Cello and vocal star is coming to Rugby

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Promoter Chris French believes he’s pulled off one of the live music coups of the year in Rugby by bringing Ayanna Witter-Johnson to Arnold House on Saturday June 29.

The MOBO-nominated cello-playing vocalist is the first ever non-American to win the coveted Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, where she completed her master’s degree in music.

“Ayanna is an extraordinary talent”, said Chris. “There is nobody like her. On top of her startling cello-playing ability, she has the most wonderful voice.

“Ayanna is destined for greatness so I was totally chuffed when she agreed to do this intimate show in Rugby. We are in for a real treat.

“It’s no surprise that tickets are selling very well indeed.”

Last year, Ayanna received a Musicians Benevolent Fund Special Commendation Award, a PRSF Women Make Music Award and was also a featured composer on the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub scheme 2012-13.

As an arranger and orchestrator Ayanna has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra on Belief! featuring Hugh Masekela, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Skepta, Fazer and Devlin.

She was also the assistant orchestrator on the original Urban Classic (2006) which brought together leading UK grime artists and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

In this special joint promotion with Rugby Roots, which is a highlight of the 2013 Rugby Festival of Culture, Ayanna will be supported by local teenage singer-songwriter Hollie Aires, also tipped for big things in the music industry.

Doors on Saturday June 29 open at 7.15pm and the show starts at 8.15pm.

Tickets are available from rugbyroots.com or from the visitor centre at Rugby Library, Sounds in Church Street or Refill and Print in St Matthews Street.