20240209: 9th February 2024: Double Header: Faradena Afifi and friends CD launch; Causton and Walker


Double header with Faradena Afifi and friends; Causton and Walker


Support: Martin Kaszak (who’s also in Faradena’s band this evening).


At the Golden Hind, 355 Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1SP

8pm (Doors open 7:30pm)

Entry: £10(door), £9(advance), £8(members).



Faradena Afifi (voice, viola, piano) will be promoting her CD Flash of Blue, which folk singer/songwriter Steve Tilston has described as “a delightful collection of traditional and original songs, all embedded in thoughtful arrangements.”



Faradena will be joined by her friends Steve Beresford (piano); Ansuman Biswas (voice, tabla, viola, sarod); James Eisner (guitar, voice); Martin Kaszak (guitar); Melanie Rose (violin, voice); Rowland Sutherland (flutes) and Julian Woods (bass guitar, double bass). Also taking part in the evening will be Joy Rutherford, resident illustrator for this project.  



Faradena is a British Afghani community musician and full time T’ai Chi practitioner influenced by nature (especially birdsong), improvisation and any musical form that involves unusual rhythms. When not playing folk music, Faradena co-ordinates The Noisy Women, an unpredictable mixed-media collective. She performs in the UK and internationally. One of the conductors and musicians in the London Improvisers Orchestra, she recently started working with international artist, Coco Mbassi, playing multifaceted, beautiful songs from Cameroon. Fara performs solo, in the duo Kaszak & Afifi with Martin Kaszak, and now with the 6-piece band, Faradena & Friends, comprising internationally recognised musicians Ansuman Biswas, Martin Kaszak, Coco Mbassi, Rowland Sutherland and Julian Woods.



Steve Beresford has been a central figure in the British and international spontaneous music scenes for over forty years, freely improvising on the piano, electronics and other things with people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, John Zorn, London Improvisers Orchestra and Alterations (with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack).

He has worked with Christian Marclay on numerous Marclay mixed media pieces. He has also worked with The Slits, Najma Akhtar, Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler, Prince Far-I, Alan Hacker, Tania Chen, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Faradena Afifi, Ray Davies, Mandhira De Saram, The Flying Lizards, Zeena Parkins, The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Ilan Volkov, Rachel Musson, Vic Reeves, Lore Lixenberg, Valentina Magaletti and many others.

He has an extensive discography as performer, arranger, free-improviser, composer, conductor and producer, and was awarded a Paul Hamlyn award for composers in 2012.



Percussionist Ansuman Biswas, who is interested in hybridity and interdisciplinarity, has an interdisciplinary practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing and theatre. He has worked as a composer and musician in a wide range of contexts from jazz to Indian Classical music, and from pop songs to industrial noise. He has been commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network, the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the English National Opera and Guangdong Modern Dance Company in China, as well as numerous other ensembles, film makers and theatre and dance companies. He has worked with the BBC, Channel 4, MTV, The Royal Opera House and The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Bjork Courtney Pine and The Specials. He has shown visual art at Tate Modern, The South London Gallery, The Whitechapel Gallery and the ICA.



Lutenist, guitarist and singer James Eisner is that rare thing: a Scottish-American-Hungarian-Jewish-English linguist/musician with a degree in physics - in short, a man of many parts (and is still wondering quite how they fit together)! He has sung with many different local groups and in 1998, recorded “Songs Through the Centuries”, an album of songs for tenor, lute and guitar from the 12th to the 20th century.

He currently teaches voice and guitar in Cambridge.




Singer/songwriter/guitarist Martin Kaszak has played at major Folk, Blues and acoustic clubs and festivals. He gently dips between traditional folk, ragtime blues and modern song influences to create an entertaining and atmospheric sound. He is a fine singer and guitarist specialising in ragtime finger-picking guitar. In addition to playing solo, he plays in the duo Kaszak and Afifi. His wide musical influences range from Blind Blake and Jim Croce to Rory Gallagher and Ralph McTell. Martin has supported major folk performers including Ralph McTell, Martin Carthy, Phil Beer, Steve Tilston, John Renbourn and Wizz Jones.



Melanie Rose is a committed violinist and music educationalist. After graduating in Music from Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, she became a Colourstrings teacher. She plays freelance for local orchestral and choral performances and also performs in a community Samba band. As well as gigging in an all-female folk band, La Frida Violeta, which specialises in South American music, she has been a session musician for rock bands. Using her Kodaly qualification, she set up Melody Footsteps to provide classes and workshops in early years education.



Flautist and arranger Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career in many different fields of music. He regularly performs in new music ensembles, jazz groups, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups and pop outfits, as well as a soloist. Many of Rowland's solo contemporary flute performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has composed and arranged music for bands, ensembles and for the BBC.

He has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre, at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Chatelet Les Halles and at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. Ensembles and dance companies he has worked with include Lontano, Icebreaker, The New Music Players, notes inegales, Phoenix Dance and Rambert Dance Company. Orchestras he has played with include the Philharmonia; the Bournemouth Symphony; the BBC, the National Orchestra of Wales, the London Philharmonic and the European Community Chamber Orchestra.

Rowland tutors at Trinity College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music and lectures at Birmingham Conservatoire.




Guitarist, bassist, arranger and composer Julian Woods is currently studying for an MPerf in Jazz Performance at Guildhall School of Music. Driven by his eclectic tastes, the techniques Julian has recently been exploring include microtonality, free improvisation and polystylism. He has recently performed at popular London venues such as the Vortex Jazz Club and Café OTO, and is involved in a wide variety of projects, some of which involve Maggie Nicols, Steve Beresford, Phil Minton and other acclaimed improvisers.

In 2022, Julian released his debut single onto streaming services, his reimagining of a Charles Ives quartertone piano work, arranged for two electric guitars and performed by himself and guitar virtuoso Ant Law. This won 3rd place in the International Microtonal Guitar Competition and received praise from Grammy-winning guitarist John Schneider and others.


Alongside his studies and regular performances with the London Improvisers Orchestra, The Noisy Women, Human Interference Task Force, and other groups, Julian is currently working on recording and releasing new original material.

julian_woods | Instagram, Facebook | Linktree


Joy Rutherford, a lyricist and talented illustrator of children’s books, has illustrated some of Faradena’s songs. Faradena loves Joy's drawings and enjoys her books for children, so was thrilled when Joy accepted her request to produce drawings for some of her songs. These drawings will be on display this evening! 


Bryan Causton and Penni McLaren Walker

Fuelled by Penni McLaren Walker’s guitar work and beautiful songs, accompanied by Bryan Causton’s exquisite mandolin playing, Causton and Walker have amassed a popular following with their entertaining, foot-tapping, moving music. Bryan, founding member of Shave the Monkey, writes and creates intriguing arrangements, and multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Penni wrote the lyrics and songs for the “Scott of the Antarctic” concept album, 2022. They both play in The Boxwood Chessmen and The Tin Giants, and Penni worked with the late poet, Clare Crossman, to produce the song cycle “Fen Song”.