Theon Cross at Jazz Re:Fest

Meet the Rising Jazz Artists Performing at Jazz Re:Fest this July


This July, we welcome the return of Jazz Re:Fest, the one-day festival showcasing the incredibly diverse world of jazz by music and arts organisation, Jazz re:freshed. Jazz Re:Fest has always prided itself on giving a platform to some of the freshest live music around and showcasing emerging and underexposed talent – this year will be no exception. This year, there will be live bands and DJs playing music that connects the dots between Jazz and other genres. Discover more about the artists taking the stage…

Theon Cross is a London-based Tuba player and composer and is one of the key players of the city’s thriving young jazz scene. He has made a name for himself both as a member of the Mercury-nominated and award-winning quartet Sons of Kemet, as well as his own powerful and eclectic solo material. Having appeared on a number of highly acclaimed releases including the lauded, ‘We Out Here’ compilation via Gilles Peterson’s record label Brownswood Recordings and leading his own powerful and eclectic group where he’s flanked by other strong emerging voices, Cross’s new album incorporates elements of Caribbean music, hip-hop, grime, jazz, club and electronic music.

Zara McFarlene
is a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter and the UK’s Black British foremost Jazz Vocalist. Eloquent and provocative her sound is distinguished by her melding of multiple influences from jazz, reggae, folk and nu-soul. Her 3rd and most recent album Arise, co-produced by rising-star drummer Moses Boyd, is a product of their exploration of the meeting points between British Jazz sounds and traditional rhythms of Jamaica.

Having previously studied at Trinity College London, up-and-coming UK jazz musician Rosie Turton has expressed herself through a variety of different musical outlets, from composing and playing with septet Nerija (Domino Recording Co) to recording with Jitwam and Hollie Cook. Her most recent album blends trombone, violin and electronics over a bed of interlocking grooves and soundscapes, exploring jazz, hip-hop and classical Indian music.

With three albums, four features on Moses Boyd’s hit album Displaced Diaspora and performances from all around the globe under his belt, we’re also pleased to see Alto-saxophonist and percussionist Kevin Haynes Grupo Elegua joining this year’s line-up. His extraordinary musicianship fuses contemporary jazz with influences drawn from Afro-Cuban and Nigerian Yoruba folkloric Bata drumming styles, alongside Mandiga folk and praise songs with a hard bop modal concepts and flowing Kora lines, creating a unique sound in African jazz-based music.

Having grown up in London in a strongly musical family, Sarah Tandy turned to jazz music at the age of 20, listening to the likes of Coltrane, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. After religiously attending weekly jam sessions at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Club and serving a residency at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston where she met her band, Tandy’s career as a musician flourished. She now performs alongside a band of mixed personalities, reflected in their music to accommodate every member’s individual musical temperament.

Having signed to Brighton-based label Tru Thoughts early on in his career which saw the release of an EP and his debut album, Werkha has been on a playful exploration in the development of his musical style. His early musicianship was described as “oozing with creative flair, vibrancy and musical craftmanship” and this mode of play has translated effortlessly into his vivaciously curated live shows, which blends some of the UK’s most exciting jazz musicians into the mix with his own instrumental, DJ and sampling informed abilities.

Nigerian musician Camilla George, whose early interest in the saxophone led her to go on to study with many jazz greats like Jean Toussain; join the award-winning band Jazz Jamaica and form her own critically acclaimed project showcasing the stars of the new UK jazz scene. Her love of fusing African and Western music has earned George two critically acclaimed albums, presenting her unique style blending Afrofuturism, hip-hop and jazz.

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