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Free music at the Royal Albert Hall: The popular ignite series returns for another season

10 January, 2011




In 2011 the Royal Albert Hall opens its doors to another ignite series in the Café Consort. From gypsy blues to African soul, the Royal Albert Hall’s latest ignite series gives you the opportunity to hear outstanding live music for free in the relaxed atmosphere of the Café Consort.

The contemporary, brasserie-style Café Consort is the ideal location to escape the busy surroundings and enjoy a hot drink and some live music. The new menu, provided by ‘rhubarb’ offers a wide selection of delicious dishes, where hearty meals are served alongside lighter options in this bright and welcoming space. With the walls adorned with canvas prints of iconic heroes that have recently performed at the Hall including Grace Jones, Noel Gallagher and Sir Simon Rattle, the Café Consort reaches out to a wider audience to both devoted and new fans of swing, jazz, blues and samba,

Full listings:

The Digby Fairweather Quartet will be the first act taking to the Café Consort stage on Wednesday 26 January. Digby has been a fixture on the British jazz scene for forty years and offers audiences entertaining, high quality jazz from the Great American Songbook.

One of London’s top swing bands the Shirt Tail Stompers are a treat for any music lover and will play ignite on Thursday 3 February. They will take you on a journey back to the hot sounds of the jazz age; from the prohibition-era speakeasies of the roaring 1920s to the dancehalls of the swinging 30s and 40s.

Critically acclaimed group Tipitina present their sizzling jazz and blues numbers on Thursday 10 February. The band, fronted by the sultry Debbie Jones have been tipped for great things following the critical acclaim received for their new album ‘I Wish I Was In New Orleans’ .

Next comes some down and dirty savage swamp infested gypsy blues from The Congo Faith Healers on Friday 18 February. With voodoo vocals, Latin American drum and trumpet grooves, rockabilly double bass and hooks you will be singing for days, this group are like nothing you have heard or experienced before.

Next is Gracie Patton and Friends, with songs of love and lovers on Friday 25 February. Fresh on the London scene, Gracie Patton chooses a repertoire drawn from her favourite singers such as Shirley Horn and Lavern Baker.

Friday 4 March sees the welcome return of vocalist Heidi Vogel to the Hall with her eclectic mix of jazz, Brazilian music and bossa nova. Heidi has performed with a huge variety of acts including The Brand New Heavies and Isaac Hayes.

Randolph Matthews & Byron Johnston play ignite on Friday 11 March. The two solo artists are performing together to create an exciting fusion of Spanish acoustic guitar and African soul. Their first album together entitled ‘In the Shadow of Leaves’ has just been released.

The captivating Rebecca Poole adds her smooth smoky voice to the line up on Friday 25 March. Reminiscent of the big band era with an infectious dose of pop and a bit of swing thrown in, the playful performer writes bitter-sweet songs of the heart combining great wit with old fashioned sentiments.

Concluding this dynamic and diverse season of ignite on Friday 1 April, we are delighted to welcome Sambossa. Their sultry bossa nova, grooving afro-funk and blistering samba will transform the Café Consort into a fine tribute to Brazil as they delight both listener and dancer.
ignite at the Royal Albert Hall’s Café Consort is the perfect chance to experience a series of free lunchtime music and intimate ambience set in a world-class venue.


Thursday 10 February - Tipitina
Friday 18 February - The Congo Faith Healers
Friday 25 February - Gracie Patton
Friday 4 March - Heidi Vogel
Friday 11 March - Randolph Matthews and Byron Johnston
Friday 25 March - Rebecca Poole
Friday 1 April - Sambossa

Listings Information:
Venue: Café Consort, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP (Door 12 - Grand Tier Level, 1st Floor)
Dates: 26 January; 3, 10, 18 & 25 February; 4, 11 & 25 March and 1 April.
Times: Music from 12 noon to 1.30pm
Tickets: Free Entry
Contact: or 0845 401 5005

For more information please contact:
Ellen Morgan: or 020 7959 0500 ext. 3004

Notes to Editors:

Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK’s most treasured and magical buildings, recognisable the world over. It is a registered charity and operates without any public subsidy.  Since opening in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall has had an unparalleled history of exceptional performances by the world’s leading artists. Today over 350 events are held in the Hall’s auditorium each year which include performances of jazz, world music, rock and pop, dance, comedy, film premières and award ceremonies. Audiences of well over a million are entertained at the Hall each year and many millions more around the world enjoy the Hall experience through broadcasts, recordings and new media channels.
The Royal Albert Hall co-promotes productions and showcases talented world music and jazz artists through its lively lunchtime music series, ignite in the Café Consort. It has a strong heritage in rock and has hosted a diverse range of legendary artists and bands over the years. It hosted the only gig in history where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones played on the same bill, and has also played host to such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Oasis, Cream and Dame Shirley Bassey. It also offers tours of this iconic building, a free exhibition series entitled reflect and an extensive education programme for young people. 

Café Consort
The contemporary, brasserie-style Café Consort offers a wide selection of delicious dishes provided by ‘rhubarb’. Hearty meals are served alongside lighter options in this bright and welcoming space. Café Consort also offers a children's menu. With a lively atmosphere and award winning interiors, the Café Consort is located just above Door 12 on the Grand Tier (Level 1).

The Café Consort is also a wireless hotspot and open during the day, serving delicious coffee and snacks.

Contact Us

For press enquiries, please contact:

Press Executive

Rick Burin
020 7959 0531

Marketing Executive

Ellen Morgan
020 7959 0500 Ext 3004

Senior Marketing and Press Manager

Jessica Silvester
020 7959 0510

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