Jazz Voice featuring: Ayanna,
Gregory Porter, Ian Shaw, Mary Pearce,
Michelle Dockery, Norma Winstone & Shingai Shoniwa
@ the Barbican Centre
11 November 2011
Click an image to enlarge.
Norma Winstone biography
Norma Winstone was born in London and first attracted
attention in the late sixties when she shared the bill at Ronnie
Scott’s club with Roland Kirk.
Although she began her career singing jazz standards,
she became involved in the avant garde movement, exploring the use
of the voice in an experimental way and evolving her own wordless
approach to improvisation.
She joined groups led by Mike Westbrook, Michael
Garrick and sang with John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Michael Gibbs
and John Taylor, and worked extensively with many of the major European
names and visiting Americans.
In 1971 she was voted top singer in the Melody
Maker Jazz Poll and subsequently recorded her own album “Edge
of Time” for Decca, which although long deleted has now been
re-released as a CD on the Disconforme label.
In the late seventies she joined pianist John Taylor
and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler to form the group Azimuth, which was
described by Richard Williams of The Times as “one of
the most imaginatively conceived and delicately balanced of all
contemporary chamber jazz groups.”
In this setting she combines the instrumental use
of the voice with words, most of which she writes herself. Azimuth
has recorded several albums on the ECM label (the first three of
which have been re-issued as a CD boxed set).Winstone’s own
album “Somewhere Called Home” on the ECM label is widely
considered to be a classic.
In recent years she has become known as a very
fine lyricist, writing words to compositions by Ralph Towner, and
Brazilian composers Egberto Gismonti and Ivan Lins (who has recorded
her English lyrics to his song “Vieste”). She has a
special affinity with the music of Steve Swallow, and has written
lyrics to many of his compositions, most notably “Ladies in
Mercedes”, which has become a standard.
Her voice has become an important part of the sound of Kenny Wheeler’s
big band, and can be heard in this context on the ECM double CD
‘Music for Large and Small Ensembles‘ which also features
John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine and John Taylor.
In July 2001, she won the title of Best Vocalist
in the BBC Jazz Awards hosted by Humphrey Lyttleton at London’s
Queen Elizabeth Hall. She was one of the stars of the acclaimed
Gilles Peterson ‘Jazz Britannia’ programme shown on
BBC 2, from the Barbican which featured influential music of British
jazz musicians from the sixties and seventies, along with contemporary
She continues in the forefront of British jazz
and was nominated again in the 2007 and 2008 BBC Jazz Awards for
Winstone was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s
Birthday Honours List in 2007.In 2009 she was awarded the Skoda
Jazz Ahead Award in Bremen for her contribution to European Jazz.
Lucinda Belle biography
So, which Lucinda Belle would you like to meet
first? There are lots to choose from, as one of the most notable
up-and-comers on the UK music scene prepares to take 2011 by the
There’s the orchestra leader. The international-quality
harpist. The widely-travelled session player, the accomplished singer-songwriter,
composer, the music coach and mentor. The keen feature writer, frequent
and articulate blogger, and the launderette owner.
First and foremost, as the frontwoman of the Lucinda
Belle Orchestra, the London-based musician has put all of her vast
experience into what already sounds like a most notable debut album,
“My Voice and My 45 Strings.” It showcases one singular
woman, her orchestra, and collaborations with such esteemed and
experienced fellow writers as Graham Lyle and Ed Harcourt.
With an infectious love of music that reaches from
Django Reinhardt to Michael McDonald, Leonard Cohen to the Mamas
and Papas and Queen to Débussy, the sound of Lucinda and
her orchestra is as vibrant and versatile as you’d expect.
She honed her skills playing harp in hotels, but
soon ditched that to become a Jazz Harpist in none other than Nashville.
Returning home with harp in the back of a black cab, a new era began
where she earned a reputation as a songwriter and session player
in the good company of Rufus Wainwright, The Petshop boys, Jamaroquai
and Robbie Williams, with whom she caught her break, spotted at
the Electric Proms with him.
Belle is pioneering the way forward for the harp.
Effortlessly breaking down stereo types, she gracefully transports
you into her world proving with her original acoustics covers such
as Gaga’s “Telelphone Song” and Paolo Nutini’s
“Candy”, that she and just her harp are enough to fill
any stage. Lucinda will be promoting and releasing her “Covers”
EP due for release in May 2011.
Drawing comparisons don’t do justice to her
well-developed ear for a pop melody, captivating voice and an undeniable
gypsy spirit that permeates everything the Belle does. “I
really do believe in my songs and that there’s something for
everyone in my music,” she says. “I did a full
circle and became who I was meant to be in life.”
Shingai Shoniwa biography
Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa (born in 1981,
of English and Zimbabwean descent) is the vocalist and bassist for
the UK indie rock band Noisettes. Her first name, Shingai means
‘perseverance’ in the Southern African Shona language.
Shingai Shoniwa performed in the band called Sonarfly
with fellow Noisettes member, song-writing partner and guitarist
Dan Smith. Shoniwa grew up in a South London public-housing estate
and the experience, Shoniwa says, absolutely informs her music.
“Wanting to escape from reality can inspire the greatest
and most trivial creative natures in people,” and “I
think escapism is something that connects all of us. Everybody has
their own little soundtrack, and I guess I’m trying to make
my own soundtrack to my escape plan. I want people to realize that
there’s so much more.” Shingai first wanted to
be an actress, and for a while joined the Lost Vagueness crew as
a burlesque performer and co-creator of the now legendary “Golden
Egg Routine.” She studied circus skills at a London youth
club as a teenager.
Shoniwa made an appearance on Annie Lennox’s
2007 album, “Songs Of Mass Destruction” on the single
“Sing.” The track, about the fight against HIV Aids,
included 22 other renowned female artists such as Madonna, Melissa
Etheridge, Gladys Knight and Celine Dion.
Shoniwa has provided backing vocals for different
indie rock, electronic, and punk rock artists including, Guillemots
with their song “Made Up Love Song #43” and “Over
Shingai Shoniwa, along with Patti Smith and Juliette
Lewis, helped celebrate Jack Daniel’s birthday in Lynchburg,
Tennessee on October 13, 2007. The three joined by The New Silver
Cornet Band for the show which took place at the company’s
distillery. The show is part of the 157th birthday celebrations
for Jack Daniel, who was born sometime in September 1850. The Birthday
JD Set opened to specially invited guests and competition winners