Become A Member. Just £100 a yearDonate Subscribe
Pick a date
Loading Events

Shirley Smart & Robert Mitchell – Official Album Launch (1st Show)


Robert Mitchell – Piano
Shirley Smart – Cello


This is the very first duo show at the Vortex for Shirley Smart and Robert Mitchell. Having first worked together on a large-scale project of Robert’s – Invocation (2014) – there followed many conversations on their mutual overlapping musical interests, eventually leading to a debut album, “Zeitgeist²” (Discus). Recorded at Steinway Recording Studios and engineered, mixed and mastered by Spencer Cozens – it is an exploration of originals, improvisation, poetry and some CPE Bach with a unique history of its own! The new album will be available. Advance copies of Robert’s second book of poetry, “City Of Sanctuary” will also be available on the night.

Biography notes:

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. She remained for 10 years. studying and performing a wide variety of musical traditions from the region, and working with artists including Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and Yasmin Levy. Since returning to the UK, she has quickly become established as a unique performer, and is in demand with artists such as Mulatu Astatke, Neil Cowley, Robert Mitchell, Nikki Yeoh and Maya Youssef. She also leads her own projects and released her first trio album Long Story Short’ in 2018 to critical acclaim.

Robert Mitchell is one of the most significant voices in British jazz – a pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, writer, poet and so much more. As Gilles Peterson put it in reaction to one of Mitchell’s most recent albums with his trio Epiphany 3 – “a very important, influential musician” and a relentless seeker and thinker, encompassing many art forms, musical genres and constantly pushing the envelope.

Robert Mitchell is proud to have been a Steinway artist for over a decade. He was MD on the successful BBC4 television programme ‘Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only’ which won the British Broadcasting Award. He has played with Billy Harper, Greg Osby, Courtney Pine CBE, Alicia Olatuja, Orphy Robinson, Steve Coleman, Phil Ranelin, Omar Puente, Ernesto Simpson, Daymé Arocena, Jason Rebello, Shirley Smart, Basement Jaxx, Dub Colossus, Daniel Casimir, Joshua Redman, Jacqui Dankworth MBE, and many others. Robert Mitchell’s works have been performed by the Grammy-winning Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and the London Sinfonietta, amongst others. He is a sought-for composer and known as an innovator with a distinct, unique voice.

Robert is a featured artist in a new 6 part series called Jazz Meets Classical being broadcast in Jan/Feb 2022 jointly on Jazz FM/Scala Radio.



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.
  • We also ask audience members to do a lateral flow test on the day of the gig and only attend if it’s negative. 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 issue a refund.
  • 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.

Site by OBLONG