Making their Stratford Circus Arts Centre debut this season is Collective X - a supergroup of musicians, poets and producers.
Conceived by vocalist and composer, Alya Al-Sultani in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum, Collective X explores race, identity and the black and minority ethnic experience. Subjects range from the fetishisation of the black body to the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod; from Tinder to sisterhood. Although themes of dispossession and oppression take centre stage, they approach these problems with sass, humour and wit and their irrepressible joy in music-making shines through.
Line-up: Alya Al-Sultani, Cleveland Watkiss, Neil Charles, Pat Thomas, Joshua Idehen, Clemens Christian Poetzsch, Dave Ital, Robert Menzel and Mark Sanders. Plus special guests Heidi Vogel, probably the greatest female jazz singer in this country, and classical Indian dancer Maryam Shakiba.
Joining Collective X is Cleveland Watkiss’ UK All Stars - an ensemble of some of the most prolific musicians active on the UK music scene today.
With sounds that combine dub, soul, reggae, drum & bass, jazz, grime, poetry, classical and pop, the band explores a very open approach to Improvisation and spontaneous composition - a sonic blend that can only come from the cosmopolitan epicentre that is the UK 2017. Be prepared to explore and journey with them to the unknown.
There will also be music from the super talented TriForce, a group of young musicians who mix jazz, hip hop and neo soul to create a fresh and explosive sound.