PREVIEW: Canary Wharf Jazz Festival (19-20 August)

Shez Raja at the 2016 festival
Photo credit: Adrian Los


London’s biggest free-admission jazz festival is back for its 11th year at Canary Wharf from August 19-20 in Canada Square Park (writes Gail Tasker). The weather forecast is sunny on both days, perfect for the open-air event. Canary Wharf is more typically known as the financial centre of London, packed with towering skyscrapers and besuited men and women. All is set to change this weekend however as a variety of highly-talented jazz musicians take over.

The festival programme has always historically promoted British artists. In recent years however it has also focussed on young, newer musicians, with previous acts including Binker & Moses and Nérija. This year is no exception - the programme has a particularly contemporary feel, with director Peter Conway describing it as 'sharp-edged.' 

The opening bands on both days feature emerging bands, with the Rob Barron Quintet on Saturday, and Luna Cohen and Rob Luft on Sunday. Although British contemporary is the overarching theme, within that there is a variety of genres ranging from the Cuban-born violinist Omar Puente with his Sextet, to the highly energetic Saturday headliner Riot Jazz Brass Band which performs dancefloor-geared numbers. There is certainly an invitation to get up and dance with Sunday’s programming, as the festival culminates with the electronics-infused The Comet is Coming and the rave-inducing, highly percussive Melt Yourself Down. FULL PROGRAMME BELOW.

The crowd at 2016 festival
Photo credit: Adrian Los


Saturday 19 August

2-3.15pm Rob Barron Quintet
3.45-4.30pm Poppy Ajudha
5-6.15pm Omar Puente Sextet
6.45-8pm Mammal Hands
8.30-10pm Riot Jazz Brass Band


Sunday 20 August

2.15- 3.30pm Luna Cohen and Rob Luft
4-5.15pm Wild Card
5.45-7pm The Comet is Coming
7.30-pm Melt Yourself Down


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