Listen or Watch 2021
BBC 4 Front Row present: CANE by Harlem Renaissance author Jean Toomer, adapted by Playwright Janice Okoh for an all-star cast. Scripted for radio by playwright Janice Okoh.
Carleen Anderson is the music composer and Narrator. The cast are globally known actors.
This 1923 story was lauded by Toni Morrison, and aired 20th June 2020
Listen via BBC iPlayer Link: Click on Photo
Featured Artists: Carleen Anderson - vocalist, MD Nikki Yeoh - piano & keyboard, MD
Lady Sanity - rapper Camilla George - saxophone Renell Shaw - electric bass
Rod Youngs - drums
Cage Street Memorial Multi Arts
Music, Theatre, Story Telling.
CAGE STREET MEMORIAL
The Trilogy Chronicles
CAGE STREET MEMORIAL (CSM), nominated by Jazz FM for the 2018 Jazz Innovation of the Year Award is a music and stage production composed and scripted by Carleen Anderson.
This 21st century telling of the ages spans over a century of global politics and family life. It highlights the toxicity during the Civil Rights era she experienced growing up and the loving atmosphere she cherishes being raised from infancy by her paternal Grandparents. CSM references Anderson singlehandedly raising her child whilst studying to be a music teacher and how through a twist of fate, she was offered an opportunity to compose and perform music in the UK. This change in the winds resulted in Anderson and her son relocating to the UK in 1990 and becoming British residents. The generational accounting in her book CAGE STREET MEMORIAL, The Chapel of Mirrors, spearheaded her album and Tribal Opera, a description she coined to describe the stage production.
Arts Council England granted Anderson a Research and Development award to workshop CSM. This gritty, humorous narrative expressed through poetry and songs traces over one hundred years of family heritage, compound culturalism and defiance against the odds. CSM was given high praise from the select audience of industry professionals and artists who attended the development preview of CSM at London’s Albany Theatre in March 2015. That presentation was produced by the multi-disciplined Creative Media Designer, Derek Richards and directed by the acclaimed Opera Director, Tim Hopkins.
Following this positive response, Anderson was awarded a PRS Women Make Music grant to record her CAGE STREET MEMORIAL, The Pilgrimage album at Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) in Cornwall, England. Her co-producer was Orphy Robinson, Award-winning Vibraphonist/Percussionist and Bandleader for the CSM concerts. Additional featured artists on the recording as well as for the LIVE CSM shows were Renell Shaw on Bass and Samy Bishai on Violin. Crispin Robinson joined the ensemble for the CSM tour as the Percussionist.
The CSM Pilgrimage album, released on FREESTYLE RECORDS was launched at the EFG London Jazz Festival in November 2016. The CSM tour of the UK in the summer of 2017 culminated in a critically acclaimed performance at London’s Barbican Theatre in 2018.
CSM exemplifies the panoramic scope of Anderson’s compositional skills. The positive reviews CSM received provides a platform for Anderson to supply the musical offerings she’s long yearned to deliver outside of the style associated with her early career.
The CSM accolades for Anderson’s unique storytelling panache through the blending of vintage audio with futuristic instrumentation inspires her to push even farther beyond genre boundaries as she aims forward with sculpturing the music she hears from life.
BBC Radio 4 Front Row
BBC Radio 4 Front Row interview about the BBC Wales Radio program broadcast on Saturday, 20th June 2020, about Harlem Renaissance author Jean Toomer's CANE. It was scripted for radio by playwright Janice Okoh. Carleen was the script music composer and the Narrator. The cast are globally known actors. Click on image for interview.
Gibraltar World Music Festival 2018
In a team led by Artistic Director Orphy Robinson that includes Cleveland Watkiss, Christine Tobin, Randolph Matthews and more, Anderson will showcase a new Futuristic composition alongside music from her Cage Street Memorial album at the Gibraltar World Music Festival 21st June 2018
A Change is Gonna Come.
This review from the Guardian is about the collaborative project, 'A Change is Gonna Come' sponsored by Sound UK. It features Carleen Anderson as Musical Director working with Jazz FM Award-Winning Pianist Nikki Yeoh; Mercury Prize Winner SPEECH DEBELLE; Jazz FM Award-Winner, Saxophonist Nubya Garcia; Rudimental's Renell Shaw on Bass and Spoken Word, plus Gil Scott-Heron's Drummer, Rod Youngs. In the concert Anderson premieres her Futuristic music for her next work.
Click image for review.
Carleen interview on "Live Well With Barrie Thomas"
Read Carleen's Story
2017 Jazz FM Awards Nominee
PRS Women Make Music
Conference Westminster March 2017
Carleen receives Lifetime Achievement Award and The Pilgrimage Album in top 10 Albums of the year from WorldFM
London Jazz Cafe.
Jazz FM Interview
Carleen's Live Session
at Jazz FM.
Cage Street Memorial Book Cover
Painted by Dameon Priestly
Soho Journal Feature
Photo by Etienne Gilfillan.
Cage Street Memorial interview trailer
Behind the scenes recording at Falmouth University - August 2015
Filmed by Josh Rowland
Film Editing by Andrew Shaw
Music Editing by Phil Reeder
Excerpt of text taken from book and script. Photograph taken during the Albany Theatre work in progress performance.
Photo Credit: Carl Hyde
Photo Credit: Carl Hyde
Photo Credit: Carl Hyde
Photo Credit: Carl Hyde
Carleen with Family
Photo Credit: Catherine Bradley
Filmed Live at The Jazz Cafe, London
Hailed by Gilles Peterson as one of the most influential singer/songwriters of her generation, Carleen Anderson is highly respected within the music industry. She’s globally known for her collaboration with the 1991 Mercury Music Award Shortlisted Young Disciples for their album, Road to Freedom and her 1994 Brit Award nominated solo album TRUE SPIRIT. Throughout her independent solo career, she’s been featured alongside a multitude of established artists from a wide array of musical genres - Nigel Kennedy, Dr. John, OMAR, Chrissie Hynde, Jocelyn Brown, Meshell Ndgeocello, Paul McCartney, Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Paul Weller, Ramsay Lewis, and a further long list of luminous ones. She won Jazz FM’s 2013 Best UK Vocalist Award. In 2014, Arts Council England awarded her a Research and Development grant for her Cage Street Memorial Theatre Production which was followed by a PRS Women Make Music grant in 2015 to record an accompanying soundtrack album for it. She won the Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Her CAGE STREET MEMORIAL Tribal Opera concert at the Barbican in January 2018 received high praise in the press reviews. The London Evening Standard called it ‘a deftly crafted masterwork’.
"SHE'S NOT JUST GOOD, SHE'S PHENOMENAL. CARLEEN ANDERSON IS ONE OF A KIND". - JAMES BROWN
Carleen Anderson was born in Houston, Texas, 10th of May 1957, and reared up on the sounds rooted in Gospel music inherited from the Pentecostal church where the pastor, David Anderson, Sr. her paternal Grandfather, and her Grandmother Alberta, raised her from an infant.
Since 1973, her birth Father, Dr. Reuben P. Anderson, Sr., continues as the pastor of his own church in Compton, California, further extending the connection Carleen still retains in gospel music.
Her association with Soul music was inherited from her birth mother, Vicki Anderson, (aka Myra Barnes), who James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, often claimed as his
favourite vocalist. Carleen toured with her stepfather, Bobby Byrd, the founder of James Brown and the Famous Flames, who also had a celebrated solo career in his own right.
In 1976, Carleen was recorded in her first music studio session with rock and roll blues man, Johnny Winter, (Edgar Winter’s brother), in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1978, she joined a band called, ‘Funktions’, also in Nashville, and married the drummer, Bobbye Sherrell, (the younger brother of James Brown’s musician, ‘Sweet’ Charles Sherrell). From that union, her son, Bobby LeColye was born in 1979.
As a divorced single mother, Carleen was awarded scholarships and received high academic and performance honours from 1981 to 1985. She studied music performance and music education at the Los Angeles Community College, (LACC), University of Southern California, (USC), and classical literature at the University of California at Los Angeles, (UCLA).Sporadically, from 1974 to 1992, during the Bobby Byrd and the JB All Stars tour of the US southern states as well as across Europe and the UK, Carleen was the opening act and understudy for former featured vocalists for the James Brown Show & Revue - Vicki Anderson, Marva Whitney and Lynn Collins.
Carleen and her Son, Bobby, relocated to the UK in June 1990, where she was recruited as the vocalist and songwriter for the band, The Young Disciples, who were signed to Phonogram Records’ Circa label, on which they released a critically acclaimed album entitled, ‘Road to Freedom’, that included a popular hit song called, ‘Apparently Nothing’. The band was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize in 1992.
Also in 1992, Carleen signed a solo deal with Virgin Records, the new owner of the Circa Records label, who released two albums for her, True Spirit, which was nominated for a Brit Award for Best International Newcomer in 1995 and charted several hit singles, ‘Mama Said’, Let it Last and Nervous Breakdown. The second solo album, Blessed Burden, was co-produced in 1998 with Paul Weller, which included her celebrated cover single of Paul McCartney’s ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ and her own composition, ‘Woman in Me’.
From early 1999 to late 2000, Carleen toured with the Brand New Heavies as their lead singer to promote their ‘Best of’ album, entitled, “Trunk Funk”.
Her first independent album, ‘Alberta’s GrandDaughter’, released in 2002, was produced by Ben Castle, (son of UK’s much loved trumpeter, Roy Castle), Mark Edwards and Colin Walker. Her cover of Noel Gallagher’s ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, from this album, continues to be the most requested song of her repertoire.
The year 2003 saw the release of a live performance DVD/CD, ‘Grace & Favours’, which includes an impromptu performance with her Godfather, James Brown, the only footage of them together. EMI released a Best of Carleen Anderson CD in 2004, called ‘Up to Now. Dome Records signed Carleen for the release of her Soul Providence album in 2005, which was again produced by Mark Edwards, Ben Castle and Colin Walker. This album also has duet performances with Paul Weller and Jocelyn Brown.
In 2006, a guest appearance with Sir John Dankworth and his band at his English countryside venue, The Stables, had Carleen receiving high praise from Dame Cleo Laine, resulting in Carleen securing several residencies a year for a decade since then, at the world-famous jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, to packed houses of enthralled audiences.
Carleen was the Head of the Vocal Department at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music where she taught vocal performance from 2002 to 2007. This association led to her performing for and meeting HRH, the Queen of England, in 2007. In 2013 Anderson sang the lead role of Isolde in Julian Joseph’s music compositional reimagining of the legendary Arthurian story of Tristan, performed at the Royal Opera House.
Alongside promoting her soundtrack album CAGE STREET MEMORIAL ~ The Pilgrimage, Anderson is being internationally commissioned to compose and arrange music for several Human Rights projects.
With Young Disciples
● Road to Freedom (Talkin' Loud, 1991)
● True Spirit (Circa/Virgin, 1994)
● True Spirit Remixes (Circa/Virgin, 1995)
● Blessed Burden (Circa/Virgin, 1998)
● Alberta's Granddaughter (Dusky Sappho Music, 2002)
● Grace and Favours (LIVE performance DVD/CD, Orange Room Music, 2004)
● Up To Now: The Best Of Carleen Anderson (Virgin, 2004)
● Soul Providence (Dome, 2005)
● "Nervous Breakdown" (1994)
● "Mama Said" (1994)
● "True Spirit" (1994)
● "Let It Last" (1995)
● “Maybe I’m Amazed” (1998)
● “Woman in Me” (1998)
● “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (2002)
Under the Alias - Mardou Fox
● Subterraneans feat. Mardou Fox "Taurus Woman" (1993)
● Numbers "Ballad of Mardou Fox", "Traffic", "Mardous Lament", "Jack Summerset" (2001)
● Duet with Omar "Who Chooses the Seasons" (1992)
● Guru’s Jazzmatazz Volume 1 " Sights in the City" (1993)
● Incognito " Trouble don't always last" (1994) (with Ramsey Lewis)
● Duet with Lewis Taylor "18 With a Bullet" (1998)
● Red, Hot + Cool Documentary (1998)
● The Brand New Heavies " Saturday Nite", "Apparently Nothing", "Try My Love", "Swinging Big Tom" (1999)
● The London Community Gospel Choir " Whenever You Call" (2001)
● Agent K. "RideAway, Getaway" (2002)
● Andy Hamill "Falling" (2003) (with Tony Woods)
● Full Flava's album Colour of My Soul Carleen performs lead vocals on "Stories" and "You Are (My Destiny)" (2003)
● The London Community Gospel Choir “ I Surrender All” LIVE at Abbey Road DVD Kingsway Records (2003)
● Courtney Pine "When The World Turns Blue" (2003)
● Mamayo "The Game" "Born to Love" (2005)
● Hope Collective "Give and Let Live" (2005)
● Duet with Paul Weller "Wanna Be Where You Are" Carleen Anderson Soul Providence CD Dome Records (2005)
● Duet with Jocelyn Brown "Parting the Waters" Carleen Anderson Soul Providence CD Dome Records (2005)
● Incognito "Show Me Love" (2005)
● Incognito "Summer in the City", "Tin Man", "That's the Way of the World" (2006) ● Shuya Okino features Carleen on their co-write of “Beautiful Sadness” (2006)
● Full Flava album Music is Our Way of Life, Carleen performs lead vocals on a cover of Jean Carne’s, Was That All It Was . (2007)
● “Bird in Flight” Tuff Scout Records (written by Gil Cang and Carleen Anderson) 2014
● “Grains of Dust” Welsh National Opera Songs of Occupation Protest ( 2014)
CSM Book & Script Writer/Music Composer, Lyricist,
Arranger & Producer/Lead Performer
Carleen Anderson is a classically trained vocalist who studied to be a music teacher but her plans were thwarted by then President Ronald Reagan, who took Arts Studies out of the government school system. To sing for her supper was the farthest thing from Anderson's mind, but the political establishment forced her to take on a trade that some of her family already had success in.
Whilst learning music theory at the University of SouthernCalifornia, (USC), she also developed a love of writing from her literature classes at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA).
Being related to successful music artists, opened the door for Anderson to reluctantly
pursue a career in the music performance arena.
In the 25 years since she and her Son have been residents of the UK, Carleen has achieved considerable success as a musician, and has recently turned her attention to
She was cast in the lead role of Julian Joseph's Jazz Opera interpretation of Wagner's
'Tristan and Isolde' in September 2013, which previewed at the Royal Opera House in London and composed a song for the Welsh National Opera's Occupy Protest Series
in September 2014.
Both of these projects helped to build the platform for the project that Carleen has been working on since the dawning of the 21st century, CAGE STREET MEMORIAL.
Her annual residency at London's Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club is booked solid well
in advance of the concert dates.
However, it is the theatre performance of her musical narrative that inspires her to create art in going forward. To Reach Beyond Borders.
CSM Digital Media Artist/Research and Development Production
Derek Richards is a multimedia practitioner in every sense. As an artist he has exhibited installation work around the world. He has worked as a musician with the likes of
Courtney Pine, scored for film and TV and has composed music for and directed theatre.
In the 90s Derek co-founded Artec, the UK’s first site for learning digital media production skills. He pioneered teleconferencing for trans-Atlantic live collaborative performance and has since won 11 awards for his digital and interactive media work. As an independent producer and leading his own company HyperJAM between 1997 and 2006, Derek’s clients and partners have included the BBC, the National Theatre, Arts Council England, Channel 4, the Science Museum, the Virgin Group, the British Council, NESTA and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for whom he produced the the mulit-award winning online interactive learning resource, SoundJunction commissioned by the UK government’s Department of Culture Media & Sport
For 5 years Derek ran the BAFTA award winning youth participatory media and production company Hi8us South. Today he combines his production history with his experience in participatory practice (youth & community) to deliver cross-platform arts & media projects and to consult on digital engagement, cultural programming, creative citizenship and learning. He is a member of the audio-visual improv trio, YMV, featuring legendary jazz musicians Cleveland Watkiss and Orphy Robinson, which combines the oldest and newest technology and instrumentation with archive film footage and motion graphics to create real-time improvised music and documentary. There’s also a couple of transmedia and multimedia theatre projects in development.
CSM Director/Set Designer
Tim Hopkins is a director, scenographer, theatre and film maker. He has directed productions for The Royal Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Staatsoper Hannover, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Dell’Opera Roma, Theatre Basel, Bühnen Graz, Almeida Opera, The Aldeburgh Festival, South Bank Centre, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Proms, Alternative Lyrique Festival Paris, The Glimmerglass Festival, Wexford, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Batignano Opera Festival, English Touring Opera, Sage Gateshead, Channel 4, Aurora Orchestra, London Artists Projects, Welsh National Opera and others.
These include historic and contemporary repertoire, and, more recently, original projects he has created or made in collaboration, some using new media. In 2001 he was awarded a Nesta Fellowship to consider opera in the light of new technologies; and in 2007, an Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellowship at the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre, Department of Music, University of Sussex. Recent projects include BBC Proms 2012 Music Walk, and Soundtracks, a programme of new music commissions related to urban locations, supported by both Sound and Music and Artists & Engineers.
CSM Lead Musician Vibraphonist/Percussionist/Keyboardist
Orphy Robinson’s extensive musical CV/resume stretches over three decades. He is one of the industry’s leading marimba players, vibraphone players, multi-instrumentalist, composers and musical directors. He has written for Theatre, Television, Opera and provided music scores for the 2012 London Olympics and conducted classical orchestras at the Royal Festival Hall and Albert Hall. In more recent times he has been commissioned as musical director for Jalal Nurridin’s one-off Hustlers Convention concert at London’s Jazz Cafe in February 2014 (part of a documentary on Jalal’s life), as well as performing with selected members of the Jazz Warriors international in support of his good friend and spoken word poet Malik under the monika Malik and The OG’s.
Alongside all of this, Orphy, in tandem with vocal maestro Cleveland Watkiss, heads-up Nexus – One World Music presented by Warriors International aligned with his commitment to his long-term friend Pat Thomas performing in the guise of “Black Top”. With a new Black Top three-track EP recorded live at the Jazz In The Round at the Cockpit Theatre in January 2012 featuring esteemed UK jazz saxophonist Steve Williamson, the marimba maestro Mr Robinson took time out from his hectic schedule
to update Michael ‘The Dood’ Edwards prior to another of Warriors international’s Nexus – One World presentations at St George’s Church, London.
CSM Violinist/Co-Album Production
Celebrated Egyptian violinist and composer Samy Bishai built his reputation as an outstanding musician through his work with Natacha Atlas, Seckou Keita, Celloman, Digitonal, Zoe Rahman, Arun Ghosh just to name a few. His work as a band leader and composer fuses his Egyptian-ancestry with Western music to create a heady mix of unclassifiable music.
CSM Bassist/Co-Album Production
Renell Shaw can be found working in any genre from Pop and Classical to Funk and
world music. He brings the same ethos to everything he works on “aim to be the solution, not the problem” and it is for this reason that he continues to set the bar and
get the job done.
He is an innovative electric, synth and upright bassist as well as a songwriter and producer working within the worlds of film, theatre and dance, as a composer, session musician or musical director. Renell has also provided string and horn arrangements as well as full orchestral works for artists and organisations of which some of these works have required him to conduct or play piano.
Renell has worked with the following organisations: UNESCO (united nations educational scientific and cultural organisation), The London student symphony orchestra and the London philharmonic orchestra, The Grand Union Orchestra, The Hackney Empire, The Southbank Centre and many others as apart of their team collaborating on projects, events and specific commissions.
Renell performs and tours constantly appearing at venues such as: The Royal Festival
Hall (London) and the Edinburgh Festival (Scotland) to Lake Garda (Italy) and the National Black Theatre (Harlem, New York) alongside artists such as Orphy Robinson, Susie McKenna, Nitin Sawhney, Aruba Red, Zalon Thompson, Maverick Sabre, Soweto Kinch, Rudimental and Aloe Blacc to name a few.
Aside from his work as a musician and composer, Renell believes in the importance of music education for young people and commits an equal amount of his time to supporting creative projects and workshops. Renell also gives creatively and financially to charitable organisations, events and causes.
Renell Shaw has become one of the must see musicians and composers on the London scene working with organisations and artists on both sides of the Atlantic.
Alison Carter is a multi media producer who works with Carleen Anderson developing the production and marketing strategy for the Cage Street Memorial concert touring.
Alison has worked as company manager for Union Dance Company, Promotions Manager at the London Astoria, and is co-director with Orphy Robinson and Cleveland Watkiss MBE. for the arts development company Warriors International.
Alison also runs her own production company Diverse Arts, and The Laundry Studios, a film and television production facility in North Wales.
Theatre Reference Consultant
In March 2011, Julien Boast was appointed Director at Hall for Cornwall.
Prior to this, Julien spent a 20-year career as an arts leader in both subsidised and commercial theatre. From 2002-2010, he worked for the international company, the Ambassador Theatre Group, (ATG), initially as Chief Executive of the award winning Theatre Royal Brighton. In 2009, he was additionally appointed Chief Executive of Churchill Theatre Bromley, where he successfully led the negotiations for Churchill Theatre Bromley's bid for the re-tendering of the management contract with the London Borough of Bromley
Julien's primary expertise is theatre but has grown into cross-cutting art forms. He has extensive experience of exploring cultural areas with young people, contemporary dance and championing the issues around artists with disabilities through work with Arts Council England and other specialist advisors. His other areas of expertise include new writing, creating site specific performances outside and in interesting buildings. He enjoys contributing to and influencing national strategies and providing consultancy advice on early thinking for a vibrant arts economy for the theatre industry.
CSM Dramaturgy Consultant
Emily Blacksell has 15 years experience as a project advisor, producer, assistant director and script editor across the music, theatre, film and most recently television industries.
She has worked in London, Europe and USA on large and smaller scale productions and tours for internationally recognised companies, organisations and individuals, namely the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Paul McCartney, Sally Greene OBE, the Old Vic Theatre Company, Old Vic Productions plc, Billy Elliot the musical worldwide, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and Greene Light Films. She is also an accomplished violinist working
in contemporary classical and popular music genres.