The EFG London Jazz Festival takes place 17-25 Nov 2018 at the Barbican.
Events include Anthony Joseph’s celebration of the Windrush generation and Caribbean spirit, a new collection of documentary portraits,’1000 Londoners: Windrush Generations‘ and a presentation of ‘Pressure‘ (1978), Britain’s first black feature film written by Horace Ové and fellow Trinidadian novelist Samuel Selvon.
The film strand will also included double bill screening of ‘We Out Here, A LDN Story‘ and ‘Blue Notes and Exiled Voices‘ which probes two breakthrough moments in the story of British jazz – and reflects a much wider picture of cultural shift.
1000 Londoners: Windrush Generations – Sat 17 Nov @ 3pm
Over ten years, Chocolate Films’ flagship project 1000 Londoners has portrayed 1000 people of all ages, religions, race, income, interests, and opinions, who consider themselves to be Londoners. This screening brings together ten new digital portraits exploring the lives of Londoners with Caribbean heritage, from those who arrived in the city in the 40s and 50s, to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
The films include: Jocelyn, the story of the equality campaigner who persuaded shops on Oxford Street to let Black women work on the shop floor; Alex, in which a ground-breaking BBC journalist reminisces about his interviews with Bob Marley, Mohammed Ali and more; and Sara, which follows one of the leaders of the Windrush protests as she campaigns in Parliament Square.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Rachel Wang (Creative Director of 1000 Londoners) and a selection of the Londoners featured.
Pressure – Sat 17 Nov @ 4.15pm
The story of a teenager caught between two cultures, Tony is the British-born son of West Indian parents, who has just left school with good O-levels. The only member of his family born in the UK, he identifies neither with his parents’ cautious conformity, or his older brother’s Black Power politics. He might feel British, but British society won’t let him get on.
At every turn, he encounters entrenched racism: from potential employers, from his girlfriend’s landlady, from the police. Disillusioned, and desperately looking for somewhere to belong, Tony drifts into the company of other unemployed black boys, and into petty crime. Shot guerilla-style on the streets of Ladbroke Grove with a mix of professional and non-professional actors, the film’s documentary-like flavour enhances a story of identity politics and race relations which still resonates today.
Book tickets here.
We Out Here, A LDN Story + Blue Notes and Exiled Voices – Sat 24 Nov 2pm
Blue Notes and Exiled Voices charts the experience of the exile of black South African musicians who emigrated to Britain in the 60s and 70s. Including revealing interviews and live performance from Hugh Masekela, Louis Moholo, the Brotherhood of Breath and more, it also recalls years of global struggle against apartheid, and the presence of a vibrant South African community in the UK.
This presence resonates now with an explosion of young jazz talent that celebrates the multiple cultures of today’s Britain – African, Caribbean, Asian and European. Some of the sharpest of these talents – including Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd, Ezra Collective – feature in the second film, We Out Here, documenting the recording of Brownswood’s album release of the same name, curated by Gilles Peterson.
Book tickets here.
The Jazz Ambassadors + ScreenTalk – Sun 25 Nov @ 4pm
Post WW2, America and the USSR competed to win the allegiance of countries around the world. Culture was part of this effort. In 1956, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr suggested the US send its greatest jazz musicians overseas on state-sponsored tours. No time was wasted: in 1956, the first ‘jazz ambassador’, Dizzy Gillespie, was blowing America’s horn in the Middle East. He was followed by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington. Using archive footage, photos and radio clips, this film tells the story of this jazz diplomacy, and explores the moral dilemma the musicians faced: promoting an image of a tolerant America abroad while the civil rights struggle raged at home.
Book tickets here
The Jazz festival runs from now until 25th November 2018. Find out more and book your tickets here.