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The London Jazz Festival 2013

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Jazz Up a Bleak Autumn
london jazz festival

Jazz. Just the name of it is hip. I think anything with a 'z' seems to have that effect. Jazz is the music of freedom, the bursting out of oppression, and it lifts your spirits when you're feeling blue. Although its roots are African American, it was also inspired by the harmonies and forms of European music too.

Jazz is all about sharing culture and diversity, about singing praises, and giving everyone a damn good time. And that is what the London Jazz Festival has been doing for the last two decades. Now in its twenty-first year, the festival evolved from Camden Jazz Week, which was created in the 1970s. Growing from strength to strength, with world-class artists and emerging stars, the festival is the biggest musical celebration in the capital, and takes place every November. This year's opening gala night will be held at the Barbican on the 15th November at 7.30pm. Tickets cost 10-35 and will include a forty-piece orchestra conducted by Guy Barker.

The festival will be held at many different London venues, but the Southbank Centre is where most of the action is taking place. There will be performances by musicians such as the Norwegian bassist, Arlid Anderson, Albanian singer, Elina Duni, and the composer, Gilad Atzmon.

Also on offer, will be a special appearance by Sonny Rollins. The sax player was a major influence on the jazz scene in the 1950s-1960s, yet, after all that time, his big debut at the Royal Albert Hall has only just been booked.

The final night on the 24th November will see the French singer, Madeleine Peyroux performing renditions of some of the best music in history. Takings classics from bands like The Beatles, she will give them her own jazzy twist.
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Why? Fun for music lovers
When: 15th - 24th Nov
Phone: 44 (0)20 7324 1880
Where: All over London
Cost: 10-40
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