5th November: Lunchtime Jazz – Tala Tarang – Mendi Singh and Eleanor Turner

Our jazz café season picks up where it left off last week, with a second appearance by harpist Eleanor Turner. This time she’ll be appearing with tabla player Mendi Singh, who together form “Tala Targang”. Mendi is one of the UK’s most celebrated tabla players. He has toured with Peter Gabriel, and Take That, and performed with numerous other musical luminaries.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks. All profits from the café will go towards funding our future programme of events.

The concert will start promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but we do ask those who can afford it to make a donation to help cover our costs. The suggested donation is £5.

About Mendi Singh:

Mendi Mohinder Singh began learning tabla drums at the age 3 years old. He is one of UK’s most celebrated tabla specialists today, with his activity within a variety of ensembles and collaborations taking him on tours around the world.

Mendi has collaborated with artists diverse as Pandit Shalil Shankar, Peter Gabriel, Darius Brubeck, Anand Shankar, Akram Khan, Courtney pine, and Malkit Singh MBE.

In 2015 Mendi composed and performed the world’s first Tabla Trang Concerto with orchestra and percussion.

2017 Mendi played tabla and percussion on the ‘Take That: Wonderland’ tour. He performed to over 500,000 people at arenas and stadiums across the UK & Ireland.

About Eleanor Turner:

Eleanor Turner is a passionate ambassador for the harp and its music. She made her concerto debut aged just fifteen, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Daniel Harding, broadcast live on Classic FM. Eleanor has performed everywhere from the Berlin Philharmonie to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She won Second Prize in the 2011 Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition for contemporary music and in 2007 won the European Harp Competition. Eleanor studied with Daphne Boden and Alison Nicholls.

Ballet Wales gave Eleanor her first professional commission, so in 2007 she scored ‘The Bride of Flowers’ for harp and small ensemble. She’s collaborated with pop singer Angela Moyra and created original shows including ‘Elusive Symmetry’ with hip-hop dancer Lizzie Gough and guitarist-composer Alan Thomas. Eleanor creates Indian-western fusion music with tabla player Mendi Singh and tours with her band Ranagrí, often with pop legend Tony Christie. Eleanor has also been working with Music Interaction Designer Balandino Di Donato on their ‘HarpCI’ gesture-controlled electronic music project, including performances and workshops around the world. They have performed together in London, Birmingham and Shanghai.

Eleanor’s artistic development has been supported by awards the Tillett Trust, Ambache Charitable Trust, PRS Foundation for New Music, Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, Help Musicians UK, the Park Lane Group and a Wingate Scholarship. These have enabled Eleanor to commission harp music from composers such as Dai Fujikura, Nicola LeFanu and Savourna Stevenson and to push boundaries in her own composition.

A key influence in Eleanor’s life is the American jazz harpist, composer and conductor Deborah Henson-Conant. Since their first collaboration in 2010, generously supported by Camac Harps, Eleanor and Deborah have worked together in New Orleans (where Eleanor performed Deborah’s concerto Soñando en Español with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra), Sydney and Hong Kong.