Thursday 15th August
Singer, songwriter, cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a rare exception to the rule that classical and alternative r&b music cannot successfully coexist.
Graduating with a first from both Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Manhattan School of Music, Ayanna was a participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and become an Emerging Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre. She was a featured artist with Courtney Pine’s Afropeans: Jazz Warriors and became the only non-American to win Amateur Night Live at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NYC.
As a composer, she has scored original music for various productions and as an arranger and orchestrator Ayanna has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra (Hugh Masekela), and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Urban Classic).
Since releasing her EP’s Truthfully and Black Panther Ayanna has extensively toured the UK and several countries in Europe, whilst gaining a MOBO award nomination and getting airplay on BBC Radio 1 & BBC 1Xtra. A performer of extraordinary versatility her live shows are intimate journeys that chronicle her experience as a female artist in the 21st century.
Because of her musical prowess, mesmerising vocals, non-compromising lyrics and ability to deftly reinterpret songs on the cello Ayanna is able to straddle both the classical and urban worlds effortlessly.
She is the definition of eclectic soul.