Jump to main content

The Power of The Voice at EFG London Jazz Festival 2021

Brilliant singers celebrating the power, connection and expression of song

There's nothing like the rush of beautifully performed vocals, singing messages of love, life, and hope where it hits you most. This year, we present some of the best vocal talent of jazz, soul, blues, and more. Sing along to the hits and standards, or discover fresh new music to move you.

Jazz Voice | Friday 12 November | Royal Festival Hall

The glittering extravaganza that opens EFG London Jazz Festival each year. Guy Barker and the specially created EFG London Jazz Festival Orchestra are joined by an incredible line-up of guest singers as they perform an array of iconic songs ranging from jazz standards to global tunes and originals, with extraordinary arrangements, plus an instrumental celebration of some classic jazz scores, written for the silver screen.

Representing the new and contemporary take on jazz, neo-soul and global music, French-Caribbean singer, bassist and producer Adeline brings a soul-pop touch with her velvety vocals. Cellist-singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson puts a stamp with her unique sound. Kurdish singer Aynur takes the orchestra to unchartered horizons with her powerful vocals. Neo-soul sensation Ego Ella May, genre-defying singer Michael Mayo, jazz vocalists Georgia Cécile and Sachal Vasandani all manifest the power and beauty of singing, while Lakecia Benjamin joins on saxophone and spoken word.

Get to know the soloists in our Spotify playlist below

Laufey | Saturday 13 November | Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Global internet sensation performs originals and vintage classics, blending jazz melodies and R&B grooves
Listen to her latest single 'Love Flew Away' here

Cherise Adams-Burnett | Saturday 13 November | Ninety One Living Room 
Owing much of her early musical development to the highly respected grass roots organisation Tomorrow’s Warriors and as part of Serious' Take Five Talent Development scheme, award-winning vocalist Cherise brings her newly launched EP to London's Ninety One Living Room. Inspired by RnB artists like SZA and H.E.R, Cherise's sublime vocals and soulful lyrics manage to be simultaneously contemporary and timeless.

Enjoy her new EP Remedy here

Aynur + Melisa Yildirim | Sunday 14 November | Barbican
Kurdish Folk Music with one of the richest voices of our times. Her impressive voice and extraordinary musical narration represent the music heritage of her cultural roots to the world.

'Aynur’s voice is to hear the transformation of all the layers of human joy and suffering into one sound. It reaches so deep into our soul, tears into our hearts, and then we are for one moment, joined as one. It is unforgettable'
(Yo-Yo Ma)

Congratulations to Aynur for receiving the WOMEX Artist Award 2021 - 'It is for her long-term dedication to the preservation and innovation of Kurdish and Alevi culture, for maintaining the highest artistic integrity in the face of political pressure and, in doing so, for being a model for all that sing against the silencers, that Aynur Doğan is a very worthy recipient' - read more about her win here

Vocal Workshop with Ranjana Ghatak | Sunday 14 November | Kings Place / St Pancras Room
 Ranjana has performed in education concerts at the Barbican, run singing workshops and developed a body of work with 2 bands. Before joining Shai Maestro to perform on Monday 15 November, she will lead a free interactive vocal masterclass at Kings Place - find out more about Ranjana's work here

Cécile McLorin Salvant + Xhosa Cole | Tuesday 16 November | Cadogan Hall
One of the true gems and fearless voice of jazz, with remarkable vocal technique and on-stage persona, the three-time GRAMMY Award-winner returns to the Festival with her new quintet
Be astounded by her vocals in her NPR Tiny Desk Concert here

Kasia Konstance | Wednesday 17 November | PizzaExpress Jazz Club
Her debut EP Cosmic Dust mixes soul, jazz, and RnB and has enjoyed tons of airplay on BBC Radio so you don't want to miss this launch performance celebration
Check out the release here

What's Going On: Nu Civilisation Orchestra | Thursday 18 November | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
Led by Peter Edwards, and brought together by Tomorrow's Warrior's Artistic Director Gary Crosby OBE, The Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) celebrate the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye's iconic album What's Going On. Joined by one of Britain most renowned actors, Colin Salmon as narrator and Noel McKoy on lead vocals, the world-class, 23-piece ensemble will pay homage to the legend that inspired generations in what promises to be a powerful and unmissable evening. 

Read more about the show here.

Judi Jackson | Thursday 18 November | Jazz Cafe
Unmissable live performance hits bold vocals as Judi Jackson returns with her brand new album
Watch her electric cover of 'Sinnerman' from last year's Festival here

Zara McFarlane + Hector Plimmer & Arun Ghosh | Friday 19 November | Dagenham Roundhouse
Zara McFarlane is a multi-award-winning vocalist and songwriter with 4 critically acclaimed albums to her name. Signed to Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings, she has collaborated with musicians from a wide range of genres, from house music legend Lil’ Louie Vega to Jazz sensation Gregory Porter. 

Listen to Zara's latest album, Songs of an Unknown Tongue here

The Sound of Becontree | Saturday 20 November | Kingsley Hall
A vocal showcase presenting the talent of young people from around the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, who have worked under the expert mentoring of Zara McFarlane. 

Tickets are free, but make sure to pre-book for guaranteed space

Noemi Nuti | Sunday 21 November | Barbican Freestage
New York born, London based singer and harpist Noemi Nuti presents pieces from her second album, 'Venus Eye', a celebration of the female perspective in song from. As one of the Festival's free shows, this powerful unity of vocals and harp-playing is not one to  be missed. 

More incredible singers coming to live London stages this Festival include Zeeteah Silveta MassiahImaani, Kevin Leo, Jo HarropKatriona Taylor, Jessica Radchliffe, Liane Carroll and more

Want to see more stories of this year’s Festival?

Take a chance, cross the line, trace the footsteps of music from the beyond

Major International names coming to live London stages

From the hottest emerging to already the leading established, the inspirational artists from UK scene

One-off collaborations, special commissions, unique projects

Setting the guitar into centre stage with these incredible guitarists


We’ve invited artists and DJs to mix their highlights of this year’s Festival. Hear what the upcoming Festival sounds like for Sarathy Korwar, Tina Edwards (Worldwide FM), Irreversible Entanglements, Sarathy Korwar, and Lex Blondin at mixcloud.com/efglondonjazzfestival

Share this article