Shirley Smart Trio: North African, Middle Eastern & Balkan infused jazz

Shirley Smart Trio Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club

Date: Fri 17th May
Doors: 7:30pm
Show 8:30pm

“some of the most inventive use of the cello I’ve heard for some time.” – Kind of Jazz

“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

Shirley Smart’s trio draws on a rich tapestry of musical influences drawn from 10 years spent living in Jerusalem in the overlapping worlds of North African, Arabic, Balkan music and jazz. Featuring two leading lights of the world/jazz scene and long-time collaborators, John Crawford on piano and Demi Garcia Sabat on drums/percussion, the trio are currently touring the UK with the critically acclaimed album ‘Long Story Short’.

They have also performed at festivals around the UK and Europe, including the London Jazz Festival, Aberjazz, Birmingham and Scarborough Jazz Festivals, Vivacello, Moscow, and Biennale Festival at Bimhuis, Amsterdam. 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 classical music and her music draws upon this infusion of influences.

Shirley Smart

Shirley Smart is celebrated as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists, adept in jazz, Middle Eastern music, and classical. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music under Raphael Wallfisch and in Paris with Janos Starker, she moved to Jerusalem for a decade. There, she immersed herself in the region’s musical traditions, collaborating with artists like Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, and Yasmin Levy. Since returning to the UK, Smart has become a sought-after unique performer, working with Mulatu Astatke, Maya Youssef, Neil Cowley, and Robert Mitchell, and leading her own projects. Her trio album “Long Story Short,” released in 2018, earned critical acclaim.

She is involved in several current projects, including Issie Barratt’s Interchange Dectet and Nikki Yeoh’s trio project Cafe Oran, with performances at prestigious venues like Ronnie Scott’s. In 2022, she released the duo album “Zeitgeist²” with Robert Mitchell.

Smart’s trio has been featured at numerous festivals, including the Cheltenham Festival, EFG London Jazz Festival, and international events like the Vivacello Festival in Moscow. As a dedicated educator, she is Professor of Musicianship and Improvisation at the Royal College of Music and teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, delivering workshops at several respected institutions.

Line Up

Shirley Smart – Cello
John Crawford – Piano
Adam Teixeira – Drums


  • Date : Fri, 17 May
  • Time : 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm (Europe/London)
  • Venue : Jazz Club
  • Doors Open: 7:30 pm
  • Start Time: 8:30 pm

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