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Newham Acoustic: Bezique

June 21 @ 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Three people with instruments

Experience a week of classical, jazz and folk music with Newham Music and BTL Jazz.

From 17-21 June, enjoy a series of free concerts at Newham Music Hub: Westfield Stratford City, at 1-1.45pm and 4-4.45pm daily.

Bring your lunch or a coffee and drop in – no booking required.


Bezique – Nu-Gypsy Acoustic Jazz

Tobie Medland – Violin

Peter Michaels – Guitar

Shirley Smart – Cello

Bezique perform a variety of acoustic jazz and café music from around the world. Their repertoire includes music by Django Reinhardt, Richard Galliano, Bireli Lagrene, and others, as well as original compositions. They also incorporate an occasional rarely heard North African flavour to their repertoire through the inclusion of works by the Algerian chaabi pianist Maurice el-Medioni, giving them a uniquely cosmopolitan sound on the UK gypsy jazz scene.

Upcoming performances include Aberjazz Festival and Brasserie Zedel in London.

Their debut album is expected in 2025.


Tobie Medland – Violin

London born Tobie Medland studied at the Royal College of Music, before continuing to study Composition and Philosophy at the University of Leeds. He founded and curates the Gypsy Jazz Festival of London, and has performed with many of Europe’s leading figures in the Gypsy Jazz world, including Fapy Lafertin, Olli Soikelli and Dave Kelbie.

He leads his own trio, Skylark, and larger band The Aviary, which launched their first album at the Vortex jazz club in 2023. 


Shirley Smart – Cello

Shirley Smart 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.

Originally trained under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music, and Janos Starker in Paris, she subsequently moved to Jerusalem, where she remained for 10 years, studying and performing a wide variety of musical traditions from the North Africa, Turkey and Middle East. She was also highly active on the jazz scene, working with artists including Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and Yasmin Levy. Since returning to the UK, she has quickly become known as one of the most creative cellists on the music scene and 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. 

Shirley is Professor of Musicianship and Improvisation at the Royal College of Music in London, and a Lecturer in Music at Kent University. She also teaches at Trinity Laban and the RCM Junior Department. She is a visiting tutor for the National Youth Jazz Collective, and an in demand workshop leader.

She leads her own trio and sextet projects and performs in many other bands.


Peter Michaels – Guitar

Peter Michaels is a multi-instrumentalist and composer for film, theatre and the concert platform.

From classical and jazz roots, he has expanded his style across genres to become one of the most versatile composers in media today.  

Performing with musicians from around the world, he incorporates elements from Brazil, Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa into his compositions.

His many live projects include Pocket Caravan, Captain Ska, the Hunter Gatherers and Melange.


June 21
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
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Newham Music


Newham Music Hub: Westfield Stratford City
Newham Music, The Street, Westfield Stratford City
London, E20 1EN United Kingdom
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Jack Petchey FoundationNational Foundation For Youth MusicArts Council England
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