With 19 musical performances from Americana, Latin Jazz and classical taking place morning, afternoon and night in local pubs, churches and throughout Brockwell Park, there is sure to be a show to your liking at this year’s Herne Hill Music Festival, Friday 6th till Sunday 15th October 2023.
Nel Begley will once again be opening the festival with her 4-piece band Jazz with The Junction on Friday 6th in the old stables of the Half Moon Pub that evening, while Coffee Morning Music returns at Herne Hill United Church the Saturday 8th at 11am with flute choir Opal Flutes again tooting their way to raise extra cash for Brixton Food Bank. Just down the road that same day at 2pm at St Faith’s Church, Herne Hill Sings On (again) with four friendly local South East London choirs singing for you, their friends and each other (tea and cakes included)! Also performing later at 7:30pm that evening at St Faith’s will be Haruko Seki for our first classical concert of the festival, whose pianistic renditions of Beethoven, Liszt, Borodin and Chopin will be raising funds for Third World development charity Practical Action. If a late show and hearing sounds from Mississippi to New Orleans is more of your thing, then come hear the howling of harmonicas with Jimmy Regal and the Royals blues band at The Prince Regent pub at 8pm.
The Sunday afternoon of the 8th October brings the Allegra Concert Band, a Surrey-based community band formed over a hundred years ago with repertoire ranging from Baroque, Big Band to Film and TV at Ruskin Park at 3pm, while over at Brockwell Park Greenhouses you can catch Jazz pianist Tim Richards and his trio make their festival debut with an exciting blend of swinging jazz standards, original compositions, blues, latin and modal Jazz at 3:30pm. Later that evening at 6pm the Festival Choral Evensong will also be making a return at St Paul’s Church sung by the choirs of St Paul’s and St Laurence (Catford), with the full congregation participating in hymns and prayer.
Monday 9th at 8pm at Off the Cuff is another appearance of the Jazz Jam where you’re invited to bring your instruments and play along, or just listen, relax and enjoy a great evening. On Tuesday 10th Acoustic Guitarist Singer Songwriter and Bluesman Wizz Jones will be playing at the Prince Regent Pub as you enjoy your pints despite being officially retired at 84 years old! The following day at 8pm (11th) Jazz makes a further appearance at the Half Moon Pub with Jazz with Doolaly Tap, an unusual 5-piece band combination bringing a breath of fresh air New Orleans style.Also there the following day (12th) at 8pm, Chebeto Requena and his quartet presents Chebetojazz with sounds inspired from the Latin and Caribbean rhythms of his birthplace, Margarita Island in Venezuela.
On Friday 13th at St Paul’s Church, the Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo of saxophone and accordion will be reciting a wide range of repertoire from reimagined traditional works and improvisation for Pipe Up! – Raising Funds for St Paul’s Organ at 7:30pm. That same evening at 8pm is Cuban singer-songwriter Indira Román & Aji Pa’Ti,showcasing the pinnacle of a new tropical sound, mixing elements of Cuban, Colombian and British music styles with their stomping rhythms, insistent riffs, puregroove and tropical melodies at Off the Cuff. The following Saturday (14th) Becky, Boris and the Beats brings free musical fun for younger families at Herne Hill Baptist Church where children will adventure on a musical story, finishing up with lots of upbeat songs sure to get them dancing and singing along. Bring as many children as you like! That evening on the 14th, world music returns to Off the Cuff at 8pm with GrupoLokito showcasing a modern-day cocktail of two of the greatest latino styles of Congolese grooves and the fire of Cuban music which will get you up on your feet and dancing wildly to their glorious music.
For the final day of rounding off what will be an excellent music festival on Sunday 15th is the Junior Open Mic Concert at Off the Cuff, where 16 incredible grassroots under 18 acts will be showcasing all styles from covers to originals and solo artists to eight-piece bands from 12-6pm. Come and show your support! Up in Brockwell Park is Greenhouse Music with Danny Champ with Americana and rock music at 3pm. Finally, seeing off this year’s festival will be the Southwark Sinfonietta where soloist Nadia Lasserson will be showcasing another performance of a Mozart Piano Concerto, this time no. 24 in C Minor, K. 497, while Rubert Bond will also taking the orchestra under his baton for a performance of Beethoven’s captivating Symphony no. 7 in A major at St Faith’s Church at 7pm. For further information and to book, please visit hernehillfestival.org.