Supreme Standards: Elevating London’s Jazz, Funk, and Soul Sceneby 2023-05-19
Supreme Standards by Love Supreme Festival is a monthly residency at Amazing Grace dedicated to supporting emerging talents from the UK and beyond. As London’s music scene continues to flourish, its mission is to provide a nurturing space for these exceptional artists who deserve wider recognition. We chatted to James Ward, Supreme Standard’s Marketing and Programmer Manager, about the idea behind the live residency, previous standout performers and what’s next:
Tell us a little bit more about Supreme Standards and what people can expect?
Supreme Standards is an offshoot of Love Supreme Festival down in East Sussex, and the monthly nights promote some of the younger acts who are within the world of Jazz, Funk and Soul. It’s also a platform for us to stretch to some new sounds we find interesting; a jazz night with great players but something that everyone can enjoy even if you’re not super engaged in the “scene”.
There’s been some incredible acts that have featured – who’s been standout for you?
August Charles was incredible, just a really special stage presence and songs that could be real hits given time. Waldo’s Gift also stole the room with this heavy electronic jazz fusion sound that had about 400 head-banging. TC & The Groove Family stopping off on the summer 2022 festival run were also an absolute riot. Everyone we’ve had has been special but sometimes there’s just a moment that takes you to another place.
How do you find new acts? Any big success stories?
I tend to look at the jazz musicians who are playing in pop bands with some soul/R&B vibes like Arlo Parks/Easy Life and then work out if they’re doing any solo stuff. I find this helps find a nice balance of musicianship and accessibility whereas when you go for proper jazzers they can be a bit headsy and I just want to have a good time.
I feel like we’ll see some real growth in the next year or two, but it’s too soon to say for a lot of them. Got high hopes for Louis VI, August Charles and Mackwood to do bits in the coming couple of years…
What can people expect from the upcoming instalment of Supreme Standards?
A beautiful combo with Don Glori moving to the UK from Australia and I think this will be one of his first show in the UK with a full band… even if not the first first he’s not done much. We’ll also have Quinn Oulton on the bill, really special saxophonist, songwriter and producer – laid back pop-soul with jazz stylings. Stunning.
You’ve got Love Supreme Festival coming up – who are you most looking forward to seeing?
The Cavemen 100%. They’re a Nigerian trio bringing highlife into the 21st century. But I’ve not seen Little Simz since 2019 as well and her last two albums have been stunning so that will be huge. We just announced Nix Northwest as well and I love a bit of lo-fi R&B so that’ll be good…. Yaya Bey! Coming from Brooklyn and she’s not done many shows over here and her recorded stuff is unreal. I’m excited for it all, will just try steal as much time away from my desk while at the show to enjoy things!
Visit our What’s On page to see when our next Supreme Standards event is taking place!