In a city the size of London, jazz has always found a way. Even for a genre decried as the sounds and sentiments of another, distantly fading era, it has survived in city bars, sleepy cafes and independent studios. In recent years however, jazz has been reinvigorated by hybrid forms that re-connect its past with the present moment, incorporating contemporary genres into new experimental forms popularised by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and Tundercat.
In London, the same hybridisation has seen the emergence of a new generation of players whose talent reflects a musical tutelage characterised by grime, hip-hop, house and afrobeat. Together, they represent a cross-pollinating new dawn for jazz by making the genre their own. In south London especially, nights such as Steam Down and Steez are helping cultivate a community of artists all acquainted with one another’s work.
This London scene is the focus of a new video by Farah menswear (who last year celebrated the influence of UK sound system culture with Nice Up The Dance). Produced by Hector Aponysus, the short film showcases the burgeoning jazz talent currently rocking venues across London. From Ezra Collective to Kamaal Williams, Maxwell Owin, Wu-Lu, Theon Cross, Poppy Ajudha and Joe Armon-Jones, the film charts the attitudes underpinning the growing success of these artists. Watch the video below.