A POPULAR venue is set to stage two “outstanding” young musicians who are dedicated to raising the profile of classical instruments in jazz music.

Colchester Arts Centre, in Church Street, will play host to Alina Bzhezhinska and Shirley Smart this Sunday as part of its renowned Jazz Club evening.

The exciting double billing will act as a prequel event to this year’s Roman River Festival and will bring the sounds of the harp and cello to the fore.

Both Alina and Shirley the two instruments can have an important role to play in developing and redefining the jazz genre.

Braintree and Witham Times: Picture - Steven CropperPicture - Steven Cropper

Speaking ahead of the show Ukrainian-Polish composer and bandleader Alina said: “I think the harp a very much a jazz instrument because it has so many abilities.

“In the last 10 years, it has become more popular among budding young musicians who want to play jazz and pop music.

“I see it being involved in more jazz festivals and taken more seriously now. Coltrane and Ashby showed people many years ago that this instrument has its place in jazz.”

During the gig Alina will be joined by Mikele Montolli on bass, Adam Teixeira on drums, and Joel Prime on percussion, and create electronic and looped sounds.

Through a combination of original works and reimagined covers, she will also pay homage jazz, funk and hip-hops greatest innovators.

Shirley Smart, on the other hand, will perform music from her album Long Story Short, which draws on a rich tapestry of influences.

Acknowledged as one of the country’s most versatile and creative cellists, Shirley’s performance will embrace jazz, folk, Middle Eastern and World Music, and classical.

Braintree and Witham Times:

She said: “I like to tell a few stories to give some context to various compositions, as there is a long story behind my interest in with both jazz and Middle Eastern music.

"While I generally prefer to let the music speak for itself, I think people often also enjoy an insight into the musical context to some of the sounds unfamiliar to them.”

The Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club show starts at 7.30pm this Sunday with the doors opening at 7pm.

Tickets for event, which cost £16, £14 for concessions, and £6 for students, can be purchased at colchesterartscentre.com or by calling 01206 500900.