Club Inégales’ Original Voices summer series opens on Thursday 18 June at 8pm with the extraordinary performance poet, writer and musician Zena Edwards, whose vibrant fusion of poetry, traditional African music instruments together with new technologies make her one the most unique voices to come out of London in recent years.
“I write about human frailty and the complexities of 20th and 21st century living,” says the Tottenham-raised performer, ushering poetry into contemporary socio-cultural context. “I’m highly sensitive, very connected to my emotions, so I strive, sometimes with success, to experience and explore life constantly from a neutral position,” claims Zena, who often accompanies herself on African instruments, such as mbira, kalimba or kora.
Elements of African music are a focal point in Zena’s songs, although she does not seem to restrict herself to any non-creative pigeonholes. Lyn Gardner of the Guardian has observed she is “equally at ease as an elderly Caribbean man, as a would-be teenage MC, Ayleen, or as a lonely 47-year-old Palestinian photographer, Mahmoud.” Blending traditions with raw urban vibe, Zena creates her own sound tracks to enhance the power of her witty, enchanting texts.
Associate Artist of the iconic Deptford hub The Albany, Zena has appeared at the Proms, WOMAD, The London Jazz Festival, Poetry International at the Royal Festival Hall, or Glastonbury. She was nominated for the Arts Foundation Award for Performance Poetry 2007 and won the Hidden Creatives Award 2012. Zena is also Creative Director of ©V:iD – Verse In Dialog – a social enterprise that supports creative projects related to poetry and spoken word.
Explore the power of storytelling with Zena Edwards on Thursday 18 June 2015 at Club Inégales, as part of its Original Voices summer series. Tickets are available either for individual performances or multi-buy series through Eventbrite.
Food from 7pm, performances from 8pm.