Presenting acoustic gypsy jazz on the unique combination of cello and guitar. Shirley Smart, ‘one of the UK’s best improvising cellists’ (The JazzMann) is joined by long-time collaborator Peter Michaels on guitar to present a programme of gypsy and acoustic jazz including original compositions as well as works by Bireli Lagrene, Django Reinhardt and more.
Shirley Smart is one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists – being equally at home and well versed in jazz and Middle Eastern music, as well as classical music.
Originally trained in classical cello under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guilldhall School of Music, and Janos Starker in Paris, she subsequently moved to Jerusalem. She remained for 10 years, studying and performing a wide variety of world music from the Mediterranean and Middle East, as well as jazz, and became being highly involved with the jazz and improvised music scene. Since returning to the UK, she has quickly become known as one of the most creative cellists on the music scene and has worked with many leading jazz and world music groups, including Antonio Forcione, Gilad Atzmon, Neil Cowley, Julian Ferraretto, Robert Mitchell, Maciek Pysz, Maurizio Minardi, and Alice Zawadski.
Shirley is also an active educator, teaching Improvisation at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and is a Visiting Lectuer at City University and giving workshops for Trinity Laban and Jazzlines. She is also leading the London Cello Society’s new Beyond Cello division from 2016.
Recent performances have included the Vortex Jazz Club, Wilton’s Music Hall, Old Ford Jazz Club, Brunel Museum, Green Note, Crouch End festival and Harfensommer Festival, Wurzburg in Germany. Upcoming performances include City University Music Society, and Kings Place, London as part of the Beyond Cello Festival.
” Smart’s playing is particularly remarkable throughout…she readily demonstrates a wide range of techniques incorporating an understanding of improvisation drawn from a jazz background and her extensive knowledge of Arabic maqam… Superb Cello…exemplary musicianship” Songlines
Peter has a unique performance style influenced by his classical and flamenco guitar training combined with contemporary and jazz influences. He is involved in a number of long-term projects featuring his compositions and arrangements, including London’s Brazilian Balkan band Pocket Caravan, North African/meditteranean band Melange, Bis-bas, the Matzoh Boys and Bhavini.
Presented by Mosaic Nights… A monthly series of concerts curated by cellist Shirley Smart, the series features bands and projects which lie in the spaces between jazz, world, folk and classical music.