Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet + Shirley Smart Trio

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Sunday 29 th May 2022

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Two of the most innovative and dynamic musicians currently on the scene join forces to present a double bill evening. Alina Bzhezhinska’s Hip Harp Quartet, and cellist Shirley Smart’s Trio are both acclaimed forces in their own right, and this promises to be a wide-ranging evening of sounds from Alice Coltrane to Middle Eastern infused jazz grooves.


Alina Bzhezhinska - HipHarp QUARTET

"Alina Bzhezhinska… a modern-day supremo, is the among the best contemporary harpists” Evening Standard

“Alina Bzhezhinska… throws a spellbinding party to awaken the senses” London Jazz News

"…Bzhezhinska shares with Alice (Coltrane) a mastery of the jazz harp.” The Times   

Internationally renowned harpist Alina Bzhezhinska has a strong reputation for innovation. This time she creates a unique sound on the harp with effect pedals and electronics, supported by Mikele Montolli (bass), Adam Teixeira (drums). Through a combination of original works and covers, she pays homage to some of jazz, funk and hip-hop’s greatest innovators. Her new quartet draws from a variety of influences, including the likes of Dorothy Ashby’s ‘Afro-harping’, Alice Coltrane’s spiritual outputs and Pharoah Sanders’ free form jazz experimentation; as well as 90’s Triphop and Kuti-esque Afrobeat rhythms.

Shirley Smart Trio

"...some of the most inventive use of the cello I have heard for some time.." Kind of Jazz

"Smarts playing is particularly remarkable..she readily demonstrates a wide range of techniques incorporating an understanding of improvisation drawn from a jazz background and her extensive knowledge of Arabic maqam..." Songlines

" A fascinating melting pot of musical influences" World Music Central 

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists, trailblazing cellist and composer Shirley Smart is equally at home and well versed in jazz, folk, Middle Eastern and World Music, as well as classical, and her music draws upon this rich tapestry of influences. 

Drawing on a background of 10 years living in Jerusalem and working with the overlapping worlds of jazz, Arabic, Turkish and North African music, her trio brings these influences together in an evening of vibrant melodies, grooves, swing and lively improvisation. Showcasing her unique ability to explore the potential of the cello in a jazz context, performing multiple roles as bassist, lead and soloist on the instrument, and featuring also some of the UK's leading lights in world-influenced jazz - John Crawford on piano, and Demi Garcia Sabat on percussion, and special guest Nicolas Meier on guitar this dynamic group promises and evening of inspired music-making. 

Band Line Up

Alina Bzhezhinska

Alina Bzhezhinska (harp)
Mikele Montolli (electric bass)
Adam Teixeira (drums)

Shirley Smart Trio

Shirley Smart (cello)
John Crawford (piano)
Demi Garcia Sabat (drums/percussion)