Biography

Parisian chic comes to you as the vocalist Magdalena Atkinson and the pianist Philip Clouts preform a varied programme of French Chansons and jazz standards

Magdalena Atkinson (songer, songwriter)

Magdalena was born in Poland, lived half of her life abroad, Algeria, Indonesia, France, Greece and, since 2004 in UK. She was surrounded by live music from the early age, inspired by her mother, also a singer and songwriter and the music school environment. She attended the music schools playing first piano, then specializing in singing. She studied music to Master degree, improving her skills at various master classes with the renowned soprano Evelyn Tubb and countertenor Kai Wessel. She became a leading singer of the jazzy group Elispa in 1998-2000, writing her own compositions and songs, performing at festival across Poland.

She studied dance and music at the Art School in Bali, Indonesia and traveled around the world improving her linguistic skills in English, French and Indonesian. Then she stopped performing for nearly 10 years, dedicating her time to the growing family. The silence could not last forever! The desire to perform and the dream to be back on stage become gradually the reality. Performing the French Chansons since 2011 become a gateway to the regular performances as well as the inspirations for writing her own music, with the first album „Power and Beauty” published in Nov 2015. A new album „Love & Light” is coming this year, in the autumn 2017.

Philip Clouts (piano, composer)


Philip Clouts was born in South Africa and brought to Britain as a baby. His father, the poet Sydney Clouts, was a great fan of South African music and throughout Philip’s childhood the house resounded to the strains of Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and township jazz. It was the pianists who particularly caught Philip’s ear, especially Abdullah Ibrahim and Chris McGregor, and that’s where it all started. Philip Clouts is founder member, composer and pianist in Zubop ‘that spirited, hugely enjoyable jazz outfit, which takes the whole world of music as its home territory’ (The Observer). 4 CDs have been released on 33 Records and performances have been in a wide variety of venues and festivals in the UK and Europe, including WOMAD, Glastonbury, Berlin Worldbeat Festival, Brewery Arts Centre, Exeter Phoenix, Frankfurt Sinkkasten, London Vortex.

Zubop developed into ZubopGambia, a collaboraton with BBC World Music award winner Juldeh Camara and other West African master musicians, which has done two major UK tours and headlined at festivals. A concert at Ronnie Scott’s, London, where they “managed to raise the roof” (fRoots magazine) was released as a live album. Another work has included playing with virtuoso folk fiddler Chris Haigh in Klezmania, a group playing Klezmer music with elements of jazz improvisation, and touring with singer Gary Howard of the Flying Pickets. Philip has released a trio CD of his compositions entitled “Direction South”which was praised in Jazz UK as “An enormously enjoyable set of accessible but distinctive originals. Like the compositions, Clouts’ solos are thoughtful and persuasively structured” Since 2007 the Philip Clouts Quartet has been a major focus of his composing and playing. The new CD Umoya published in 2015 (titled from the Zulu word for life force), features rising star Samuel Eagles on sax and is one of the first wave of releases on the new jazz imprint from prestigious classical label Odradek Records. On this album, Clouts’ African inspirations extend beyond Cape jazz to Gnawa music and Afrobeat, and further to pan-European folksong, soul-jazz and even drum ‘n’ bass. Joined by saxophonist Samuel Eagles, bassist Alex Keen and Yamaha Jazz Scholarship-winning drummer Dave Ingamells, he brings his musical journey alive with superb musicianship and infectious vigour. “Eagles’ phrasing lends itself perfectly to the immediacy of Clouts’ melodic writing, and to the conversational nature of the group as a whole…the end result is one of attractiveness with the added headiness of exotic flavours and joyous, dancing rhythms.” Rob Adams