Thursday 9 May 2024, 7.30pm

Photo by D Djric

Elaine Mitchener – with Petals + Shamica Ruddock + Neil Charles + Mark Sanders + Xhosa Cole + Pat Thomas + Gaika+ Mandhira de Saram

No Longer Available

Please note performances will begin at 8:15pm.

Thrilled to host a two-day residency with experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer, Elaine Mitchener, to mark the release of her first ever solo LP, Solo Throat, released on Otoroku.

Elaine Mitchener is a veteran of vocal expression in the global Black Avant Garde, traversing free improvisation, cross-disciplinary music theatre and contemporary composition with clarity and joy. Drawing on the work of African-American and African-Caribbean poets Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Aimé Césaire, Una Marson and N. H. Pritchard, the twelve new vocal compositions on Solo Throat disrupt semantic sense, play with the margins of lyrical translation and give rise to new voicings. 

This special two-day residency centres on the spirit of sonic and physical experimentation / improvisatory encounters in response to - or away from - some texts by Afro-diasporic poets that have inspired Elaine's work, as well as an opportunity for people to play together who wouldn’t normally do so from the world of dance, poetry, music, visual art. Not to be missed!

Elaine Mitchener

Elaine Mitchener is a British Afro-Caribbean vocalist, movement artist and composer working between contemporary / experimental new music, free improvisation and visual art. She is currently a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist; was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow (2022) and was an exhibiting artist in the British Art Show 9 (2021-22). In February 2022 Mitchener was awarded an MBE for Services to Music. Elaine is founder of the collective electroacoustic unit The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles). Her regular collaborators include: composers George E Lewis, Jennifer Walshe, and Tansy Davies; visual artists Sonia Boyce, Christian Marclay and The Otolith Group; chamber ensembles Apartment House, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble MAM, Ensemble Klang, and Klangforum Wien; choreographer Dam van Huynh’s company; and experimental musicians such as Moor Mother, Loré Lixenberg, Saul Williams, Pat Thomas and David Toop. While developing her own projects, Elaine continues to work as a collaborative and interpretive singer.

Petero Kalulé (petals)

petals is a composer, poet, and multi-instrumentalist. petals is interested in play, improvisation, gathering, sound, and the potentialities of dreaming.
Her first collection of poems Kalimba was published by Guillemot Press in May 2019; and marsh-river-raft- feather, a second collection, in collaboration with Clarissa Alvarez, was published by Guillemot Press in May 2021. A new collection & glee & bless is forthcoming with Guillemot Press in 2024.

Shamica Ruddock

Shamica Ruddock is an artist working with sound and moving image. Previous presentations include festivals Margate Now (UK), Abandon Normal Devices (UK); group shows with the Barbican (UK), Durham Gallery (CA) and live performances at Silent Green (DE) and Madeira Dig (PT) alongside long time collaborator Hannan Jones. Solo shows also include Treasure Hill Artist Village (2019, TW) and South London Gallery (2022, UK). Shamica has held residencies with QO2 (BE), and was previously an Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow at the British Library researching Maroon sound cultures.

Neil Charles

Neil Charles is one of the most in-demand musicians on the scene, with a huge array of credits to his name, including Jack DeJohnette, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Mingus Big Band, Jose James, Jerry Dammers, Courtney Pine, and Terence Blanchard. His own projects have included Zed U, with Shabaka Hutchings and Tom Skinner, and the more recent ensemble Dark Days, dealing with the work of James Baldwin. Most recently, he has been heard across the international scene with Gabriels. As well as being known as a bass player with a huge sound and immaculate sense of time, he is equally renowned as a producer, going by the alias Ben Marc.

"Bassist Neil Charles went flying, from the first moment filling the space with the sound of his mighty wings Henning Bolte," – Europe Jazz Media Chart

Mark Sanders

Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.

In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.

Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.

"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY

Xhosa Cole

Xhosa Cole (tenor sax) is one of the new rising stars of British Jazz. BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018, Xhosa went on to win numerous awards and to appear onstage alongside jazz legends. He has performed twice at the BBC Proms, composed music for the Flatpack Film Festival, recorded saxophone for Mahalia’s debut album, and with his own quartet has toured the UK far and wide. Following his celebrated debut album K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us (2021), Cole’s new project and album release Ibeji features a series of saxophone and percussion duets, alongside pieces of conversation and interview between Cole and his seven collaborators, all eminent percussionists of African descent, all woven into the narrative of the album. Xhosa’s exposure to players from a range of different traditions, combined with his strong connection to his inner-city community in Birmingham (UK), has helped to develop a fiercely unique and independent voice.

“The 26-year-old tenor saxophonist/composer is a British sensation and proves that he’s here for blood with this release … He’s got technique, talent, artistry and a burning desire that shows throughout the set.” - Downbeat

Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill. 

"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann 


Born out of his travels through the many global currents of contemporary London, GAIKA’s music is dark yet melodic, experimental yet catchy. While drawing strongly from his Brixton upbringing and his Jamaican and Grenadian heritage, GAIKA’s sound is ultimately expansive, seamlessly weaving musical motifs, vocal flows and slangs of UK, US and Caribbean music.

As both a vocalist and producer, GAIKA is as uncompromising in his politics as his sonics, intent on expanding and exploding the ideas of what contemporary black british music is. From his debut mixtape Machine in 2015 all the way to his debut LP on Warp Records Basic Volume, GAIKA is channeling the unique synthesis of the UK’s musical make-up, firmly at the forefront of a new London.

Mandhira de Saram

Mandhira is a versatile violinist performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral violinist in the UK and abroad.  She is a founding member and the leader of the Ligeti Quartet, a young string quartet which has established a reputation as a leading dynamic and imaginative force in contemporary and modern music. She graduated with 1st class honours from the University of Oxford achieving  a high 1st in performance and winning the Worcester College Arts Prize for the highest result in an arts subject.

International solo and chamber music tours have taken her around Europe as well as the USA, India, China and her country of origin, Sri Lanka.  She has performed at prestigious festivals and venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre and St Johns Smith Square in London and the Carnegie Hall in New York.

Her repertoire is varied consisting of standard classical works as well as free improvisation and original projects often involving collaborations with contemporary composers, sound artists and musicians from a variety of genres outside classical music.  With  her quartet she has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Meilyr Jones, Shabaka Hutchings, Laura Jurd, Kerry Andrew, Sean Noonan, and, following a tour to China and Hong Kong,  has collaborated with leading Hong Kong DJ Choi Sai Ho and Japanese sound artist mamoru.

Mandhira was born in London.  After completing her primary education in Sri Lanka, she was awarded a music scholarship to North London Collegiate School where she completed her secondary education.  She was also a Leverhulme Scholar at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she performed both as a violinist and pianist, also taking classes in composition and conducting.  Her violin teachers have included Igor Petrushevsky, Howard Davis and Levon Chilingirian.