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5 February 2023 @ 7:01 pm - 9:00 pm


Shirley Smart is acknowledged as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists. Equally at home and well versed in jazz, folk, Middle Eastern and World Music, as well as classical, she makes her SoundCellar debut with her trio featuring John Crawford on piano and Demi Garcia Sabat on drums/percussion.

Click here for tickets to attend the physical gig.
Livestream Ticket link below

PLEASE NOTE 7pm start time.

Originally trained under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music, and Janos Starker in Paris, Shirley subsequently moved to Jerusalem, 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 and with SoundCellar ‘graduates’ Gilad Atzmon, Robert Mitchell, Misha Mullov-Abbado and Alice Zawadzki.

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

She is a keen educator, and is Head of Performance and Lecturer in Music at City University, as well as teaching Jazz and Improvisation for the RCMJD and LPMAM. She also gives frequent workshops for organisations such as the National Youth Jazz Collective, Jazzlines,  and Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Shirley’s trio draws on her eclectic background to bring together her jazz, blues and world music influences. She is joined by John Crawford, one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists, who shares her interest in Latin and world influenced jazz, and long term collaborator, and flamenco master Demi Garcia Sabat.

” Shirley Smart can now be considered one of the best improvising cellists in the UK” The 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

“Smart’s 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 influences” World Music Central

Shirley Smart – cello
John Crawford – piano
Demi Garcia Sabat – drums/percussion

The livestream will be broadcast on YouTube, via a page available when you purchase a ticket through the link below.

All advance ticket buyers will receive an exclusive link to a video of the evening’s performance, available for one month



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5 February 2023
7:01 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories:


United Kingdom + Google Map


15% pre-show food discount at The Grasshopper. Our regular host The Grasshopper, is kindly offering a 15% discount on food from their restaurant prior to every SoundCellar gig! Just show your ticket for that evening’s performance (the ticket QR code on your phone, or a printout). A table must be booked here or tel: 01202 741463 and food orders placed at least 60 minutes prior to the start time of the gig (eg by 7pm for a 8pm start).

(2) For young people: (i) U18s – FREE entry when accompanied by an adult; (ii) Age 18 to 25 – entry £10 (with NUS / TOTEM card). Simply select the relevant ticket option when booking. The offers are available for most of our gigs – please check individual listings for details. They are subject to seat availability, so for some gigs, it’s best to book early to avoid disappointment.

Parking is free at The Grasshopper but you must register your vehicle at the bar.