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
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
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
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
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
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 jazz artists.
She continues in the forefront of British jazz and was nominated
again in the 2007 and 2008 BBC Jazz Awards for best vocalist.
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 horns.
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 the Stairs.”
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 only.