This is a recurring event: View all events in the series “Summer Sounds”
Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists, the trailblazing composer and improviser Shirley Smart presents her new sextet project.
This event is free to attend, but seats are limited, so please do sign up to attend, via the 'register now' button above.
Drawing on a background of 10 years living in Jerusalem and working with the overlapping worlds of jazz, Arabic, Turkish and North African music, Shirley is equally at home and well versed in all these traditions, and her music draws upon this rich tapestry of influences to create an evening of vibrant melodies, grooves, swing and lively improvisation. Showcasing her unique ability to explore the potential of the cello in a jazz context, performing multiple roles as bassist, lead and soloist on the instrument, and featuring also some of the UK's leading lights in world-influenced jazz - John Crawford (Ola Onabule) on piano, James Arben (Mulatu Astatke, Hackney Colliery Band, Heliocentrics) on sax/flute, Tim Quicke (Lousie Balkwill, Giles Thornton) on trumpet and Michele Montoli (Alina Bzhezhinska) on bass and Demi Garcia Sabat (John Dankworth, Nicolas Meier) on drums this dynamic group promises an evening of inspired music-making.
- Shirley Smart - cello
- Tim Quicke - trumpet
- James Arben - tenor sax/flute
- John Crawford - piano
- Michele Montoli - bass
- Demi Garcia Sabat - drums/percussion
About Shirley Smart
Originally trained under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music, and Janos Starker in Paris, Shirley Smart subsequently moved to Jerusalem, where she worked with some of the region’s leading artists, including Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, Khaled Jubran, Sabreen and Yasmin Levy.
Since moving back to London from Jerusalem, Smart has established herself firmly on both the jazz and world music scenes working with artists including Mulatu Astatke, Neil Cowley, Robert Mitchell, Misha Mullov-Abbado, Nikki Yeoh and Alice Zawadzki. Current projects in which she is involved also include Issie Barratt's Interchange Dectet, which releases its debut album 'Donna's Secret' in 2020 2019, and Nikki Yeoh's trio project Cafe Oran which debuted at the Ronnie Scotts International Piano Trio Festival in 2019. She also appears as a guest on the upcoming NYJO album, and a duo album with pianist Robert Mitchell is planned for release later in 2021.
Shirley has appeared at numerous festivals in the UK and abroad and recent highlights include the Cheltenham Festival, EFG London Jazz Festival, Birmingham Jazz Festival and Vivacello Festival in Moscow. Upcoming performances include the Rye Arts Festival and Bimhuis, Amsterdam.
She is also a keen educator, and has given workshops for the National Youth Jazz Collective, Jazzlines, Trinity Laban and Kent University, She teaches Jazz and Improvisation at the RCMJD, and is Head of Performance and Visiting Lecturer in Music at City University, and Assistant Lecturer at Kent University.
"A superb set - a sound world that is at once rooted in the ancient and traditional musics that it draws from in an utterly contemporary manner that also incorporates modern jazz."—Jazzviews
“... covers an impressive amount of musical and geographical ground with its range of styles and influences. Smart’s playing, both with and without the bow, is exceptional throughout... a stunning pizzicato solo, her playing reminiscent of a top jazz bassist. And she’s pretty handy with the bow too!"—The JazzMann
"As a cellist-composer she morphs seamlessly from Stephane Grappelli like swing and Bird-like bebop...a charming kaleidoscope and jazzy showcase of her global folk music-inspired compositions"—Jazzwise
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