LONDON Southbank Centre / Purcell Room
Belvedere Road


One of London’s most essential jazz bands of the last decade return to the EFG London Jazz Festival to open the Purcell Room programme.

Since their inception in 2007, Empirical have consistently displayed their indefatigable and fearless creative fervour while honing an instantly recognisable group sound rife with raw energy and roiling emotion.

Featuring Nathaniel Facey (alto sax), Tom Farmer (double bass), Lewis Wright (vibraphone) and Shaney Forbes (drums), the quartet settled on this lineup in 2009 having bonded over a tribute concert to Eric Dolphy’s seminal 1964 album Out To Lunch! They would go on to release three extremely well-received albums on the esteemed Naim record label, before unveiling their most recent opus Connection in 2016 via Cuneiform Records.

In 2016 the band also gained notoriety for setting up a week-long Pop-up Jazz Lounge at Old Street Underground station in London, performing 24 live sets over the course of six days and bringing their music and jazz in general to a totally new audience of close to 3,000 listeners. They would subsequently bring the wildly successful pop-up concept to jazz festivals in Birmingham, Berlin, and Cheltenham, as well as our own.

Now they make a triumphant return to the EFG London Jazz Festival for the first time in two years, previewing material from their new album which is set for release in 2019.

  • ‘ Empirical are among the most admired and individual-sounding bands in contemporary jazz ’
    (The Observer)
  • ‘ Empirical flirt with nostalgia, while living on the edge of experimentation. ’