Summer Festival Roundup
The event Gilles Peterson on the Beach on Saturday 29th July sounded promising with a whole day of live music followed by a DJ set by the man himself. Unfortunately, the badly organised event was delayed by several hours and accompanied by heavy rain. However, vocalist Claire Martin cheered up the crowd and helped save the event from being a total washout. Accompanied by an all-star band of pianist Gareth Williams, bassist Terry Pack and drummer Sebastiaan De Krom, she performed some classic standards such as I Love Being Here With You. Following that, local pianist Oli Howe celebrated his birthday in style performing with Ashley Slater’s Freak Power.
Of the many mini-jazz festivals in London, Jazz Re:Fest had an impressive line up of new generation artists such as Nubya Garcia and Sons of Kemet, as the excellent Jazz Re:Freshed team took over the Royal Festival Hall’s ballroom for their one-day festival. And Llandudno Jazz Festival, probably the best jazz festival in the UK, saw Brighton vocalist Sara Oschlag going down a storm.
Saturday 12th August saw Sunfall Festival return for a one-day festival in Brockwell Park, near Herne Hill. Young drummer Moses Boyd made a good impression with his Solo X project at an overcrowded event that saw some ticket holders queuing up for more than four hours. Roy Ayers was a real crowd pleaser performing his hit Everybody Loves the Sunshine on one of the hottest days of the summer.
Jazz at Greenwich Peninsula offered a series of free weekend events with the highlights being bassist Fergus Ireland’s Trio, featuring saxophonist Nathaniel Facey and drummer James Maddren. A week later saw a new ensemble, Escape Hatch, perform original music by bassist Andrea di Biase with pianist Ivo Neame and drummer Dave Hamblett.The only downside to the event was that the later gigs clashed with another free event, the nearby Canary Wharf Jazz Festival.
The free weekend festival at Canary Wharf celebrated its 11th year with headliners Riot Jazz Brass Band kicking up a storm in an otherwise corporate enclave of East London, together with Pete Wareham’s funky ensemble Melt Yourself Down. Young singer Poppy Ajudha showed great potential, with Jack Stephenson-Oliver doing some excellent solos on piano and keyboard. Other highlights of the festival were Cuban violinist Omar Puente’s exuberant set and guitarist Clement Regert’s Wild Card band with an all-star line up that included drummer Sophie Alloway and trumpeter Graeme Flowers. Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings gave an impressive display at Love Supreme and this was repeated at Canary Wharf with his collaboration The Comet Is Coming with keyboardist Danalogue and drummer Betamax Killer.
Photo: Ivo Neame performing with Escape Hatch at Greenwich Peninsula by Lisa Wormsley