jazz & blues

Elaine Mitchener Sings the Black Avant Garde

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival

Hear a dynamic repertoire that highlights black avant-garde work from the 1960s and 70s in this performance by vocal and movement artist Elaine Mitchener.

The experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer shines the spotlight on this talented group of individuals and the overflow of experiment that occurred within their improvised music, often springing directly from lived experiences of racial injustice.

The evening’s repertoire consists of a number of seminal African American works from the 1960s and 1970s that combine vocals and text with experimental jazz forms. It illuminates an occluded moment in American cultural history, when the avant-garde aesthetics of new jazz doubled as a metaphor for the imminent politics of civil rights.

Composed in specific response to the perilous condition of black people in America, the works’ synthesis of experimental sensibilities, radical political sentiment, and spirited expression cuts across boundaries of time and space to resonate universally in the here and now.


Jason Yarde saxophones
Elaine Mitchener voice
Mark Sanders drums
Neil Charles bass
Dante Micheaux poet
Byron Wallen trumpet, flute
Alexander Hawkins piano


Programme includes: Music by Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Joseph Jarman & Jeanne Lee reinterpreted and presented by an ensemble of leading UK jazz musicians

Dates & times

21 Nov 2019
Approximate run time: 135 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Age recommendation
Under-14s should be accompanied by an adult.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.