Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate, we thought we’d throw a spotlight on some of the incredible female artists we have performing at Colston Hall over the coming months – some you’ll know, some you won’t – but they are all boundary-breaking artists in their fields. Get to know…

Laura Marling

Thu 9 Mar (sold out) 

A talented and prolific artist, Laura Marling has had praise heaped upon her for her latest work, Semper Femina, her sixth studio album in a little over nine years. The work explores her keen, freshly observed take on womanhood. She explains: “I started out writing Semper Femina as if a man was writing about a woman, and then I thought; “it’s not a man, it’s me”. I don’t need to pretend it’s a man to justify the intimacy, or the way I’m looking and feeling about women. It’s me looking specifically at women and feeling great empathy towards them, and by proxy, towards myself”.

Check out the video for Soothing, from Semper Femina, and Marling’s directorial debut:

Yazz Ahmed

Sun 19 Mar

In the wake of her 2011 debut album Finding My Way Home, British-Bahraini trumpet and flugelhorn player Yazz Ahmed has emerged as a distinctive and intelligent soloist and composer. Playing alongside jazz royalty like Toshiko Akiyoshi, Kenny Wheeler, Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine while heading up her own septet and recording and performing with international heavyweights like Radiohead and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Ahmed has proved herself time and again to be an accomplished, versatile and exciting musician.

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Devon Sproule

Sat 25 Mar 

Devon Sproule is a Canadian/American musician living in rural Virginia, raised on eco-villages near Kingston, Ontario and Louisa, Virginia. Since 2007, Sproule’s recordings have been released by Tin Angel Records, based in Coventry, England. “Her quirky affectations bring to mind Bjork” says Village Voice, while Finacial Times declares that  “Sproule’s lyrics glance off each other arrestingly, juxtaposing images.”

Her short, lush LP “Gold String’ – recorded in 2015 in three different Canadian provinces, Yukon, Ontario, and Nova Scotia — is “North American music with weirdo roots”.

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Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra

Thu 30 Mar 

Pianist Kate Simko’s training in classical and jazz playing feeds directly into her lively multidisciplinary approach to composition. As the founder of the London Electronic Orchestra, this impressive ensemble marries her twin passions: live orchestral performance and electronic music.

Simko performs in The Lantern as the culmination of Sound Industry Conference, a brand new conference programme designed to offer a platform for lively debate and fresh ideas on the music industry, hosted by Bristol Women in Music. Find out more here:

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Ibibio Sound Machine

Fri 31 Mar (sold out)

Ibibio Sound Machine is fronted by British-Nigerian vocalist Eno Williams. Williams weaves stories told to her in childhood in the Ibibio language, into a mellifluous mash-up of 1970s and 80s West African highlife, disco, post-punk and psychedelic electro soul.

Since their self-titled debut album was released in 2014, Ibibio Sound Machine took the festival scene by storm, and with a second album just released they play another sold out show in The Lantern later this month.

Brooke Sharkey

Fri 7 Apr

Anglo-French songstress Brooke Sharkey performs on a double bill with Cornwall’s Winter Mountain. Named as one of the Guardian’s ‘Future 50’ independent artists in 2016, Brooke’s compelling songs simmer with unresolved tension and create a sense of yearning compounded by the quiet, potent power in her captivating delivery.

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Mica Levi

Fri 14 Apr

Mica Levi is rapidly becoming one of the most acclaimed composers for film in recent years, most recently garnering significant acclaim and a 2017 Oscar nomination for her soundtrack to the Jackie Kennedy biopic, Jackie. Previously known as a DJ and for her band Micachu and the Shapes, Levi found international fame after the release of Jonathan Glazer’s 2014 film Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson, for which she composed the score. Levi’s intoxicating soundtrack earned a BAFTA nomination for it’s contribution to the film’s chillingly ethereal power.

Levi conducts the London Sinfonietta in a live performance of the Under the Skin score, alongside a live screening of the film on Friday 14 April.

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Laetitia Sadier

Fri 21 Apr

Laetitia Sadier first achieved recognition as the lead singer of Stereolab, whose lounge-pop, bossa nova, film music, and Krautrock influences, combined with hypnotic vocals and leftist lyrics, made the band a distinctive presence throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. Having struck out on solo work in 2010, she plays The Lantern with the newly-formed Source Ensemble, delivering synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings and the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy.

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Thu 25 May 
Pop legend Anastacia – the mega voice behind massive hits including ‘I’m Outta Love’ and ‘Left Outside Alone’ has sold over 30 million records sold worldwide, Anastacia is one of the most recognisable voices of our time. Anastacia, who has fought breast cancer twice, announced a partnership with Cancer Research UK, has said that she wants to give back as much as she can to help fund research into the disease.

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Zoe Rahman + Jay Phelps Quartet

Sun 4 Jun 

Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, British /Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Her solo release ‘Dreamland’ (2016) was praised as “a powerful testament to this fine pianist’s growing authority” (The Guardian).

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Tue 13 Jun

Composer, performer and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith absorbs and distills the sounds of the natural world around her to create blossoming three-dimensional soundscapes. Originally from Orcas Island in Northwestern Washington, she studied composition and sound engineering at Berklee College of Music, where she was part of indie-folk group Ever Isles. when she returned to Orcas Island a neighbour introduced her to the Buchla Music Easel synthesiser, leading her to experiment with new compositional and production styles.

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Idina Menzel

Wed 14 Jun 
Called “the Streisand of her generation” by The Denver Post, Idina is probably best known as the voice behind Elsa in Disney’s global box office smash Frozen, in which she sings the film’s Oscar-winning song ‘Let It Go’ .  Idina earned her first Tony nomination as Maureen in the Pulitzer Prize Winner Rent, and won the award for her performance as Elphaba in ‘Wicked’. After releasing her fifth solo studio album ‘idina.’ last autumn, Tony Award-winning superstar Idina Menzel returns to the UK as part of her global spring &summer tour.

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