Nishla Smith

Nishla Smith

30th January 2022

“Nishla Smith’s original ballads sound like standards from the American Songbook of the 1940s and 50s . . . Her singing is a delicate but versatile blend of the sparing quiver of Billie Holiday, the pinch of Roisin Murphy. . .”, wrote London Jazz News about the talented 32-year-old's debut album, Friends With Monsters. 

Australian-born, Manchester-based Nishla is a singer/songwriter who defies easy categorisation. She cites Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Carly Simon, Billie Holiday, Carole King and Nina Simone among her early influences, plus modern-day artists such as Cecile McLorin Salvant, Samara Joy and Alice Zawadski.

Driven by a desire to tell stories, Nishla's compositions have a delicate, whimsical, quirky but deceptively simple air about them, and her unique musical sensibility, along with a preoccupation with narrative, confirms her as a major new UK vocal talent.

Nishla's live sets include a breathtaking variety of material - from originals to dark jazz standards and devastating ballads - her voice stretching from melancholic sweetness through to dark intimacy.

An artist with a quietly commanding presence and a relaxed but assured delivery that wins over audiences instantly, Nishla's often dreamy and melancholic aura is offset with her energetic and imaginative band of Manchester’s finest young improvisers.

Nishla Smith (Vocals), Aaron Wood (Trumpet), Richard Jones (Piano), Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley (Double Bass), Johnny Hunter (Drums).

"Classic songwriting worthy of the Great American Songbook, suffused with a skewed, haunted quality." - Jazz North

"She performed Billie Holiday’s Don’t Explain with a heart-wrenching emotional immediacy." - London Jazz News

"Nishla Smith creates vivid, enigmatic stories through sound, her voice stretching from melancholic sweetness through to dark intimacy." - The JazzMann

"Charming, lyrically strong, toothsome and homespun." - Marlbank

"Soft and sensuous, drawing the listener into the emotions expressed." - Bebop Spoken Here 


Tickets £16 / £14 Concessions. Students £6
Jazz Express Offer: Book for any three gigs and get tickets for just £10 each!
Doors open 7pm, starts 7.30pm.
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