Canary Wharf is generally associated with the world of finance, but this summer it will be alive with the sound of live jazz. From Friday 16th to Sunday 18th August Canada Square Park in Canary Wharf will be host to the city’s biggest and best free jazz festival. This is a festival that is well known for the high quality of the performances that are given, not only from the world class jazz performers but also from the new talent, the up and coming musicians that are playing here for the first time. Canada Square Park is a picturesque spot in this modern London district, surrounded by more than two hundred shops and stores and plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants should you need refreshment. Events are planned to get out to a noisy start on the Friday evening with what promises to be one of the most powerful performances of the festival. Roller Trio will be opening the event with a heady mix of jazz and rock, their incredible and unique sound has made them one of the most exciting and interesting bands at the festival.
The headline act performing on Friday evening is Soweto Kinch, one of the big players on the British hip hop and jazz scene. Saturday opens with a performance by the Nathaniel Facey Quartet. Don’t let the name fool you as Facey, the band leader has brought together some of the best up and coming musicians, he also has the background of working with some of the top musicians both at home and abroad such as the likes of Courntey Pine. Following on their heels are Troika, a home grown London based band, believed to be ready to explode onto the music scene.
Soothsayers will be taking to the stage and keeping energy levels high with their unique mix of horns and vocal harmonies. Up before the main event of the day is YolanDa Brown the MOBO award winning saxophonist. Headlining on Saturday is Omar Puente. This incredible Cuban violinist has worked with some amazing musicians such as Nigel Kennedy, Jools Holland and John Williams. This year he comes to the stage with his new band the Oscar Puente Raices Cubanas, so festival goers should be prepared to dance.
Ending in Style
Sunday’s performances open with the very talented Zoe Rahman Quartet, followed by Jason Robello who in the past has worked with big name stars like Sting, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. He is followed by the incredible and Ian Shaw, the award winning jazz vocalist from Britain with an international following. The festival closes in style with a performance from the Carleen Anderson Soul Trio, a favourite performer of the late Amy Winehouse. On Friday the performances take place between 7pm-10pm, then 1.30pm -10pm on Saturday with a slightly earlier finish on Sunday 1.30pm – 8.15pm. You can get to the venue either via a Thames Clipper to the Wharf or from the Jubilee Line to the Docklands Light Railway. Of all of the free festivals taking place in the city this summer this one looks set to be spectacular.