London
ACS (Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding) – appearing on Sunday 17 November at Barbican

ACS (Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding) – appearing on Sunday 17 November at Barbican. Credit: Montema Music, Tracy Love & Sandrine Lee

In just over a month's time, London will host its biggest pan-city festival - the EFG London Jazz Festival - which showcases this art form to a mass audience.

Whether people are new to Jazz or lifelong enthusiasts the Festival has something for everyone. Taking place annually in November, the festival is acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world.

Established world-class artists who have influenced the course of Jazz history and emerging performers that will shape the future, come together across the 10 days to create something very special.

This year's festival focuses on its 21st birthday, looking at the past, present and future of jazz. The programme features 21 special commissions that reflect the theme of this year's event. There will also be a special focus on jazz from The Netherlands whilst a series of concerts and a complementary film programme will reflect the response of jazz to the civil rights movement, particularly pertinent in a year that sees the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's seminal 'I have a dream' speech.

Some of this year's highlights include Jazz for Toddlers, a series of sessions for those aged 2-5 that offer a fun and energetic introduction to Jazz. The Write Stuff provides budding writers with a unique opportunity to get professional guidance from some of the industry's leading names. Next Generation Takes Over is a breath-taking look at the breadth of music being created by today's generation, from sounds from the movies through to improvisation and digital media. There is also the 21st birthday celebration on Sunday 24th November, which is not to be missed!

The Festival has a fantastic heritage, with its origins dating back to the 1970s. In 1992 Serious, an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation, evolved the Camden Jazz Festival to create the London Jazz Festival and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Serious brought together a blend of international and British artists, combined with a commitment to education activity, and very soon the Festival became established as one of London's leading music events.

Twenty one years on, the aim of the Festival remain the same, which is to celebrate the place of jazz in a city which is at ease with its rich cultural diversity. It takes a multitude of venues from across London that present jazz throughout the year and draws them together for 10 days during which they celebrate jazz and all its wonderful culture.

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London and the South East, Arts Council England, said: 'The London Jazz Festival is the capital's biggest pan-city music festival, with a truly international status for showcasing the best jazz talent over ten special days in November. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the Festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience, in one of UK's landmark music events.

'This year's Festival is a special one as 21 years of the London Jazz Festival will be celebrated through a huge array of stellar performances, new commissions and a participation programme, which has a strong focus on engaging children and young people with Jazz, running alongside to ensure the greatest reach of the unique musical opportunities on offer. It can only reinforce London's status as one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world.'

See the brochure or visit the festival website for more information.