Festival Shows 2021

Click on images to listen to the Festival Artists!

Thursday, 23rd September 2021 - Dorance Lorza & Sexteto Café


Dorance Lorza & Sexteto Cafe have been one of the leading bands in the vibrant and exciting London salsa scene for two decades; to commemorate this, they are celebrating their twentieth anniversary at the London Latin Jazz Fest, with an exclusive performance including a string quartet and special guests.
Pioneering the worldwide “salsa con vibes” revival of the late 1990s, Sexteto Café were one of the first bands in Europe to favour the small combo salsa sound of 1960s/70s bands like Joe Cuba Sextet and the New Swing Sextet rather than that of the big brass-heavy salsa orchestras of the day. Colombian-born band leader Dorance Lorza already boasted an impressive record as a musician, arranger, composer and producer, having worked with the biggest names in Colombian salsa music such as Fruko y sus Tesos, before taking the UK and Europe by storm.

"Dorance Lorza and Sexteto Cafe typify the globalization of salsa's new world order" -Andy Harlow (WDNA) Miami USA





Friday 24th September: DOUBLE SHOW


Alex Wilson Trio feat. Omar Ríos Meléndez & Unnati Dasgupta


Having journeyed from Latin Rock with Rodrigo y Gabriela, roots reggae with Ernest Ranglin, jazz with Courtney Pine and the creator of numerous worldwide salsa hits, Alex Wilson distils his music into a slamming Latin Jazz trio with Venezuelan percussionist Edwin Sanz (from the Steve Winwood band) and Greek virtuoso Dimitris Christopoulos on bass. Added to the mix are two young up-and-coming musicians: power trombonist Rosie Turton and Nicaraguan guitar genius Omar Ríos Meléndez.  This is a night not to be missed!



Saturday, 25th September - LUNCH

The Latin Bridge Quartet



The Latin Bridge is a vocal and instrumental Cuban quartet directed by Sergio Marciano (Vocal Sampling) and featuring some of the UK's top Cuban musicians, offering a repertoire that revisits the traditional Cuban and Latin songbooks in a warm, soulful style, including some original pieces alongside unique reinterpretations of classic boleros, sones and bossa novas.




Saturday, 25th September: Evening - DOUBLE SHOW


The Afro-Cuban Jazz Sessions Vol. II: Neue Grafik Ensemble


London's blooming jazz scene is one of its defining musical strengths; as such, this night aims to provide a bridge between the Latin and Afrolatin musical traditions and the unique, evolving London jazz sound. The festival brings to you an exclusive collaboration/musical conversation directed by Cuban percussion virtuoso Hammadi Valdés, where him and his team of world-renowned Afrocuban folklore percussionists share their musical tradition with UK-based jazz ensemble Neue Grafik.


Hammadi Valdés, joined for this unique event by the creme de la creme of Afro-Cuban players, is a Havana-born percussionist who, since arriving in the UK 15 years ago, has collaborated with the likes of Omara Portuondo, Jacob Collier, and Robert Mitchell. His CV also includes a Latin Grammy (Chucho Valdés) and an Olivier nomination (Carlos Acosta's "Tocororo", for which he was musical director).


Producer, instrumentalist and DJ, Neue Grafik, has been building a strong rep for himself over the past few years, releasing records previously on labels such as Rhythm Section, 22a, CoOp Presents and Wolf Music. His sound is a hybrid of jazz, house and hip hop, all with his unique geographical flavours of African ethnicity, Parisian roots and a love for London sounds like broken beat & grime thrown into the mix. His latest project, Neue Grafik Ensemble, is the result of an inspiring Total Refreshment Centre after-hours jam featuring some of UK jazz's most prominent names.


To hear Afrocuban Rumba, click here. To hear Neue Grafik Ensemble, click here.



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