On Friday night, the genre-crossing jazz band from London will play the Ace Hotel's Three Keys, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to the show.
In 2018, The New York Times wrote about the new, young jazz scene in London, focusing on a standing gig by Ezra Collective. Writer Kate Hutchinson quoted the band’s Dylan Jones, who said, “Young people love it so much because it’s not intellectual, cerebral jazz; it started in pubs and clubs.” The young London jazz community is diverse along ethnic and gender lines, and Ezra Collective reflects that onstage and in its influences, which include calypso, dub, Afrobeat, jungle and grime.
Drummer Femi Koleoso sees the positive possibilities that the music and the community connected to it make clear. “The biggest issues of contention on this earth are immigration, climate change, access to education for all, gender equality, racism,” he told Jacques Pauper in 2018. “The way to solve the problems that are related to this at our level, is to all collaborate, to work together to build a better world. Once you are divided, you weaken. I’m ashamed that so many people in England do not understand this and can’t see further than the end of their noses. Be that as it may, we must admit that the whole of Europe is becoming radicalized, what happened to us could have happened in France or in Germany. So a tip for those who do not want Brexit: come listen to the next Ezra Collective concert and dance on our groove, we will all be together, and positive!”
The band’s debut album, You Can’t Steal My Joy is due out in April, and its aesthetic comes from DJs and dance clubs more than tweedy, studious venues. “Jazz-influenced music doesn’t have to mean chin-stroking music,” said Wayne Francis, owner of the venue that served as the band’s incubator.