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Photo: Dave Stapleton.

Rob Luft Quintet at Jazz Hastings

Jazz Hastings host award-winning jazz guitarist and composer Rob Luft, along with his quintet, at their May session on Tuesday 3rd. Julian Norridge has the details, photos by Dave Stapleton.

Just 26 years old, Rob Luft has already been described by one reviewer as “a superstar in the making – a virtuoso, a band leader, a composer of vibrant, original music and a captivating communicator.”

From 2010 to 2015 he was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra which led The Times to say he was destined “to achieve great things.” On graduation from the Royal College of Music, he was awarded the 2016 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, and also won 2nd prize in the 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

With his quintet – Joe Wright on tenor sax, Joe Webb on keyboards, Conor Chaplin on bass and Corrie Dick on drums – Rob Luft has already produced two highly acclaimed albums. John Fordham described the first in The Guardian as a “very sophisticated debut, but given Luft’s old-soul achievements since his early teens, we should have heard it coming.”

Following the success of that first album, Rob was nominated for a string of awards – ‘Breakthrough Act’ in the 2018 Jazz FM Awards, ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in the 2019 Jazz FM Awards.

BBC accolade

In May 2019 he was selected as BBC New Generation Jazz Artist 2019-2021, an accolade granted to “some of the world’s most exceptional young musicians” (Emma Bloxham, Editor, BBC Radio 3).

One reviewer of the quintet’s most recent album summed up Rob Luft’s appeal: “He’s not bound by conformity, not restricted in technique – he’s a free-flowing, creative musician bursting with joy and natural warmth who’s producing music the way he hears it, with band members happy to interpret it.

“This isn’t necessarily a guitar player’s album per se. It’s a band sound with a guitar at the core. Remove any of the pieces and you are left with something completely different. It’s this unity of sound that defines Rob’s group.”


Rob Luft Quintet Jazz Hastings, Tuesday 3 May, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door.


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Posted 14:26 Tuesday, Apr 26, 2022 In: Music & Sound

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