New series showcasing some of Bedford’s brightest talent

'A genuine original': Alice Zawadzki
'A genuine original': Alice Zawadzki

Jacqui Dankworth, one of the most highly regarded vocalists in the UK, is presenting t a series of concerts in Bedford over the coming months.

A Song For You will run between September and December and showcases hand-picked local talent.

Jacqui, who lives in Bedford, said: “There’s a tremendous amount happening in Bedford, and I really want to do what I can to attract and collaborate with some incredible talent, and contribute to making something special happen here in my own local community.”

The concerts will showcase The Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s, one of Bedford’s newest performing arts venues. The converted Moravian chapel creates a personal and intimate setting for a versatile range of performances.

For the first concert of the series on September 4, Jacqui is delighted to present rising star Alice Zawadzki, a singer, violinist, writer and painter. A unique creative force, Alice has enjoyed being nominated for best jazz singer by Jazz FM and for a Parliamentary Jazz Award for best vocalist.

Alice has created an evening that reflects her own voyage of self-discovery. Alice is sharing her story in two parts – the first relating the story of Alice’s grandmother, Irena. It draws upon Irena’s memoirs and the extensive research of Alice’s father, the celebrated historian and narrator, Hubert Zawadzki. The evening begins with Hubert’s live multimedia narration of a history of Central and Eastern Europe. Hubert is joined by choreographer and dancer Katarzyna Witek, guitarist Alex Roth, and Alice on vocals and violin.

The second part of the evening is Alice’s own story, told through songs she has written that reflect her personal experiences and her exploration of a wide range of musical influences.

The Guardian has described Alice as “a genuine original with a pure, pealing voice.”

The series continues on October 4 with Natalie Williams and Charlie Wood, while Liane Carroll performs on November 21 and Jacqui takes to the stage with her talented friends on December 11.

Tickets can be purchased from the Quarry Theatre. Visit www.quarrytheatre.org.uk or call 01234 362335 to book or for more information.