It kicks off this weekend...

It’s International Jazz Day in just over a week, and there’s no better way to kick off the celebrations than by heading out this weekend to see some live music in a city bursting with jazz talent.

The Brick lane Jazz festival kicks off this weekend in celebration, programmed across five music venues in Brick Lane over three days this weekend, and it’s showcasing a selection of artists that are making some of the biggest waves on London’s vibrant jazz scene today. Here are five picks of must-see artists this weekend - we’ll see you there!

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Theon Cross
Saturday, 1PM, Rough Trade East

As a musician, collaborator, songwriter, and band leader, Theon Cross has worked tirelessly to pursue a single-minded, yet completely open, musical vision. He’s also expanded the possibilities of his chosen instrument – the humble tuba – with his 2019 debut album ‘Fyah’ that was an exhilarating fusion of post-bop jazz and club culture hewn from the streets of London, and beyond.

We had him join Clash magazine last month for an intimate live session at Metropolis studios, and we promise it was incredible, so we’re really excited for this performance. Don’t miss him playing for free at Rough Trade East on Saturday (April 23rd) at 1pm.

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Saturday, 8pm, Werkhaus

Broken beat never really got its due, but it remains the best-kept secret of London’s vibrant clubbing and jazz culture.

One of the most exciting proponents of the BRUK sound is WheelUP, who will be pulling up to Werkhaus to bring his high energy grooves and presenting some of the music from his excellent album 'Good Love'; you’ll need to bring your dancing shoes to this one, and make sure to nab a ticket before they sell out.

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Blue Lab Beats
Saturday 23rd, Werkhaus at 10pm
£10 tickets

Following WheelUP at Werkhaus is Clash favorite Blue Lab Beats. For the jazztronica duo, all genres lines are blurred – we recently named their latest album Motherland Journey as one of our 25 best albums of 2022; describing it as “packed with stellar peaks; their broadest statement yet and an album that stands out as an inspired musical mosaic.” Their live show is sure to be just as varied and inspiring.

If you want even more from the duo, Blue Lab Beats also sent us a killer DJ mix in our Clash mix series - check it out now.

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Friday, 8pm, Werkhaus
£10 tickets

If you’re looking for music outside of the usual paradigms of jazz, look no further than Fehdah. Truly operating in her own lane, the Dublin-based producer provides a vital mix of electronic beats, soul, and afrofuturism, sung in both English and Krio.

Her music is also personal, with a recent single dedicated as a warcry for her young nieces. It’s music that is bursting with creativity and influences from across the world, but also feels uniquely her own.

Catch her playing Werkhaus at 8pm.

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Tanhai Collective
Sunday, 3PM, Juju’s Bar Stage

Tanhai might be the youngest group on this list, but they also might be the most promising. The Brixton based six-piece blend serious jams with a soulful, dubby vibe, and put together an extremely well-received performance at Cross The Tracks last year.

They seem poised to have an even better festival run this summer, and are sure to have lots of new music instore – with a free entry gig at Juju’s bar stage on Sunday (April 24th) at 3pm, there’s no excuse not to check them out and get an early preview of what’s to come.

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Words: Louis Torracinta

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