The Black Peril by Soweto Kinch
11th Sep 2019
The 2013 EFG London Jazz Festival was officially launched on Monday night at the beautiful St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. We were delighted to be joined by so many partners, artists and friends. Among them was John Williamson, CEO of the Festival’s headline sponsor,EFG International, and a major jazz aficionado. He made a brilliant speech, and challenged the crowd to count how many jazz songs or tracks mentioned. We have transcribed this speech below, and now we’re setting YOU the same challenge, for your chance to win two tickets to Marcus Miller + Carleen Anderson, Saturday 23 November at the Royal Festival Hall.
Email your answers to [email protected]by 10am on Monday 7 October and all correct responses will be entered into a draw.
EFG International supports a broad range of sporting and cultural events, and you can find them on Facebook here.
"Ah hum. (just in case you missed it that’s the first one - Ah Hum by Charles Mingus. Don’t worry, they’ll get easier)
"I find myself tonight feeling in a sentimental mood because things ain’t what they used to be. I used to enjoy my jazz, au privave, in a happy-go-lucky-local with a pint of bitter (hope you all get that Tubby Hayes reference) and some salt peanuts, before taking the night train home.
"So when Claire approached us to succeed BBC Radio 3 as LJF’s headline sponsor, she was maybe thinking that nobody loves you when you’re down and out, but I thought darn that dream, I’m just a lucky so-and-so, now’s the time, here, Claire, are some pennies from heaven and this sure is nice work if you can get it.
"So here we are in early autumn having taken together some giant steps. Of course it’s not April in Paris or even Autumn in New York, but a foggy day in London town with plenty of Autumn leaves is certainly our delight (I think that’s enough of the seasonal references….).
"So, it never entered my mind that our partnership with Serious and your creative input – plus the support of our fellow sponsors – would be too marvellous for words. It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do It (actually it’s both;) for us it’s you or no-one – but of course we’re just friends!
"Now remember (that’s my first Hank Mobley reference – had to get it in) there is a fantastic roll call (that’s the second one) of artists at this year’s festival so as Louis would say, it’s a wonderful world.
"Mercy, mercy, mercy for all of you, at last, for my speech the party’s over, but otherwise the night Is young and so are we (that’s actually Nelly Furtado, but the LJF is known for its diversity), so let’s get happy, have one more for my baby, straight no chaser and may the rest of your evening be fine and mellow."
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