Date:
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  • Event Start: 8:00 pm
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  • Under 25's: £10
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Newly signed to the legendary ECM label, musical polymath Alice Zawadzki brings her captivating, open-spirited work to NAC for a keenly-awaited gig and workshop.

Inhabiting their own stylistic realm which encompasses Mediterranean folk song, chamber music, improvisation and the world of acoustic jazz, this trio comprises award-winning singer, violinist and songwriter Alice; multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Fred Thomas; and jazz bassist and composer Misha Mullov-Abbado. The clear empathy and synergy harnessed by these three musicians is the result of almost a decade’s work together. Their acoustic chamber music is guided by a special emphasis on intimacy, delicacy of sound and space, and subtle interaction.

Alice has earned across-the-board plaudits for China Lane and Within You Is A World Of Spring, her two fiercely inventive albums for Whirlwind Recordings. The latter, with contributions from Fred and Misha, featured in Jazzwise’s top 20 albums list for 2019, the magazine opining that it was “both tender in spirit and defiantly anti-genre, hooking her all-embracing vision to a questing musical curiosity and the freedom inherent in jazz… Zawadzki’s violin-playing is flowing, fluttering, generous, but it’s her jazz-honed vocals that really impress. A cornucopia of delights.”

A truly limitless artist, Alice was also on a shortlist of three in the 2024 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, recognising ‘the outstanding quality and scope’ of her performances. She has appeared as soloist with the City of London Sinfonia and Prague Philharmonic.

Alice said of her latest work: “Collected on our travels and taught to us by our friends, these are songs we have learnt and loved together. Though our musical and cultural backgrounds encompass Europe, Russia and South America, we were all three born in England. This happenstance was the product of love, war, exile, the arbitrariness of borders and the yearning for a new life – all themes which are themselves woven through the narratives you’ll hear within. Gathered from Argentina, France, Venezuela, Poland and the deep well of Sephardic culture, these folk tales speak to the moon, the mountains, the rain, the madness of humans and the prophecies of birds.

“Our trio relies entirely on the intimacy of deep listening and a trust in our long-standing friendship. The discovery of what each song wanted to be was a patient process of contemplation, omission and distillation of ideas, animated by the flexibility of our instrumentation: voice, (prepared) piano, double bass, violin, vielle and percussion. Recorded under the nurturing eyes and ears of both ECM founder Manfred Eicher and the majestic Lugano Alps, in a concert hall whose unique acoustic encourages space and delicacy of sound, we strived to be both free and controlled, to tread softly, and to summon the night. It is in this spirit that we invite our audience to share with us the special atmosphere of these timeless songs.”

The gig will be preceded by a free workshop for women singers at NAC from 3pm, limited to ten spaces.
Those wishing to take part should email s.bradley667@hotmail.com, indicating a piece of music they wish to work on with Alice and her group, from across the areas of jazz, pop, musical theatre or folk – covers or originals! Participants should by the deadline of Saturday 7 September provide, to the above email address, either sheet music, or a sound clip indicating the key in which they wish to sing.

Here are a few encouraging words from Alice about the workshop, presented with the support of Arts Council England:

“I’m so looking forward to meeting everyone and creating a beautiful afternoon together! Please consider this time as if you were in a friend’s living room. Feel at home and don’t be afraid to come as you are. However much experience you have or don’t have, we will meet you with warmth wherever you’re at, and delve deeply into the songs you bring. My aim is that you will leave with a new-found enthusiasm for singing and the confidence to keep going! Alice Z x”

A ‘supergroup’ trio… of mesmerising intensity London Jazz News

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