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Shirley Smart Shirley Smart

Shirley Smart

Shirley Smart has had a varied and unusual career. After a studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she performed with the LSO and gave a concert of trios with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Barbican, and masterclass study in Paris with Janos Starker, in Switzerland, at the International Menuhin Academy, Gstaad and IMS Prussia Cove in Cornwall, she left the UK for Israel. Although she initially went for a year, Shirley became involved with a great many musical projects, and met many musicians and friends, and ended up staying for 10 years. She joined Moroccan jazz fusion group Sound of the Ground - the result of a chance meeting in a Jerusalem restaurant, which led to many other projects playing jazz and Arabic, Oriental and North African music with artists including Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, Sabreen, Tarshika Orchestra, Khaled Jubran, Radio Effendi, al-Farabi Trio, Maurice El-Mediouni, and oud players Bilal Irshed, Haytham Safia and Nizar Rohana. She also studied jazz improvisation on cello and piano at the Jerusalem Centre Creative Music, run by saxophone player Arnie Lawrence, and subsequently joined his both band, and several other jazz fusion projects. She has toured most of Europe, Russia, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco as well as playing all over Israel and Palestine ( and occasionally getting caught in the crossfire….) Shirley also studied musicology and English Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was a tutor of Cello for several years at the Edward Said Conservatory of Music in Ramallah

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” Shirley Smart can now be considered one of the best improvising cellists in the UK” The JazzMann

“..some of the most inventive use of the cello I’ve heard for some time.” Kind of Jazz

”Smarts playing is particularly remarkable throughout. 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

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