Los Angeles’ only non-commercial festival for jazz and new music, The Angel City Jazz Festival, is an incredible celebration of everything jazz spread across five unique venues on the first two weekends in October. With performances from both well established acts as well as emerging talents, the focus is firmly fixed on the creativity on the west coast: its past, its present and its future. The festival proudly features the innovative and original jazz musicians both on a local and international scale, welcoming acts from around the whole world, and tourists visiting hotels near Ford Amphitheatre will be tapping their toes all week long.
A big part of the festival is promoting up and coming acts, and a major platform for this is the Young Artist Competition. Expanding on jazz in its traditional forms, with a focus on improvisation, composition and collective performance, each group must contain 3 – 10 members from the local area and will be marked on their outright musicianship, compositional merits and arrangements, the quality of their improvisations, interactions across the group and the uniqueness of their sound. With a grand prize of $1000 and the opportunity to work with leading professionals at LACMA, the Competition opens many doors to those looking to develop their jazz futures.
Elsewhere, a range of concerts spreads across the city’s venues to offer something for every taste. The award winning Dafnis Prieto Sextet will be in town for the 13 from his celebrated Chamber Music America commission ‘The Emotion Series: Taking the Soul for a Walk’. ‘Dave Holland Prism’, Holland’s new project, is a quartet which stops people in their tracks. Making use of virtuoso piano alongside some of the most celebrated upright bass playing of recent history, the group will put on a show which will not be quickly forgotten. Dave Holland got his big break playing with Miles Davis during the Bitches Brew period and hasn’t stopped performing ever since.
In a different vein, the brilliant and Grammy award nominated Kneebody are performing to celebrate the 2013 release of their new album, ‘The Line’. Already having a large and loyal base of fans across America and Europe, Kneebody were formed in 2001 and possess a musical voice unlike any other. Using incredibly diverse influences, from classical music through jazz right up to modern popular guitar music, their live shows are famous for being intense full sensory experiences. Formed in 2001, the group have spent over a decade perfecting their virtuoso improvisation on top of beautiful, sophisticated compositions.