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EFG London Jazz Festival x Becontree Forever

The EFG London Jazz Festival is delighted to announce a wide programme of activities focused on the centenary of the Becontree Estate. The programme features MOBO-winning singer Zara McFarlane, who was brought up on the Becontree Estate, saxophone legend Courtney Pine who’s just won the Jazz FM Gold Award, and acclaimed film-maker Ashleigh Jadee.

Information at efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/BecontreeForever 

Zara McFarlane + Hector Plimmer & Arun Ghosh
Friday 19 November | Dagenham Roundhouse

Jazz Kids with Juliet Kelly and Naadia Sherriff

Saturday 20 November | Vicarage Field, Dagenham

The Sound Of Becontree, a special showcase curated by Zara McFarlane

Saturday 20 November | Kingsley Hall, Becontree

The Shape Of Becontree, a new film directed by Ashleigh Jadee

Saturday 20 November | Online

Courtney Pine: House of Legends + Rosie Turton

Sunday 21 November | Dagenham Roundhouse


Zara McFarlane + Hector Plimmer & Arun Ghosh

Zara McFarlane
is a multi-award-winning vocalist and songwriter with 4 critically acclaimed albums to her name. Zara has collaborated with musicians from a range of genres most notably South African legend Hugh Masekela, house music legend Lil’ Louie Vega and Jazz sensation Gregory Porter. Zara is signed to Gilles Peterson’s label Brownswood Recordings. Zara has also worked in the theatre with Royal Shakespeare Company and Glyndebourne and worked as a music educator at conservatories such as Guildhall School of Music and Drama and BIMM.

South Londoner Hector Plimmer is a producer, drummer, DJ and graphic artist. He has steadily built a career bridging scenes and sounds, from beats to jazz, broken beat, house and techno, whilst at the same time honing a distinctive sound, balancing lovingly crafted low-end with precision engineered percussion and a knack for enticing melody and arrangements, recently described by Mixmag as “drowsy, introspective and almost otherworldly”. Here he performs with IndoJazz clarinet sensation Arun Ghosh, who fluidly incorporates jazz and South Asian influences


Courtney Pine: House of Legends + Rosie Turton

No musician more embodies the dramatic transformation in the British jazz scene over the past twenty + years than Courtney Pine. The ground-breaking multi-instrumentalist has led a generation of exciting and innovative players who have broadened their styles to take jazz out to a wider audience.

His critically acclaimed House of Legends project sees Courtney return to the instrument he is best known for – the saxophone and features his soprano sax exclusively for the first time. Deeply steeped in the traditions of the Caribbean, this very personal project sees Courtney on top form, bringing together musicians from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe for vibrant exchanges that tell tales of life from a truly multi-cultural viewpoint.

Expect an exhilarating mix of Merengue, Ska, Mento and Calypso as played through the lens (saxophone) of a UK born artist with strong, proud Afro-Caribbean roots.

Opening set from trombonist, composer and producer Rosie Turton - a rising star on the UK music scene, cited by The Guardian as ‘One To Watch’. She released her debut LP, ‘Rosie’s 5ive’, with Jazz Re:freshed. Rosie’s musical path is defined by her unwavering desire to explore new territories: sounds, textures and collaborations, she’s always open to discoveries. Her music tells the tales of meditative soundscapes and improvisations, blurring the lines between the acoustic and electronic universes.


The Sound Of Becontree, a special showcase curated by Zara McFarlane

Zara will be shortlisting a cohort of the most inspiring young talent from across the borough and will be leading a coaching residency in October. These young vocalists will come together and perform to a live audience at Kingsley Hall, as well as being livestreamed across the Festival’s digital platforms.


Jazz Kids with Juliet Kelly and Naadia Sherriff

In this musical story time for little ones and their families, vocalist Juliet Kelly and pianist Naadia Sherriff will deliver a fun and dynamic show which introduces kids to the wonderful world of jazz as they explore a range of sounds, techniques and styles through the well-known children's story, the Three Little Pigs. This free family show will be held at Vicarage Field Shopping Centre.


The Shape Of Becontree, a new film directed by Ashleigh Jadee

Filmmaker and photographer Ashleigh Jadee has established herself as a true force within the creative community.

Starting in 2008 with a BTEC in media, she has gained experience in photography and film over the years. Since 2009 she has photographed artists such as Skepta, Chip, JME, Wiley and Wretch 32. Ashleigh has also produced content for Kiss 100, Beats by Dre, G Frsh, Skepta and Luxottica.

In 2018 she worked with worldwide global fashion brand House of CB where she has now built a name for herself in the industry as a go to for major brands Including H&M where she directed their global Christmas campaign.

Ashleigh is working with the EFG London Jazz Festival team to direct and produce a newly commissioned dance film, to the iconic soundtrack of Jon Batiste’s 'I Need You', featuring aspiring young dancers from across the borough. The final film will premiere on Saturday 20 November on the Festival’s digital platforms.


Becontree Forever
Becontree Forever is a programme of art, architecture and new infrastructure to mark 100 years of the Becontree Estate in 2021. The Becontree Estate is the biggest council estate in the UK and the most ambitious of the country’s interwar housing estates. The first of 27,000 houses for returning war heroes and working families were built on the four square-mile estate in November 1921, with the ‘Garden City’ houses and iconic ‘Banjo’ closes recognised across the world.

The centenary is an opportunity to celebrate the estate’s groundbreaking and radical beginnings, but also to reimagine Becontree’s future. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is committing to rebuilding the estate for current residents and future generations, starting with major investment in retrofitting, parks and transport and in extending Kingsley Hall (the estate’s first community centre) and purchasing Dagenham Heathway (a 1.3 hectare Eighties-built shopping centre on the estate).

Becontree Forever is led by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, in collaboration with residents and local partners such as the schools on the estate, Arc Theatre, Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance, East End Women’s Museum, Girls Like Us, Green Shoes Arts, Love Music Hate Racism, Studio 3 Arts, Soul and Sound and The White House and national partners such as Create London, EFG London Jazz Festival, Focal Point Gallery, Serpentine Galleries and the Wellcome Trust.

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