Jazz Gallery
Soul / Gospel & World gallery
Essential Listening
Gig Guide / News
Opinion / Music Talk
The Hi Fi Experience
Related services
Related Sites & Info
Staff Profiles
Guest Feedback
Contact M V Studio
Back to Home Page




Gregory Porter
Jazz Voice 2011 Gregory Porter

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 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.

Shingai Shoniwa

Shingai Shoniwa Shingai Shoniwa

Michelle Dockery, Ayanna, Norma Winstone, Mary Pearce,  Shingai Shoniwa, Ian Shaw & Gregory Porter

Michelle Dockery, Ayanna, Norma Winstone, Mary Pearce,  Shingai Shoniwa, Ian Shaw & Gregory Porter Michelle Dockery


Gregory Porter & Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw

ian Shaw





Norma Winstone

Mary Pearce

Mary Pearce

Lucinda Belle

Lucinda Belle

Lucinda Belle

Lucinda Belle

Shingai Shoniwa



Gregory Porter - Water somewhere towards love Ayanna - Truthfully EP Norma Winstone - Distances
The Lucinda Belle Orchestra - My Voice & 45 Strings



Click Gregory Porter's image below to see him @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club & read his biography...
Click Ian Shaw's image below to see him @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club & read his biography...
Click Ayanna'a image below to see her @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club & read her biography...
Click Mary Pearce's image below to see her @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall & read her biography...

Gregory Porter @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club (click to go to his page) Ian Shaw @ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club (click to go to this page) Kurt Elling  @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall 2008 (click to go to his page) Mary Pearce @ the Queen Elizabeth Hall (click to go to her page)

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2011 home page.

 Go back to the jazz gallery.

[ Top ]