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Cleveland Watkiss VocalSuite

29jun7:30 pm10:30 pmCleveland Watkiss VocalSuite

Event Details

Cleveland Watkiss MBE is a African/Caribbean/ British born multidisciplinary creative artist,virtuoso vocal explorer, actor and composer, and voice professor at Trinity Laban Music And Dance Conservatoire.

VocalSuite: A Solo Voice Performance
Wasn’t he awesome? What it takes us six to do he does all by himself.” (Take 6)

Using a breathtaking vocal range that makes seamless links between musical cultures, three times Wire/Guardian award-winning vocalist Cleveland Watkiss blends improvisation/counterpoint harmony, electronics, breakbeat loops and basslines (all live and from his mouth) to stunning effect, creating a unique, orchestral vocal soundscape.

VocalSuite is an elusive a cappella vocal improvisation performance that uses the atmosphere of venue, mood and interactivity of audience to present a performance of the moment; seamless links between musical cultures from Africa to Europe go together to create human vocal soundscapes. VocalSuite fuses voice and technology, using real-time looping to create live compositions. No two performances are ever the same.

Using technology to record, then layer the voice, an orchestral piece is created that is composed right before the audience. Sometimes Cleveland uses the audience as contributors to the piece, and he always reflects the mood and ambience of the space. The collaborations he has made reflect the diversity of the musical styles in the pieces, ranging from classical to African rhythm, to jazz and choral.

“It’s my personal understanding that given the right kind of encouragement we can all sing! Singing is not learned, it’s a gift we’re given. Sometimes that gift may get suppressed through bad teaching or discouraging words. My job is to give you the keys to unlock the song within you.”

Cleveland was the winner of the London Jazz Awards for Best Vocalist in 2010 and was voted Wire/Guardian Jazz Awards best vocalist for three consecutive years. In 2017 at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards he received the ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ award. He is also a nominee of the MOBO Awards, in Best Jazz Act category. For his services to music Watkiss was appointed an MBE in 2018 New Year Honours.

More recently in 2021, Watkiss received an Ivor Novello Award for *INNOVATION*


Price £



(Thursday) 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

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