Excursion: EFG London Jazz Festival – The Headhunters / The Stanley Clarke Band @ Royal Festival Hall

So as the light dimmed within the sold out Royal Festival Hall auditorium, few were aware of what a superlative evening of Jazz music lay in store for them. As our host rightly professed, “Are you ready for this? We’ve got some serious legends in the house, so it’s gonna be serious! First we get to see some of the founding members of one of the best jazz fusion records of all time…So please give a warm EFG London Jazz Festival welcome to The Headhunters!”

Read the full concert review here

Excursion: J.P. Bimeni and the Black Belts @ Ronnie Scott’s

As the saying goes…Good things come in small packages, or in this case small venues. Well, with regards to J.P. Bimeni and The Black Belts who performed their UK album launch of ‘Free Me’ at the very cosy, intimate confines of Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s, this was exactly the case. The audience consisted primarily of J.P. Bimeni’s old school friends and ex-work colleagues, alongside those who may have caught a taste of The Black Belts sound on BBC 6 Music or other independent internet radio stations and travelled to the renowned venue on Frith Street, London in the hope of catching the J.P. Bimeni and The Black Belts live experience. The gig itself was not even listed on the venue Marquee, so one had to be given the heads up that something ‘special’ was going down Upstairs at Ronnie’s behind a very nondescript grey door whilst bassist Victor Wooten was entertaining other ‘good’ music enthusiasts beneath us on the main stage.

Read the full concert review here

Women in Jazz

Barbican Music Library in central London will host an exhibition celebrating ‘Women in Jazz’ from 16 October to 31 December 2018, drawing on the rich resources of the National Jazz Archive and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Archive.
This free exhibition will present a musical and social survey of the rich contribution women have made to jazz over the last 100 years and of the talented upcoming generation who herald an exciting new era. It will focus on women instrumentalists, and feature photos, posters, journals, video and memorabilia from the Archive.
National Jazz Archive chair Paul Kaufman said: “Singers such as Ella, Billie, Nina and Cleo are household names, but many star women players and pioneers have been sadly neglected and deserve to be rediscovered. So the exhibition will pay particular attention to instrumentalists, such as Valaida Snow, Marian McPartland, Kathy Stobart and Deirdre Cartwright. The Archive is as much about the future as it is about the past, so it is important to us that the current crop of trail-blazing female artists is also featured.”
Richard Jones (Music Librarian, Barbican Music Library) said: “I’m delighted to welcome the National Jazz Archive to the Barbican again – this exhibition will be the third that the Archive has presented here. I’m sure it will be of great interest, not only to jazz enthusiasts, but also to people interested in exploring the changing role of women in the arts.”

‘Women in Jazz’ responds to the Barbican’s 2018 cross-arts season The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape, with the exhibition celebrating the impact women have had on the genre’s musical development and social influence.

Barbican Music Library is on Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. It is within walking distance of a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus route 153 runs directly past the Barbican. Free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces are available.

Opening times are: Monday and Wednesday 9.30am–5.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am–7.30pm, Friday 9.30am–2pm, and Saturday 9.30am–4pm.

For more details, visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/barbicanlibrary, email barbicanmusic@cityoflondon.gov.uk, phone 02076380672, Facebook http://on.fb.me/barblib, or Twitter @BarbicanMusic