Chaka Khan’s Meltdown Festival - at the Southbank Centre

14 June 2024 to 23 June 2024 Southbank Centre

Poster of Chaka Khan's Meltdown festival at Southbank Centre June 2024, made by Charlie Walker

The iconic Chaka Khan takes over curating duties for this year's iteration of the acclaimed Meltdown Festival.

For those unfamiliar with the Meltdown festival, each year, an acclaimed artist is responsible for curating ten days of events at the Southbank Centre.

This year, soul and disco legend Chaka Khan takes the reigns, selecting a line-up of a wide variety of artists in the soul, jazz, and funk tradition.

Inaugurated by Chaka Khan performing a night full of her greatest hits, some highlights include Speakers Corner Quarter and Guildhall Session Orchestra on Monday 17th, rising star Judi Jackson on Thursday 20th, Afro-jazz collective Balimaya Project on the 21st (seriously, give these guys a listen), and downbeat kings Morcheeba on the 22nd.

For the closing night of her own curated Meltdown festival (which comes with numerous highly-recommended events), the legendary Chaka Khan is performing her album ClassiKhan in full to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

This is a remarkably special event, as it marks the first time she had been backed by a live orchestra. The Nu Civilisation Orchestra have an impressive resume, performing Duke Ellington’s A Tone Parallel to Harlem and Charles Mingus’ The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady as a double header, as well as a big band rework of Joni Mitchell’s landmark record Hejira. They are no strangers to the funk.

Making their debut with Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts with the BBC Singers in 2019, they have grown impressively in stature and size, now reaching possibly the height of their career with Chaka Khan as their star. This year's Meltdown has all the ingredients to be the best of the decade so far.