Shirley Smart Sextet

Since returning from Jerusalem, Smart has established herself firmly on both the jazz and world music scenes since moving back to London, working with artists including Mulatu Astatke, Neil Cowley, Robert Mitchell, Misha Mullov-Abaddo, Nikki Yeoh and Alice Zawadzki. Current projects in which she is involved also include Issie Barratt's Interchange Dectet, which releases its debut album 'Donna's Secret' in 2020 2019, and Nikki Yeoh's trio project Cafe Oran which debuted at the Ronnie Scotts International Piano Trio Festival in 2019, and will also be opening for Avishai Cohen at the Barbican at the 2021 London Jazz Festival. She also appears as a guest on the upcoming NYJO album, and a duo album with pianist Robert Mitchell is planned for release later in 2021 on Discus records.

Shirley has appeared at numerous festivals in the UK and abroad and recent highlights with Long Story Short include the Cheltenham Festival, EFG London Jazz Festival, Birmingham Jazz Festival and Vivacello Festival in Moscow. Upcoming performances include the Rye Arts Festival and Bimhuis, Amsterdam. 

She is also a keen educator, and has given workshops for the National Youth Jazz Collective, Jazzlines, Trinity Laban and Kent University, She teaches Jazz and Improvisation at the RCMJD, and is Head of Performance at City University.

Press :

' A sound world that is at once rooted in the ancient and traditional  musics that it draws from in an utterly contemporary manner that also incorporates modern jazz.' Jazzviews

'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 line....

Fascinating listening, and thought-provoking entertainment for the open-eared"The Arts Desk

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

"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 influences" World Music Central


Line Up: Shirley Smart – cello, John Crawford – piano, Charlotte Keefe  - trumpet,  James Arben - tenor sax/flute, Michele Montoli - bass & Demi Garcia Sabat- drums/percussion.