jewels of nile 

Jewels of the Nile is a new series presented by Shirley Smart, and Nolias 11 featuring world music and folk and world influenced jazz reflecting both the diversity of music in London, and also the new and creative ways in which artists are exploring their roots and experiences to produce new sounds.

The series will feature a mixture of traditional music and contemporary developments of traditional materials, and begins with some dynamic new string trio Spectrum. It also features two of the UK’s rising stars of jazz vocals, Alice Zawadski and Emilia Martensson, plus North African and Middle Eastern grooves from Melange. More great artists to come, so please watch this space!!!

 Upcoming shows:

Thursday 18th April: Melange
Thursday 25th April: Jazz Ailleur

Spectrum TrioSPECTRUM

Spectrum is a string ensemble comprising three of the UK's top improvising string players. Their repetoire extends from jazz, to pop, folk and world music all bought to life with dynamic arrangements and lively improvising and interaction. Violinist Richard Jones, described by NME as 'a fiddle player who manages to make his instrument sound sexy!' is a specialist in blues and jazz, while cellist Shirley Smart has an extensive background in North African and Middle Eastern music as well as jazz improvisation, and has performed at festivals all over the UK and internationally. Bass player Dermot McNeill grew up in a rich Irish folk tradition as a singer and electric bass player before turning to acoustic double bass and jazz. The combination of these three unique and diverse backgrounds coupled with their virtuostic and sensitive improvisational abilities makes this an exciting new group to hear.

Website :

Melange 4MELANGE

Formed by jazz and world music cellist Shirley Smart on returning from 10 years in Jerusalem playing and studying the musics of the region, Melange seamlessly blend popular North African rai and chaabi songs, Gnawa music of the South Moroccan desert, exotic Middle Eastern and Turkish melodies and improvisations, Central Asian folk melodies, and across to the firey Tango of Argentina and the street Choro of Brazil with jazz-influenced improvisation into their own unique sound and take on traditional repertoire.

Recent performances include the National Theatre Foyer, Vortex Jazz Club, the Forge, Green Note, Rich Mix, QuecumBar, Hackney Attic, Jamboree, SOAS and Notre Dame and Oxford Universities.

Their line-up also features the rarely heard traditional Arabic Oud, along with cello, guitar and percussion, and extends from an intimate acoustic set with the small group to a 7-piece band, which incorporates trumpet, saxophone and bass.

Website :

The JazzAilleursThe JazzAilleurs

The JazzAilleurs play a breathtakingly roots blend of Gnawa, Chaabi,
and Andalusian Music, drawing on the rich musical traditions of jazz,
blues and North African music. Built around the original compositions of
Algerian oud player Yaz Fentazi, JazzAilleurs’s irresistible grooves and
vibrant rhythms create a sizzling party atmosphere that will soon have
any audience on its feet. Featuring Chris Jerome (piano), Eric Ford
(drums) and Zad Adda (bass).

YAZ FENTAZI: The Guardian has described Yaz Fentazi’s
compositions as having “breadth and atmosphere, and his oud soloing,
which recalls the drive and dynamism of world Oud star Anouar
Brahem, is often stunning." He was invited to perform record and tour
with the Master Drummers of Africa, Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin),
Natacha Atlas, Transglobal Underground,Peter Ind, and the main
composer of Fantazia Band and more.

CHRIS JEROME: Pianist Chris Jerome, a dynamic, versatile pianist has
performed and recorded with a multitude of ground-breaking artists in
the realms of jazz, R&B, world music and hip hop including Tom Jones,
Lionel Ritchie, Sister Sledge, Courtney Pine, Osibisa and others.

ERIC FORD: Drummer Eric Ford has played a huge variety of music
including fusion with Hadrien Feraud (of John McLaughlin's band), Latin
jazz with Irvin Acao (of Irakere), soul with Ruby Turner, contemporary
jazz with Duncan Eagles' Partikel, Nicolas Meier and many others, as
well as theatre shows, pop, rock, blues and much else!

ZAD ADDA: Zad Adda is a virtuoso bass player who grew up with a mix
of cultures including North African music, jazz and flamenco. He studied
jazz at the Academy of Marseille and he’s the leader and composer of
the Beessap Band, based in London.

You can only imagine the result when these masters combine!


Emilia MartenssonAlice ZawadskiEMILIA MARTENSSON and ALICE ZAWADKSI

A celebration of all things folk! Two of the rising stars of UK jazz, and most expressive exploers and interpreters of song, Emilia Martensson and Alice Zawadski explore their roots through British, Polish and Scandinavian folk songs. With Danish bassist Andreas Lang and British guitarist Moss Freed. There’ll be everything from wistful delicate ballads to drunken sing-alongs, fast-fiddling to oom-cha-chas.

Websites : and


Strong melodies, jazz harmonies and a potent sense of nostalgia are some of the words associated with the music of Last Summer’s Tealights. Three of the band’s members spent their formative years as music students honing their jazz chops in various fusion bands, but have since calmed down a bit and formed a band that is altogether different.

The idea for LST was conceived through a series of saxophone and marimba duets composed during a winter in Scotland, which were eventually expanded under more southern skies. Part classical, part folk, part pop, part hymnal, the music is a peculiar hotchpotch of shared influences.

The inclusion of an open-minded, improvising cellist was always considered a necessity, and after scrabbling around for a while the band stumbled across the incredible talent that is Shirley Smart. Her extensive experience in jazz, world and classical genres has added yet more intrigue to the band’s curious mixture of styles.

Website :

Music from 8:30pm
Entry - £5
£27 Dinner & Jazz package - 2 course meal in The Conservatory then performance in The Music Room (click here for sample menu)