Visions of 7: featuring Cleo Bayley, Stephen D. Fletcher, Joanna Foster and Barbara Gellhorn
Photo: Joanna Foster, Matt Lane, Camilo Menjura, Cleo Bayley and Barbara Gellhorn
Joanna Foster’s stunning acapella quintet Anima sing inspirational songs of enchantment and soul quests, a magical fusion of jazz and soul. ‘the depth and power of Foster’s jazz inflected songs stand up to the competition.’ Now Magazine ‘ the music is always fantastic’ The Guardian
Anima means ‘soul’ and ‘ breath of life’. Following in the footsteps of Bobby McFerrin and Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Anima acapella quartet cover a wide musical terrain, from the exhilarating up beat energy of jazz, through rhythmic soul numbers, to haunting Irish folk.
Anima’s recent credits include The George Tavern, Whitechapel; Love and Survival in a Time of Covid festival -The Old Church, Stoke Newington; The Tribal Earth Festival in East Sussex; the ‘Green Sunday’ event at The Arcola Theatre; ‘Dance of Desire’ show at The Quaker House with Butterfly Theatre Co.; ‘What the River Sings’ at Trinity Buoy Wharf with The Grand Union Orchestra; ‘Visions of 7’ show at Bridport Art Centre; ‘Ocean of Song’ at St John at Hackney Church.
Singers are Cleo Bayley, Joanna Foster, Barbara Gellhorn, Matt Lane and Camilo Menjura.
Cleo began her early career as a singer songwriter signed to Warner Chapel Publishing. Having performed with various bands, she went on to set up a variety of community music groups including Hackney Voices Choir and Mudlarks Community Choir. She is a long term member of Anima, and she now writes for her new group The Ondines.
Joanna is an actor, singer, composer. Acting includes RSC, RNT, BBC ,The Bible Ch 5 and most recently the play Behind Doors as part of Love and Survival in a Time of Covid festival. Her song cycle Visions of 7 premiered at The Arcola Theatre. Composed for ‘Breathe’ project at The Royal Brompton Hospital with the Singing for Breathing group and artist Jayne Wilton. She writes and performs with acapella group Anima, sings with The Helen Chadwick Group and co runs Hackney Voices Choir with Cleo Bayley.
Barbara initially worked as a sound engineer at The Royal Shakespeare Company and then toured internationally with them as an actor and singer in ‘The Tempest’ and later in ‘Hecuba’ at The Albery Theatre in the West End. She has composed music for 2 short films and sings regularly with Anima and The Helen Chadwick Group.
Matt is a musician, poet, singer, saxophonist, author, composer and lover of music. He is CEO/Artistic Director of Eastside Educational Trust, a brilliant youth arts charity and enjoys performing with Anima and his soul/funk band: The Calmers.
Camilo is a versatile, award winning musician, a guitarist, singer and choir leader based in London. Originally from Colombia, Camilo combines his exploration of of Latin American Folk music as a guitarist, with singing in vocal projects such as Anima and Oaken, co-leads the London Youth Folk Ensemble at the English Folk Dance and Song Society, leads two community choirs and takes part in several educational projects in the UK. His guitar playing evokes the strumming of the Andean Charango, the fiery Venezuelan Cuatro and the warmth of the Cuban style guitar. His album “Loop Explorations” (2018), reveals his passion for a cappella music and Afro-Latin grooves.
"...the music is always fantastic" - The Guardian
"...the depth and power of Foster's jazz inflected songs stand up to the competition...Her songs are witty and intelligent, and the music flows beautifully..." - Now Magazine,
“...sensitive, versatile contemporary singing with lots of joy, fire and feeling.” - Kindred Spirit Music Magazine
“...originals by Joanna Foster are complex quilts in a Sweet Honey in the Rock tradition...A definite find for fans of female voices” - Ladyslipper Magazine USA
“...blows the socks off many contemporary groups...” - Now Magazine
Former members and thanks to; Stephen D Fletcher, Hazel Holder, Maia Waldman, Konnie Deppe and Eve Polycarpou. Bryan James and Simon Annand for photography.