Shirley Smart 'Long Story Short'

Thursday 27th February 2020

Tickets: £15.00 

Doors: 7.00pm

Show: 8.00pm-10.00pm

Trailblazing cellist and composer Shirley Smart returns to Hampstead Jazz Club with her North-African and world influenced jazz trio.

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists, Shirley 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.

Originally trained under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music, and Janos Starker in Paris, she subsequently moved to Jerusalem, where she where she studied and performed and absorbed the rich and overlapping worlds of North African, Arabic, Turkish and Balkan music as well as jazz, working with some of the region’s leading artists, including Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, Khaled Jubran, Sabreen and Yasmin Levy.

Since returning to the UK, Shirley has quickly garnered a formidable reputation with her own groups and has worked with many leading jazz and World Music artists, including Antonio Forcione, Mulatu Astatke, Gilad Atzmon, Issie Barratt’s ‘Interchange’, Neil Cowley, Robert Mitchell and Alice Zawadzki.

Her debut album ‘Long Story Short’, released in 2018, was critically acclaimed, and she has since have performed at festivals around the UK and Europe, including the London Jazz Festival, and Vivacello, Moscow. Highlights for 2020 the Biennale Festival at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Birmingham Jazz Festival and a UK tour.

She is also a keen educator and has given workshops for the National Youth Jazz Collective, Jazzlines, Trinity Laban and Kent University as well as teaching Jazz and Improvisation for the RCMJD and City University.

Press Reviews:

Shirley Smart can now be considered one of the best improvising cellists in the UKThe Jazzmann

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

As a cellist-composer she morphs seamlessly from Stephane Grappelli like swing and Bird-like bebop…a charming kaleidoscope and jazzy showcase of her global folk music-inspired compositions’ Jazzwise

Intense, lyrical and full of energy….A thrilling range on technique on display…Smart’s cello singing, snarling or pumping out bass lines….fascinating listening, and thought-provoking entertainment for the open-eared” The Arts Desk

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 influencesWorld Music Central


Shirley Smart – Cello

Liam Dunachie  – Piano

Demi Garcia Sabat –  Drums

Please note, The Club is not licensed to allow access to Children under the age of 16 after 9pm, so for evening performances, please do not book tickets for children under the age of 16. Children aged 16 and above are welcome at any time. No dogs allowed in the Jazz Club.
Seats are not numbered and you will be seated at available tables. Please note tables seat 4 people, so for bookings of less than 4 people, you will be seated and share a table for 4.Please NOTE, there is NO food served in the Jazz Club, there is a bar for drinks. We advise booking a table for dinner at the Duke of Hamilton upstairs at least 1hr before show-time – Book Here

This is a fully seated event.  Seats are not numbered and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.


Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm

Share this event