UK JAZZ PLUS SESSIONS
Presenting a season of singer-songwriter jazz. This programme is curated by Martha D Lewis for UK Jazz Plus Sessions in association with
EFG London Jazz Festival
Tuesday 15th November 2022
JULIE SASSOON and THE CASIMIR CONNECTION
An impressive double-bill of award winning Artists renowned for their original music without borders.
Julie Sassoon is a first-class player transcending classical piano and jazz, in the league of Jarrett or Pieranunzi. Now based in Berlin, catch this rare London solo performance. Sassoon treads her own path of lyrical, rhythmic, dramatic and packed with emotion. Her last solo concert at the EFG London Jazz Festival was listed in The Guardian amongst the ‘Top Ten Highlights’.
“… An unclassifiable venture… Julie consistently makes the piano, her voice and her deepest emotions sound awesomely and naturally inseparable.” – John Fordham
“An album which can be counted as one of 2021’s top solo piano outings…” – All About Jazz
Sassoon has always possessed an uncanny instinct for sidestepping mimicry or cliché…
“… in the gliding, airborne ‘Murmuration’ she was flying free… seamlessly evolving through startling harmonic modulations, alternations of staccato and sonorously rolling passages, dreamy reveries quietly punctuated by gleaming treble notes and deep chords, before a Jarrett-like rocking groove takes it out…” – John Fordham
“’At the Water Tower’ is an emotive, forward tumbling elegy of darkness and light. Sledgehammer and flower. While it swirls around you its center stays calm, and from that vantage both pianist and listener watch the world move…” – Mike Jurkovic, All About Jazz
THE CASIMIR CONNECTION
The Casimir Connection – a quartet led by its acclaimed composer saxophonist Diane McLoughlin – seamlessly cuts across classical, folk and jazz music. Expect memorable compositional themes and exciting improvisation.
Previewing a forthcoming album, Diane McLoughlin plays alongside Kit Massey on violin, Tim Fairhall on bass and pianist Alcyona Mick. Quiet and brooding, serene and uplifting, with influences from Keith Jarrett to Poulenc and Bartok. The Casimir Connection is an exquisite jazz chamber group for the modern era.
Reviews for album ’Cause and Effect’
“A stunning album that deserves to be widely heard, and lauded, not just for the outstanding playing of all concerned, but also the outstanding compositions by Diane McLoughlin that mark this album out as something very special indeed.” – Jazz Views
“Tender, inventive and well worth a listen” – Jazzwise
Thursday 17th November 2022
MARTHA D LEWIS and TYRONE ISAAC STUART
A stunning double-bill of jazz and singer songwriter artists who tackle social commentary from inter- generational view-points.
MARTHA D LEWIS
Martha D Lewis, established British born Cypriot composer, Jazz and World singer-songwriter presents an unplugged debut performance of the much-acclaimed 2022 release ‘ALL THAT YOU SEE’ featuring Julie Sassoon on piano and Davide Mantovani on bass.
The ability of an artist to reinvent themselves and evolve is often a keynote for a long career. From trailblazing beginnings with Eve Polycarpou as the duo ‘Donna and Kebab’ in 1990’s; to Jazz World music on Martha’s debut solo album which was awarded ‘Best Album of the Year’ by BBC Radio in 2007; Next, the bold re-imaginings of urban Greek blues on the album ‘Homage to Roza’ 2015 – inspired by Martha’s role as singer and presenter in the internationally released feature-film documentary, My Sweet Canary, about the iconic singer Roza Eskenazy.
Ensuring a constant artistic progression Martha’s new Jazz Singer songwriter album explores themes of social commentary and love and loss. Recorded at Real World Studios, it features drummer Ian Matthews (Kasabian), produced by Nick Cohen (Massive Attack) and mixed by legendary Stephen W Tayler (Kate Bush, Peter Gabrielle).
“.. the perfect mix of singer/songwriter and jazz.” – SmoothJazz.com
“Martha D Lewis stands out from the ‘female jazz vocalist’ crowd… Well worth your attention and your pocket money.” – Jazzwise
TYRONE ISAAC STUART
Tyrone Isaac Stuart is an emerging artist, Saxophonist, dancer and rapper who resists categorisation and revels in tension at the heart of the creative process. With an outpouring of individual expression- this is an artist to watch out for!
Tyrone Isaac Stuart – a former student of Martha D Lewis’ – honed his skills playing with Tomorrow’s Warriors while also dancing with Boy Blue Entertainment. Recipient of the Steve Reid Innovation Award in 2019 -2020, he has since forged a practice where he is comfortable playing SXSW or Church of Sound one week, and dancing in the Little Simz Brit Awards performance another.
His latest album S!CK, released on New Soil, blends ferocious group improvisations with punchy production and visceral lyricism to form an out-pouring of individual expression and creative collaboration.
Since 2017 Tyrone has been making work that explores the disciplines of instrumental jazz, vocals, dance, and music production. This album is part 1 of that exploration. S!CK (the album) is Eleven tracks that feel like a self-curated, semi-autobiographical exhibition of thoughts and feelings close to his heart. The live performance will be a further exploration of the theme: Sickness.
Friday 18th November 2022
JULIA BIEL and EMILY SAUNDERS
A stunning double-bill of artists transcending borders of jazz and singer songwriter.
Award-winning artist Julia Biel puts it all on show – catch this rare solo performance of vulnerability, strength and an emotional landscape to touch even the hardest of hearts.
Likened by critics around the world to such greats as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Chet Baker and Miles Davis for her instantly recognisable tones and singular approach to music. For Julia – a songwriter who counts the likes of Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum and Ben Watt as fans – the song is always king, taking the credit for a globe-trotting career that has seen her performing headline shows at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and jazz festivals.
The solo piano and voice, and classic ‘singer – songwriter’ sound, brings listeners back to the source – just Julia singing at the piano “taking no prisoners” whether over meditative and immersive piano soundscapes or more groove lead songs – a proposition that has in its very existence seemed to offer the gentlest of challenges to cultural stereotypes of music.
“Biel’s third solo album confirms her knack for penning smart, intimate songs and delivering them in a voice both crystalline and dreamy… a total delight.” – Evening Standard
“Emily Saunders is a socially-conscious wordsmith and supremely talented songwriter. Internationally renowned, Emily has been dubbed “UK’s queen of jazz-fusion” by Snowboy.
Emily takes the stage by storm, leading an exceptional band of stellar musicians through her spellbinding set of original songs and spoken word. She balances virtuosity and captivating presence with musicianship of the highest order, establishing her not only as a rhythmically inventive jazz vocalist, but a supremely talented songwriter.
‘A heady mix of Latin-infused hip swaying grooves, with driving basslines, infectious melodies, and edges of drum ‘n’ bass, pronounce Saunders as ‘one for the jazz dance clubs’ (Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio6).
Emily’s albums have sold worldwide, receiving multiple 4 star reviews including the Evening
Standard, The Guardian, The Independent, including The Daily Telegraph’s “Best Of”.
“Musicality, poise and ingenuity. Saunders is the real deal” – The Guardian
“Fascinating cocktail of influences into something utterly original” – Jazzwise
Saturday 19th November 2022
SAHRA and MISS BABY SOL
Two diverse, dynamic and engaging powerhouse performers on a double-bill of strength and vulnerability.
Berlin born, London-based from Somalian/ German heritage, emerging songwriter-arranger-vocalist SAHRA is endorsed by BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, WOMAD. Expect rich tantalising vocals, awe-inspiring lyricism and work of vulnerability and individuality through stories.
“Tantalising vocals and poetic magic.” – Line Of Best Fit
Winner of the Musicians’ Company Young Jazz Musician Award 2019, Sahra was pipped by Jazzwise as “one to watch in 2020”. SAHRA has performed at London Jazz Festival, Dimensions, WOMAD, We Out Here as well as receiving cosigns from the likes of; BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Worldwide and Rinse FM. Her recent single ‘Sorry’ gained support from; COLORS, BBC Introducing, BBC 1’s Victoria Jane, Worldwide FM, The Line Of Best Fit, and Wonderland to name a few.
“Immaculate vibes, soul-soaked vocals and awe-inspiring lyricism.” – Wonderland
SAHRA’s music explores mental health; self-written and produced as she continues to develop her sound and production skills. Working with some of London’s finest musicians, recorded live at soup studios, SAHRAintends on fusing her life sounds with electronic music production. Exuberating mysticism, she is able to express her individuality through stories, commanding attention with her rich and faultless voice.
MISS BABY SOL
Miss Baby Sol is a Congolese-born British singer/songwriter. An exceptionally dynamic performer with vocal work which spans the music genres of dance, electronic, folk, hop hop, house, indie, rock, jazz, rap and soul. Miss Baby Sol has performed worldwide and has worked with many artists including Paloma Faith, Laura Mvula, Florence and the Machine and the Noisettes. Artist in Residence at WOW Festival this year 2022 Miss Baby Sol lives by her motto “everyday’s an opportunity to rise”.
In 2020, Miss Baby Sol appeared on The Voice UK as part of their 9th series, She went on to perform at an empty Royal Albert Hall for a live-streamed WOW Festival performance, which was part of the launch event- filmed by Amelie Exton and produced by Shereen Pereira for the ‘Women of the World’ Fest, alongside artists like Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Nubya Garcia. As the world continues to build momentum, now in 2022, Miss Baby Sol continues to write, with recording and performing her compositions at the forefront of her mind.