Our programme kicks off on 14 April when the brilliant Abstract Orchestra join us in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. An all-star hip-hop big band, the orchestra merge great musical arrangements with incredible hip-hop for an amazing live experience.
Nu Civilisation Orchestra with special guest Soweto Kinch
Brainchild of award-winning bassist and bandleader Gary Crosby OBE, Nu Civilisation were formed to offer a showcase for proteges of the Tomorrow’s Warriors youth jazz orchestra. Always delivering diverse and forward-thinking music, their 29 April set includes special guest performance from the brilliant saxophonist Soweto Kinch.
Talvin Singh plays OK & beyond
A sure fire hit whenever he visits Southbank Centre, Talvin Singh is back on our Royal Festival Hall stage on 7 May. Composer, tabla player and pioneer of the Asian Underground scene, Singh returns to the album that won him the 1999 Mercury Music Prize for this performance, delivering tracks from OK, as well as selected later works.
The Ska Vengers
Not your typical ska band; The Ska Vengers are straight out of New Delhi, and blend ‘ska’ rhythms with elements of dub, punk, jazz and rap to deliver a refreshingly different sound that is energetic and highly danceable. They join us in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 6 May.
A Change Is Gonna Come: Music for Human Rights featuring Carleen Anderson and Nikki Yeoh
American soul singer Carleen Anderson relocated to the UK in 1990, where she first found fame as lead singer for acid jazz group Young Disciples, before going on to enjoy an impactful solo career. On 21 May, Anderson joins up with the award-winning British jazz pianist and composer Nikki Yeoh for a performance of powerful new songs that highlight the ongoing fight for equal human rights.
Les Amazones D'Afrique
Completing our May line-up are the all-female African supergroup Les Amazones D’Afrique. Formed in 2015 the group features top musicians from Mali, Benin, Gabon and Nigeria. The group bring their distinctive sound and empowering message to Royal Festival Hall on 27 May.
June and July
Anna Silvera album launch
Alt-folk singer Anna Silvera joins us on 4 July to perform her BASCA-nominated song cycle Oracles. This multi-media event in our refurbished Purcell Room also includes the premiere of a specially commissioned dance film accompaniment for Oracles, produced with dancer and director Kate Church.
A collaboration between bassist Simon Raymonde, formerly of Cocteau Twins, and drummer Richie Thomas, Lost Horizons put out their first album Ojalá just last year. With guest singing talent drawn from Raymonde’s Bella Union label, their dreamy sound comes to our Queen Elizabeth Hall on 14 September.
French-Israeli jazz pianist Yaron Herman only took up the piano aged sixteen when a knee injury prevented him pursuing a basketball career. The court’s loss is the concert hall’s gain with Herman having picked up a slew of awards for his distinctive sound which has drawn influence from Brad Mehldau to Britney Spears. He plays the Purcell Room on 15 September.
Bill Ryder-Jones began his music career as lead guitarist with Liverpool band The Coral before going solo in 2009. He received critical acclaim for his debut album Ryder-Jones, If..., an instrumental concept album featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Ryder-Jones joins us at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 20 September.