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Nishla Smith (1st Show)


Nishla Smith – Banjo, Singer
Aaron Wood – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Richard Jones – Piano
Joshua Cavanagh-Brieley – Double bass
Johnny Hunter – Drum kit


Nishla is a singer and songwriter who defies easy categorisation: her live sets include a breathtaking variety of material, from celebrated originals to dark jazz standards and devastating ballads. Her often dreamy and melancholic aura is offset by an energetic and imaginative band of Manchester’s finest young contemporary improvisers. Tonight, she’ll play music from her debut album, ‘Friends With Monsters’, released last month on Whirlwind Recordings.

Formed out of a residency at Sage Gateshead, the Nishla Smith Quintet have recently performed at the Manchester and Lancaster Jazz Festivals, NQ Jazz, and Ronnie Scott’s, and are currently part of Jazz North’s Northern Line artist roster.

Outside of her work with the quintet, Nishla is a prolific composer and collaborator. She’s made work for Opera North, Lancaster Jazz Festival and Manchester Collective, and is currently working on new music for East Neuk Festival and Manchester Jazz Festival. Nishla is a City Music Foundation artist.

The Nishla Smith Quintet is a Jazz North Northern Line ambassador ensemble supported by Jazz North using public funding from Arts Council England.

“Nishla Smith’s original ballads sound like standards from the American Songbook … maudlin moments shoulder ecstatic reveries…” London Jazz News




Welcome to the Vortex. Although the government has relaxed its Covid restrictions the Vortex continues to operate measures to protect users of the premises.

Please note the following:

  • We ask you not to attend gigs if you have or think you may have any Covid-19 symptoms. If you can’t make a gig because you have to self-isolate then just get in touch by filling out this form and we’ll give you a voucher for another gig.
  • If you would like to sit by friends who have bought separate tickets, please email the club with details and we will make every effort to accommodate.
  • We are cashless. We only accept cards for purchases at the bar (except American Express).
  • We ask that everyone wears a mask when moving around inside the building.
  • Automatic hand sanitiser stations are provided at various places within the building.
  • Full details of the measures that we are taking to prevent transmission of Covid are set out in our risk assessment and management plan which can be found on our website.

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