Selected: Natacha Atlas

Julia Biel + Samy Bishai Quartet

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Last Show: Thursday 15 th November 2018

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Kicking off Natacha Atlas' SELECTED series, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julia Biel presents music from her thrid album in this special double bill with celebrated Egyptian violinist and composer, Samy Bishai.

Described as ‘the best British vocalist to emerge in an age’ by The Independent, the MOBO-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Biel will be showcasing songs from her acclaimed recent self-titled third album in a magical evening of uplifting, stirring and soulful music. Backed by a stellar band and accompanying herself on guitar and piano, her voice evokes the spirituality of gospel music, the joie-de-vivre of soul, the sorrow of the blues and the freedom of jazz. A poetic and incisive lyricist she reveals a razor-sharp perspective on life and love whilst treading the line between personal and profound to offer her angle on the fundamental nature of things.

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“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.” - THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD****

“Julia Biel has a great voice. That is possibly the understatement of the year so far... She is amazing.” - JAZZ IN EUROPE


Her musical influences range from the classic jazz of Billie Holiday to the soaring guitar pop of Radiohead, and whilst many comparisons of her voice have been made with some of the most celebrated greats, she retains a unique individuality that is highly regarded by an increasingly broad spectrum of music lovers. Hip enough to be on the coolest Spotify playlists, and very much part of the current vibrant UK jazz scene, she can deliver an emotional punch as powerful as any of the jazz greats of old.

"Another hauntingly enigmatic collection of mostly self-penned songs of an exceptional drama, breadth and craft... Biel's voice is unfailingly beautiful in tone throughout." JAZZWISE ****

Julia Biel (vocals/piano/rhythm guitar)
Idris Rahman (bass)
Rob Updegraff (lead guitar)
Ayo Salawu (drums)



Celebrated Egyptian violinist and composer Samy Bishai built his reputation as an outstanding musician through his work with Natacha Atlas, Seckou Keita, Celloman, Digitonal, Zoe Rahman, Arun Ghosh just to name a few. His work as a band leader and composer fuses his Egyptian-ancestry with Western music to create a heady mix of unclassifiable music.

Tonight he plays with his QUARTET as they explore different themes, textures and syncopated grooves.