I am delighted to have been invited, to take part in the New Writing Literary Showcase Finale, to read my poetry along side Tim Grayson and Shruti Chauhan. It is most timely that Farhana Sheikh Editor & Publisher of Dahlia publishing, has organised Leicesters first New Writing Festival, with the support of partners ranging from local universities,e.g. Centre for New Writing & De Montfort Indian Summer, etc. The Festival offers a number of national and international literary stars in attendance. This truly reflects a city now with a flourishing literary scene and the focus on new writing is well judged.
The festival offers a number of important, how to do writing events, e.g Short Story Writing, and TV etc, as well as discussions, Q & A with Writers, and readings/performances. All the events take place in and around the vibrant Leicester Cultural Quarter, so easily accessed with its attractive lively Cafe Bars to visit in between. I am sure this new Festival will lead to bigger and greater things in the future for literature and the city.
Its an exciting time and I am really looking forward to my guest performance with the exciting vibrant young musicians of the Funk Soul Collective Band from Leicester, at the Jazz Cafe Camden in London !!! Our last performance at the Donkey Venue in Leicester, was off the hook – at least three encores, its wonder the audience let us off the stage that night.
Its awhile since I last sang in London and I hope to see some music arts, old friends and colleagues. Back in the day, on the advice of a Leicester, music colleague Rob Charles Saxophonist/Arranger, I would travel to London to learn Jazz at Community Music in Hoxton, so big props to Alan Weekes and Claude Deppa who helped me, the only female vocalist in the music group (lots of Horn players) to get my chops there. I love singing with horns and still, do as the Funk Soul Collective has a hot horn section.
For me back then Camden was a place… to Jazz Dance at Dingwalls, or see Jazz Funk Soul bands, I remember seeing bands e.g. featuring Bukky Leo saxophonist and the singer Skin at that venue. Then later I would sing at Camden’s first Jazz Festival organized by Double Edge Theatre at the time. What a thrill it was to perform on the same bill with Jalal from The Last Poets, Steve Williamson . There were great nights too at WKD Cafe where I meet fabulous singers like, Jean Carne, Sarah Anne Webb, Mary Pearce, Martine Giroult and many others. Later in the 80’s I got into House music and went on a big journey with that, playing all over the world, including many of the big venues in London too. So being in London Ol’Smoke again, to bring our good vibes, I just know its going to be firing’ !
Tickets available here: