Music

Gilles Peterson is excited about the British jazz explosion

In The Big Issue this week, The Connor Brothers celebrate all that is good and emerging in Britain. Here they invite Gilles Peterson to hail a new wave of musical talent.

I am excited. Never before has there been such a strong community of amazing young jazz musicians in the UK.

For decades this country has led the way musically and never more so than now. I moved to the UK as a child and quickly fell in love with the diverse music scene here. London is the best city in the world in so many ways but especially for music, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

In the last five years though, the UK – and particularly London – has undergone something of a musical renaissance.

Young UK musicians who have grown up on club music, from drum ’n’ bass and reggae to grime and hip-hop and yet have still mastered their instruments, have started forming bands based on jazz but with elements of everything else thrown in.

Article continues below

Current vacancies...

Search jobs

This has created a scene of exciting new music that first exploded here but increasingly has started to go out to the rest of the world. Bands like Kokoroko, Ezra Collective and The Comet Is Coming have become the next generation of British exports, and are just as easily found at a festival in Italy or a venue in New York.

While the pandemic meant an 18-month hiatus to touring, the musicians just honed their skills and have definitely not gone away. The small amount of shows and festivals we have been able to have this summer have shown that they are still very much a force to be reckoned with and sounding even stronger than before.

I would like to say my radio station Worldwide FM and my BBC 6 Music radio show have contributed to this explosion in creativity, but of course I am only able to reflect what is already out there.

The uniquely British mixture of a legacy of great music and a rich diversity of immigration and different cultures have all played their part in this new wave. As I say, I am excited. The next few years will be very interesting!

Gilles Peterson’s show is on BBC 6 Music on Saturdays at 3pm and on BBC Sounds

Support our vendors this winter and beyond

If you can't visit your local vendor on a regular basis, then the next best way to support them is with a subscription to the Big Issue. As a social enterprise, we invest every penny we make back into the organisation. That means that with every subscription, we are supporting people in poverty to get back on their own two feet.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Here's one they played earlier: Pre-recorded orchestras spell trouble for live performance
Music

Here's one they played earlier: Pre-recorded orchestras spell trouble for live performance

This grassroots venue brings 'astonishing' music and mental wellbeing to rural Wales
Tivoli grassroots venue north Wales - Martin Kemp onstage pointing at the crowd
Venue Watch

This grassroots venue brings 'astonishing' music and mental wellbeing to rural Wales

Paloma Faith: 'How many left-wing people like me get to be a national treasure? None'
Paloma Faith
Music

Paloma Faith: 'How many left-wing people like me get to be a national treasure? None'

Photographer Dennis Morris on capturing legend Bob Marley – and how the reggae icon changed his life
Photography

Photographer Dennis Morris on capturing legend Bob Marley – and how the reggae icon changed his life

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know