Soul-Jazz festival Cross The Tracks returned to Brockwell Park for its second year after being initially being postponed due to COVID-19. So, on an almost perfect summer’s afternoon, music lovers packed Brockwell Park for one of those days of live music they felt like an impossibility just a few months ago.
Early acts on the main stage included British Soul-Funk pioneer Omar; groundbreaking saxophonist Nubiya Garcia (who played the main stage a year after gracing one of the smaller stages in Cross The Tracks’ inaugural event), and the ever soulful Jordan Rakei.
The main stage delivered a dependably soulful experience; however, the lineups on the outer stages felt like a showcase of artists soon to be filling Spotify mixes and Radio playlists around the country.
There were satisfying new discoveries and rewarding experiences for those who ventured to the smaller stages. Artists including Joel Culpepper, Pip Millet, Greentea Peng and Children of Zeus packed out the second stage creating an atmosphere similar to a much bigger space.
As sunshine turned to dusk Jazzie B (MBE) handed over to Norman Jay (MBE) and the dancers at the DJ bandstand continued to swirl, sway, and get lost in the music. Shortly after that switchover Sister Sledge (featuring original member Kathy Sledge) took to the main stage. Who’d have known a sing-a-long to Sister Sledge was all we needed to make the ongoing pandemic feel like, even if just for a fleeting moment, a distant memory.
In front of a hometown audience, Lianne La Havas’ ethereal set felt like a fitting end to the festival. Her soothing renditions swooned the audience home.
Our photographer, Robert Alleyne, was there to capture the sights and sounds across the day.
Photos by Robert Alleyne