Alastair at my piano, underneath the hands of Monk.
We are thrilled to announce the special guests for the upcoming All Saints Session – a special late night ‘lock-in’ on Sat 22nd June 9.30pm, and the last session before the summer break.
Our guest musician is the legendary jazz and blues singer/songwriter and author Carol Grimes. Carol has been a major presence since her emergence onto the London folk and blues scene in the 60s, going on to front bands featuring a roll-call of the very finest British musicians, and recording over twenty albums. Alongside her busy jazz and blues career, she co-founded The Shout, a contemporary classical choir with Orlando Gough, qualified as a voice movement therapist working with troubled and terminally ill adults and young people, and started the Sing For Joy choir for Parkinsons and MS sufferers. In 2017 her autobiography ‘The Singer’s Tale’ was published. John Fordham in The Guardian writes: ‘Carol Grimes still emits the same fierce glow that has been her trademark since her R&B beginnings 30 years ago… A spine chillingly powerful singer rooted in the blues who embraces vocal ideas from outside the African-American tradition, Grimes is forthright, moving and imaginative.’
We are also honoured to be featuring the poet and performance artist Dorothea Smartt. Dorothea was born and brought up in London and is of Barbadian heritage. Her poetry features in several anthologies and journals as well as in the online Poetry Archive and typically bridges the islands of Britain and Barbados. Her first poetry collection Connecting Medium (2001) features poems from her performance works “Medusa” and “From You To Me To You.” Her second volume Ship Shape (2008) develops a pamphlet collection (2007) that was commissioned by Lancaster Litfest and the Slave Trades Art Memorial Project. In 2014 she published the chapbook collection Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On. In her forthcoming third collection she continues to rework standard narratives, this time examining same-sex relationships and cross-gender experiences among ‘West Indian’ workers on the Panama Canal in the early 20th century. She has worked with black women’s co-operatives in Brixton and has been a Poet in Residence at Brixton Market as well as a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College (University of London) and Leeds University. In 2016 she was honoured with a nomination for a Barbados Golden Jubilee Award and her collection Ship Shape was proposed as an ‘A’ Level English Literature text. In the words of Carol Boyce Davies, the eminent black feminist scholar of migration and diaspora, ‘Dorothea Smartt reveals a poetic intelligence and maturity of form and content which definitely locates her among the best of her generation of poets.’
As usual you can expect the unexpected from our Sessions and we are very excited to discover what the collaboration between Cheryl’s dynamic and performative poetry, Alastair’s immersive electronic atmospheres, and our very special guests, will bring to this midsummer’s evening.