Alice Zawadzki is a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London. Her work as a performer, collaborator, composer and speaker, has seen her gain considerable repute as a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene.
Anglo-Polish Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) converge into artistry which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté, an extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions, “all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” (The Arts Desk). She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at most of the major UK alternative and jazz venues and festivals, including the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, the London Jazz Festival, the Vortex, Celtic Connections, and internationally at festivals from Taipei International Jazz Festival (Taiwan) to Coventry Calling (Massachusetts, USA) to Sűdtirol Jazz Festival (Italy), and more. She also performs and collaborates at underground venues in the London scene and on unexpected platforms, with a keenness to nourish music at it’s roots.
She released her debut solo album China Lane (Whirlwind Recordings) in 2014, a collection of original songs and arrangements infused with modern, ancient and invented folklore, and featuring some of Europe’s most celebrated musicians and improvisers. China Lane was met with widespread critical acclaim, described as “beguiling, unorthodox and pure” (The Independent), “a real force to be reckoned with” (Jamie Cullum), and led to her nomination for British Vocalist of the Year by both Jazz FM and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2015, and saw her selected to take part in Take Five, the professional development programme run by international music producers, Serious Ltd, sponsored by the Performing Rights Society and Arts Council England.
Her striking ability to perform across and transcend genres whilst retaining her own expressive and intelligent musical style gives her a unique accessibility, and she can be heard as a soloist on numerous film and television scores, including Disney’s major motion picture African Cats, written by Nicholas Hooper, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (BBC), and in a live context as soloist with the Prague Philharmonic for George Fenton’s Planet Earth Live in Concert throughout Germany in 2015.
She has performed on acclaimed albums for labels including Whirlwind Recordings (China Lane), Babel (What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes? – The Moss Project), Chaos (Impossible Things – Corrie Dick), Odradek (Lela – Dan Whieldon), Boombetter Records (Lifecycles – Engines Orchestra), and Ubiquity Records (The Myth of the Golden Ratio – United Vibrations), and has enjoyed regular radio play from BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, and Resonance FM, including live session features for Jamie Cullum at Maida Vale and at Jazz FM with her solo project, and was a speaker on vocal practices for a programme on BBC Radio 3.
She trained in jazz singing and composition and gained an MA at the Royal Academy of Music, with a scholarship from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, after completing undergraduate studies in classical violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she also won the Hilda Collens Prize and the Cove Park Emerging Artists Residency, supported by the Jerwood Foundation and the Scottish Arts Council.
Alice has held several higher education posts as a teacher, and delivered vocal and improvisation programs for the RNCM, Salford University, the University of Kent, and the Engines Orchestra, and has worked extensively for Live Music Now, a charity which takes live music into places where it is hard to access, including special schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons.
Two of Alice’s biggest fantasies are to learn to play the Mongolian Dulcimer, and to write and sing the theme to the next James Bond film.