"Loved the concert today - music was fantastic as was the setting and atmosphere!" - Clare F
"It was our first time and we loved it!" - Gemma W
Follow us into the deep dark woods in this exciting new family concert.
Designed for families with children up to the age of 5, and commissioned especially for Groove Baby to premiere in this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, this programme is a pleasing mix of storytelling, interactive music-making and movement (for the little ones) with outstanding jazz, soul and funk (for everyone).
Go on a journey with some familiar characters into the deep dark woods. Sing, play, dance along and feed your need to hear top music all at the same time.
The Groove Baby Organ Trio are a searing rhythm machine featuring Phil Stevenson on guitar, Cameron Reynolds on Hammond organ and Chris Nickolls on drums. Also known as Root Down, this trio return to the festival after their sell-out show in 2015 which saw the young and not-so-young shaking their stuff.
The trio's lyrical, funky compositions are inspired by such greats as James Brown, Funkadelic and Sly Stone, and Blue Note legends Grant Green, Lonnie Smith and Jimmy Smith.
Tickets £11 for adults, FREE for children
Each paying adult can request up to two child tickets. The minimum group size is one adult and one child.
Groove Baby is a new opportunity for parents and carers to experience high quality music concerts in their local area. While being baby and child friendly, these performances will give people the chance to meet friends in a relaxed environment, treat themselves to a cup of coffee and some exciting, highly creative and cutting-edge music.
“Like many musicians, when my partner and I were planning a family, it got me thinking about how I was going to continue to see the kinds of live music I really love. I also wanted to create something that I could share with my little one.” Says Cameron Reynolds, founder of Groove Baby.
“Usually these concerts are held late in the evening and in venues that aren’t really happy about noisy babies!”
Baby friendly concerts taking place in venues and at times that work for parents!
Music for the whole family: “A lot of jazz, world and contemporary music is considered too cool, to high-brow or maybe too clever for children. That’s just not true” says Donald Gamble, percussionist for the Monastic Trio - the first ensemble to play Groove Baby.
Evidence that exposure to music has a positive impact on a child’s early development is well documented. Exposure to a wide variety of music styles is also believed to help stimulate the child’s brain and broaden their understanding of the world.
Groove Baby promises to bring highly creative musicians who not only compose their own music, but are also specialist improvisers responding to their surroundings in the moment. Many of the concerts will also have a strong element of rhythm - that thing that all babies and children love.
Shane Forbes is one of the most in demand young jazz drummers in the UK. A creative, dynamic and completely 'musical' drummer, Shane's effortless and restrained style definitely puts the 'groove' into Groove Baby.
Playing alongside Shane are two more rising stars on the UK jazz circuit, Nathaniel Facey on saxophone and Tom Farmer on double bass. The trio's creativity spans the broad spectrum of jazz styles, effortlessly reinventing as they go.
A graduate of the Tomorrow's Warriors programme – led by Gary Crosby, founder and member of the Jazz Warriors (alongside Courtney Pine) – Shane is best known as co-leader of the breakthrough group Empirical.
Forbes has performed with many of the biggest names in British jazz including Jean Tousaint, Soweto Kinch, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Julian Joseph, Abram Wilson and Cleveland Watkiss (to name a few) and has a collection of awards under his belt.
Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall
Tickets £11 for adults, free for children BOOK TICKETS
Please note, each paying adult may request a maximum of three free children's tickets. The minimum group is one adult plus one child.
Femi Temowo is a multi award-winning guitarist who fuses his virtuosic ability as a jazz guitarist with songs and stories from his native Nigeria. He first rose to prominence as a sideman for the critically acclaimed saxophonist Soweto Kinch – a collaboration that resulted in a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize, a BBC Jazz award for best new group and several MOBO awards.
Performing with his trio, Femi presents all new material from his recently released album The Music Is The Feeling, which channels the sounds of Temowo’s childhood growing up as a boy in Nigeria listening to pioneers such as Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey.
A virtuoso tabla player and percussionist, Kuljit Bhamra is a leading creator of Bhangra, in which traditional Indian rhythms are combined with western instruments and modern recording techniques to transform Punjabi music into a new dance-floor sound.
He has scored films including Bhaji on the Beach, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Bend It Like Beckham, which has recently been transformed into a West End musical co-composed with Howard Goodall.
For this Groove Baby concert, he performs together with a special guest.
11am – 12 noon
Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall
Tickets cost £11 for one adult and up to two children. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. No unaccompanied adults will be admitted to this performance.
Watch the incredible Kuljit Bhamra HERE
This year's Big Write is curated by London's favourite children's poet and story teller Michael Rosen.
For The Big Write Festival, the Groove Baby Organ Trio has created a soul-jazz and boogaloo adventure inspired by some of Michael Rosen's best loved stories and poems. Little and big people will be invited to sing, dance, play and groove along to a hard swinging combo whose sound draws on the classic Blue Note Records era or the late 50s.
Featuring some of London's top jazz musicians, the Organ Trio is guaranteed to get you and your little one moving. Maybe even on a bear hunt.
Please book by phone only: call 020 8536 5555 Mon-Fri 10am-5pm.
FREE FREE FREE!
Groove Baby returns to the Imagine Children's Festival with the incredible PSK Trio. This new group has been created by bassist Theo Pascal, with thrilling Cape Verdean singer Carmen Souza and Portuguese/Mozambican/Greek virtuoso drummer Elias Kacomanolis.
The trio has captivated audiences in London, Morocco, Italy and Spain, sweeping them away on the musical journey of their ‘Africa Railway Project’.
DJ Ritu perfectly describes this project: ‘PSK Trio – three supreme talents rolled into one super new group! Vocal acrobat Carmen Souza, pulsating percussionist Elias Kacomanolis, and funky bassline king Theo Pascal have merged to explore every Lusaphonic style from Marabenta to Morna. With each member scaling new heights in mastery of their individual instrument, be it voice, drums, or bass, this trio are also pushing all boundaries and conventions in music, concocting a thrilling, innovative journey across sound.’
Central Bar at Royal Festival Hall
The Groove Baby Organ Trio returns with a new name and a whole lot of funk!
Phil Stevenson is a true devotee of rhythm and has been adding his earthy, soulful guitar tone to some of London's top jazz outfits for the past decade.
Better known as the hypnotically driving melody underpinning the Sabar-funk outfit Fofoulah, Phil steps forward in this group to highlight his lyrical and deeply funky compositions.
A searing funk, hip hop and soul Hammond organ trio, the Root Down brings together Phil's love of Blue Note jazz legends such as Grant Green and Lonnie Smith with Funkadelic, The JBs and Sly Stone. As well as contemporary influences including Lettuce, Soul Live and J-Dilla.
Groove Baby with Bring Your Own Baby present the hypnotic sounds of Human Beamings, in highly anticipated concerts for grown-ups that babies and toddlers can also groove to featuring the best of jazz, electro and Asian music.
Taking place at the Southbank Centre on Friday 12 June, followed by St Mary’s Walthamstow on Saturday 13 June, the performances are set in relaxed and friendly environments, perfect no matter the age of the participant – crying, singing, dancing and playing along are all welcome!
Human Beamings comprises the critically acclaimed, Mercury Prize-nominated bandleader and drummer Seb Rochford (Polar Bear), beatboxer and vocal sculptor Jason Singh, and British-Indian vocalist Ranjana Ghatak. The trio will conjure an extraordinary sonic universe from a shared language that grows from Indian classical music, jazz, and the sounds of the street.
BYOB aims to get grown-ups to do the things they love with little ones in tow, and so we are thrilled to be collaborating with Groove Baby on the presentation of this baby-friendly performance by a world-class act in one of our city’s most treasured arts venues.
"Taken as individuals, each of these musicians is a formidable talent, but together as a group in seamless synergy belying the infancy of their collaboration, they are a veritable force of nature." The Upcoming
February sees two of London's loveliest voices sharing the Groove Baby concerts.
Performing material from the great American, British and Brazilian songbooks these deeply soulful jazz divas will get you through the winter!
The beautiful Ayanna Witter-Johnson is an extraordinarily multi-talented, award winning and critically celebrated artist. Singer/songwriter/cellist/piano player, Ayanna's music crosses genres between soul, jazz, Alt RnB and contemporary classical. She is the only non-American to to win Amateur Night Live at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC and was awarded a scholarship to complete her Masters of Music in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music.
Ayanna is a truly captivating performer who will entrance adults and babies alike.
"The pressure at the top end of music today means that unless you can master your instrument, sing like an angel and write your own work you’re going to find it hard to reach the top! Ayanna is all these things and more and I’m her biggest fan!”
A virtuoso on oud (middle eastern lute) and guitar, Frank Moon is a celebrated composer and performer who specialises in composing for dance. His list of impressive credits includes the critically acclaimed ROH dance adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis and the Birmingham Rep's interpretation of the Roald Dahl's BFG.
Performing solo for Groove Baby, Frank constructs mesmerising rhythmic soundscapes using oud, guitar and an assortment of percussion. He's a specialist in dance music so he is sure to get you and your little one moving!
Yazz Ahmed, a British Bahraini trumpet and flugelhorn player, composes beautiful and haunting melodies that draw on her middle-eastern heritage.
Yazz combines the Arabic melodies she was raised on as a young child in Bahrain with traditional 50s jazz sounds to create an inspired and fresh music fusion.
**** - ‘a very pleasurable listening experience. ‘ - Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise Magazine
Inspired by her trumpeter grandfather who played alongside British jazz greats such as Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes and John Dankworth, she has fast become a rising star in the UK jazz scene.
Yazz combines the Arabic melodies she was raised on as a young child in Bahrain with traditional jazz sounds of the 50s and 60s an inspired and fresh music fusion.
A tribute to the soul-jazz and boogaloo sound of the Blue Note organ combos from the 50s and 60s, this trio will groove your baby's socks off!
Shane Forbes and Phil Stevenson, two fantastic musicians who have played on the Groove Baby stage in 2014 return to join GB's own Cameron Reynolds on organ. A deeply soulful, bluesy and definitely groove heavy trio, featuring tunes made famous by such greats as Jimmy Smith, Grant Green and Lou Donaldson.
Shane Forbes is a hugely respected drummer on the UK jazz scene. With plaudits from legends such as Wynton Marsalis, he is everyone's first choice when it comes to classic jazz groove and swing.
Phil Stevenson is an extremely tasteful and rhythmic guitarist whoose every note drips soul. Best known as the for the sabar-funk outfit Fofoulah, Phil can make a room bounce with one string!
Cameron Reynolds has a special love for the greats of the Hammond organ and for this concert he will be channeling the spirits of Jimmy, Jack and Lonnie through his own tonewheel beast.
Ranjana Ghatak combines a stunning voice, trained in India by one of the world’s greatest South Asian classical singers with contemporary rhythmic jazz to create a new kind of fusion. Guided by her two cultural heritages - South Asian and British, Ranjana is constantly looking for a way to create beautiful music that binds these influences together.
Performing in two duos for Groove Baby, Ranjana will explore the contrasting colours possible: one with her project ‘Open Souls’ featuring the enigmatic drummer Seb Rochford (Polar Bear) and the other with pianist Nick Ramm.
After seeing her favourite singer perform in London, Ranjana followed her calling to Kolkata where she studied under acclaimed vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. Singing both traditional and contemporary music Ranjana has performed across the UK in some of the most prestigious venues including opening for Trilok Gurtu in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the London Jazz Festival last year.
"Ghatak, classically trained in the Hindustani vocal traditions of northern India, is mesmerising, entrancing even.."Pulseconnects
Batchelor (trumpet) and Noble (piano) are both leading lights of the last 30 years and are highly respected and awarded musicians, composers and educators - both are lecturers at many of London's most prestigious music conservatoires including the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban College of Music and Dance.
With a unique ability to blend the melodic and rhythmic primitivism of early jazz with modern music seamlessly, this concert promises to be one of exhilarating originality - while also romantically harking back to an era when jazz first bloomed on the street corners of New Orleans.
"Pigfoot lures you into a world where you can hear it’s not safe to go out at night, but you’re gonna have a heck of a good time if you do." - London Jazz Blog
Shaney Forbes is one of the most in demand young jazz drummers in the UK. A creative, dynamic and completely ‘musical’ drummer, Shaney’s effortless and restrained style definitely puts the ‘groove’ into Groove Baby.
“We haven't had anything like this in New York for over twenty years". Wynton Marsalis
A graduate of the Tomorrow’s Warriors programme - led by Gary Crosby, founder-member of the Jazz Warriors (alongside Courtney Pine) - Shaney is best known as co-leader of the breakthrough group Empirical. This cutting edge group has been highly praised by jazz royalty such as Wynton Marsalis.
The true definition of a ‘gigging’ musician, Forbes has performed with many of the biggest names in British jazz including Jean Tousaint, Soweto Kinch, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Courtney Pine, Steve Grossman, Robert Mitchell, Julian Joseph, Abram Wilson and Cleveland Watkiss (to name a few) and has a collection of awards under his belt.
Laura Jurd is an incredibly prodigious and mature talent for someone so young. A virtuoso trumpeter full of soul, she is also an extraordinary composer with a collection of industry awards under her belt already. Together in duo with another young game-changer, Elliot Galvin on piano, the pair will play a collection of originals from Laura’s highly praised album ‘Landing Ground’.
Don't miss this opportunity to see a rising star in the making!
**** 'Jurd stretched critics and musicians' repertoire of superlatives with this sophisticated and technically awesome session – on memorable originals with folk and contemporary-classical connections, delivered with the assurance of a budding trumpet-improv original.' John Fordham, The Guardian
Robert Mitchell is quite simply one of Britain’s finest contemporary jazz pianist/composers who has featured at the forefront of the UK jazz scene for 20 years. Robert started his career as part of both the Jazz Warriors (alongside Courtney Pine) and the US based M-Base collective (led by Steve Coleman) putting him at the centre of the major modern jazz developments both sides of the Atlantic.
What happens if you cross Bobby Mcferrin, Richie Havens and Seal with an Ethnic Beatboxer? Meet vocal voyager Randolph Matthews
Randolph takes the audiences on an organically magical journey through his new album material, edge of the seat improvisation and witty stories whilst technology layers his voice. As though sound is erupting from within him, a musical volcano of clicks and glottal stops, Jazz percussive melodies and songs composed out of audience members names. You cannot simply watch him perform; you and Randolph become the performance together.
Randolph’s unique blend of Jazz, soul and ethnic beatbox has him following his love for interactive performance around the globe with a string of established artist in the last few years such as Plan B, Grace Jones, Shlomo (Edinburgh fringe tour) and world music artist Seun Kuti plus regular performance for the London Jazz festival and Ronnie Scotts Jazz audiences. His recent collaboration with Young voices choir took Randolph with 6,000 children up and down England from Manchester arena to the Royal Albert Hall performing to more than 500,000 people over two years alongside Alexandra burke, Beverley Knight and Irish folk singers The High Kings.
“If you get a chance to see him, grab it with both hands. You will come away with a huge grin, inspired & uplifted” - Jumoké Fashola BBC London 94.9fm
A beautiful, intriguing and unusual sound, Tori leads a contemporary electric-harp + drums (duo with Harry Pope) and double bass (trio with Misha Mullov-Abbado) which draws upon jazz, rock, latin and classical influences, creating a tapestry of grooves layered with haunting free flowing passages.
“Tori Handsley took the harp into unexplored territory with her open-minded, mesmerizing post-EST compositions and freely improvising young trio at Soho's Spice of Life.” Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise.
Listen to: Tori Handsley Trio
Tori Handsley Trio Facebook
Shama Rahman mixes south Asian music with jazz and pop. A singer and sitar player she has created a special duo performance for GB. You can hear Shama here.
Musician, Actress and Scientist (PhD in neuroscience of musical creativity), Shama Rahman was born in UAE to Bangladeshi parents and living the life of a scientist, neurophilosopher and actor, her songs never fail to deliver on originality, startling insightfulness and an over-riding sense of playfulness.
Under the tuition lineage of Pt Ravi Shankar, she sings over her sitar at times passionately soaring and powerful, at others, mischievously percussive and quietly thoughtful but always beautiful as she tells it like it is with observations on life, love and time hidden in fables, illuminated in parables and good old fashioned clap-alongs.
"Love it all!"-Gilles Peterson
"Beautiful and Intoxicating. I've completely fallen for this lady. I love it", Michelle Hussey, BBC Introducing