EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

John Scofield & Jon Cleary

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Sunday 17 th November 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

A rare chance to see two great festival names in an intimate duo setting, as legendary guitarist John Scofield joins forces with celebrated blues singer-pianist Jon Cleary. “Although I've known Jon Cleary for many years we didn't start working together until 2008 when I recorded my Piety Street cd and toured with him for two years with the Piety Street Band. Last year we both appeared with Soulive in Brooklyn and thought it would be fun to try playing together as a duo without a rhythm section. It worked so well we've decided to book this tour. Anyone who’s heard Cleary knows he's a whole band when he plays piano so I can't wait to hop on board! We'll be playing New Orleans music and rhythm and blues classics. He'll be singing a lot and I'll be singing along with my guitar! I'm very excited about this collaboration! Bluespower!“ John Scofield

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“I haven’t heard anybody close to having absorbed so much funk and so many subtleties of the different genius piano players and guitar players and rhythms of New Orleans.”

Jazziz Magazine


John Scofield's guitar work has influenced jazz since the late 70’s and is going strong today. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B.

Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982–1985, Scofield toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.

Since that time he has prominently led his own groups in the international Jazz scene, recorded over 30 albums as a leader (many already classics) including collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Government Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and Phil Lesh. He’s played and recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Terumasa Hino among many jazz legends. Throughout his career Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind.



Cleary, born in England, is an adopted son of the Crescent City, who’s made good his citizenship with five soul-soaked R&B funk albums with the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. As a session man, he’s played with Taj Mahal, B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few, and is a longstanding member of Raitt’s touring band. Musically, though, his heart and soul reside on the banks of the Mississippi.

The story of how the British piano player and singer has come to be one of New Orlean's leading names of funk winds from the English county of Kent, where Cleary grew up hearing vintage records from New Orleans and building dreams around them, to that "crescent city" in Louisiana, where he came to rub shoulders with its old masters - his heroes - and eventually become regarded as part of their bloodline.

Cleary tours regularly with blues royal Bonnie Raitt, has worked with Taj Mahal, B. B. King and Ryan Adams as a session man and is soon to record with John Scofield. He has also put out five funk- and soul-drenched albums of his own, three of them with his dynamite band of New Orleans-born players, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

Band Lineup

Jon Scofield (guitar)

Jon Cleary (voice/piano)