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Shirley Smart

Shirley Smart Shirley Smart has had a varied and unusual career. After a studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she performed with the LSO and gave a concert of trios with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Barbican, and masterclass study in Paris with Janos Starker, in Switzerland, at the International Menuhin Academy, Gstaad and IMS Prussia Cove in Cornwall, she left the UK for Israel. Although she initially went for a year, Shirley became involved with a great many musical projects, and met many musicians and friends, and ended up staying for 10 years

ARTICLE: RADIO

2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast! Part 2

Read "2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast! Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Last week we dived deep in some of the best new releases of 2019. Two hours were not enough so this week we continue our quest for fascinating new jazz out there... and we'll branch out a bit going into releases that came out at the end of 2018 as well. Many of the albums we're ...

Balagan Cafe Band

An eclectic new project, this group combines the worlds of jazz, world music and classical, featuring the intimate chamber instrumentation of violin, guitar, cello and accordion and an elegant yet fiery fusion of improvisation and written music. Ranging from Parisian and American Jazz, the Chaabi music of Algeria, Tango from Argentina, Balkan folk melodies through to the early modern and folk music of Western Europe, Balagan fuses these threads into a coherent and characteristic sound world. ‘…this is music for the ears, heart and feet.’ The past couple of years have seen the band perform at venues including the Elgar Room, Omnibus and National Portrait Gallery to enthusiastic public responses

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Balagan Cafe Band: Balagan Cafe Band

Read "Balagan Cafe Band" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The Balagan Café Band is a London-based trio--guitarist Christian Miller, violinist Richard Jones and cellist Shirley Smart--whose sound encompasses traditional tunes, jazz standards, medieval romance and music for the lute. On this, the band's debut release, the core trio and guests take those influences and create an impressively diverse and enjoyable collection of tunes, played with ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Maurizio Minardi: Piano Ambulance

Read "Maurizio Minardi: Piano Ambulance" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Moving to London in September 2008 appears to have set Italian pianist Maurizio Minardi on a creative hot streak. A new name to me Piano Ambulance is the third album in which Minardi has chosen to share his love of jazz with us since 2012 and leaves the listener with an abiding impression of precision in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alice Zawadzki: China Lane

Read "China Lane" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Singer, songwriter and violinist Alice Zawadzki spent five years creating her first album, China Lane. A group of the UK's most respected young musicians joins her to bring her compositions to life--the result is a strong debut, the arrival of a musician with a distinctive voice and songwriting style. As a writer, Zawadzki doesn't ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Maurizio Minardi: The Cook, The Clown, The Monk And The Accordionist

Read "The Cook, The Clown, The Monk And The Accordionist" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

It's not the snappiest album title ever, but The Cook, The Clown, The Monk And The Accordionist, by the UK-based Italian musician Maurizio Minardi, is one snappy album. This is a standout recording, full of atmospheric music that combines immediately engaging hooks with sweeping narrative and emotional depth.Minardi's My Piano Trio (Belfagor Label, 2012) ...


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