Coming Soon-Date and venue to be confirmed.
Sisters (Are Doing It For Themselves)
Diversity Fest Fundraiser: A (belated) International Women’s Day Special
Featuring Avital Raz, Kate Griffin, Alice Nicholls and Sudipta Samanta
Jerusalem-born Avital Raz has recently gained notoriety for her taboo-busting song lyrics. Her latest release ‘The Fallen Angel’s Unravelling Descent’, a collaboration with Keith Angel (producer) was given four stars by RnR magazine and high Praise in Folk Radio UK among other publications. ” There is no-one quite like Avital Raz in the world of music right now, and she should be applauded for the intelligence and singularity of her artistic vision. The Fallen Angel’s Unravelling Descent is a genuinely original musical statement, full of wise, exotic and gleefully mordant songs that manage to be simultaneously challenging and melodic.”
About last year’s release ‘The Believer’, recorded in Scotland with cellist producer Pete Harvey, full of racy tales of sex and politics, The Herald had to say “Likely to be the most compelling thing you hear all year”. Perhaps The Levellers had this in mind when they personally asked Avital to perform solo on The Big Top stage at Beautiful Days Festival.
Raz started out as a child singer of classical music. After completing degrees in vocal performance and composition, she shifted her focus to India where she studied the ancient art of Dhrupad singing with Prof. Ritwik Sanyal of Benares Hindu University.
This improvisational style led to a surge in creativity and Avital’s first album: Sad Songs About The End Of Love – 11 of James Joyce’s poems from Chamber Music composed mostly in Raag style and recorded in India and Israel with local musicians.
Unfortunately in 2004 Joyce’s work was still under copyright and the Joyce estate, finding the Indian connection too strange, denied Avital permission to release it. This blow prompted Avital to write her own lyrics and she subsequently released two EPs: Strange Love Songs and Skin & Feathers (‘utterly compelling songs that demand attention’ – Terrascope magazine). She released the James Joyce album last year and Louder Than War wrote: “Sad Songs About The End of Love’ unlocks the exploratory nature of sound itself, through sensory psychedelica blended with Indian raag.”
Avital now lives in Sheffield where she teaches singing and Indian Classical music as well as performing her own material and is a member of legendary world music band Rafiki Jazz and The Passerine- A band of refugee and migrants commissioned by Shrewsbury Festival directed by folk duo O’hooley & Tidow.
Kate is a clawhammer banjo player, singer, and pianist who began performing at the age of 13. She has developed her own style of banjo playing that is rooted in American old-time music at the same time as bringing it into the modern day. She encompasses influences from folk music of the U.K and Eastern-Europe, Indian classical music, and even elements of contemporary dance music. As such, she is broadening the boundaries of banjo playing.
Over her 8 years of professional performance, Kate has played at venues and festivals across the UK, including Celtic Connections on Campus, Colston Hall, Warwick Folk Festival, Greenbelt Festival, Gate to Southwell, and more. Much of her previous performing career has been playing as one half of versatile, multi-instrumental folk duo The Unsung Roots.
As of 2016, with the recording of E.P Birdsong, she began her solo career composing and performing original compositions and traditional arrangements mainly for voice and banjo. Her live performance is an eclectic set of intricately arranged songs and instrumentals, ranging from the pensive and heartfelt to the driving energy of folk music.
“INCREDIBLY EXECUTED FOLK”
– Christian Carlisle BBC Radio Sheffield
Alice Nicholls is a classically trained musician with folk instruments trying to be punk. Constantly popping out of the boxes she’s been shoved in, she strives to make her audiences just as delightedly confuddled as she is by never quite sticking to one style. A musical and lyrical chameleon, by turns political, poetical, profoundly personal and pretty damn absurd, Alice’s songs will capture your imagination from the first listen. If you think you know what acoustic music sounds like, this is the act that will prove you wrong.
“An acoustic delight” – Literary Ely
“Multi instrumentalist singer songwriting mega-genius!” – Goth City Promotions
“The unplugged answer to Imogen Heap” – Sidenote Productions
New album KIND QUIET RIOTS available now on Spotify/iTunes/Bandcamp
Superb vocalist, trained in Indian classical dance and music (sangeet Prabhakar), who excels in both Rabindrasangeet / Nazrulgeeti and Bengali -Hindi film / non film songs of new and old classics.
Sudipta runs her own music and dance school – Tunes & Rhytms.