Free improvisation with an exceptional cello and wind duo, drawing on jazz, Middle Eastern music, as well as classical music.

Shirley Smart – cello

James Arben – tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute

James and Shirley met whilst working with Ethiopian vibes master Mulatu Astatke, and quickly discovered a shared interest in the possibilities of free improvisation that drew on their common interests and aesthetic, as well as musical dialogue and interaction in a free setting. They'll be performing in the lovely Barn at St John's College.

Shirley is recognised as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists – being equally at home and well versed in jazz and Middle Eastern music, as well as classical music. She has worked with many leading jazz and world music groups, including Antonio Forcione, Mulato Astatke, Gilad Atzmon, Neil Cowley, Julian Ferraretto, Robert Mitchell, and Alice Zawadski. James is a multi-instrumentalistand and a versatile creative musician. He's performed with a vast array of artists, including Alexander Hawkins, Seb Rochford, producer Tony Visconti, St Etienne, Robert Plant, and The Hackney Colliery Band.

This event is part of OCM's Warneford series in partnership with Artscape. Shirley and James will lead a workshop in the Warneford Hospital for service users (closed to the public) ahead of their evening public performance at The Barn at St John's College.

James Arben
Shirely Smart
James Arben
Shirley Smart
This event is free (ticketed) with donations to Artscape welcomed. Artscape is an innovative arts project at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Artscape aims to provide opportunities for mental health service users, their carers and trust staff to engage with the arts.