". . . within a single song she can veer from folk to jazz to blues to Beat to a New Orleans boisterous knockabout to rockabilly and
back . . .  Like Dylan on amphetamines."
- Financial Times
"Her witty, free-flowing originals on Wishbones have a beat poet's eye for observation." 
- Jazzwise
"Ruta definitely has her own unique vocal sound, that's for sure." - BBC Radio Scotland, Jazz Nights
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Sarah Gillespie

Support: Ruta Di

"An incandescent presence with superior lyrics." - The Guardian


"We need to go

back to the 1960s and 70s – the  golden age

of the singer-songwriter – to

find artists of comparable potency and conviction scaling similar heights."

- The Arts Desk

''Unconditionally  is a ray of sunlight on a rainy day."- Jazz Views on Ruta Di

(Rescheduled from Sunday, January 24th, 2021)

Tickets for the original date are valid for the new one. Ticket holders requiring refunds should contact the Box Office via ticketing@colchesterartscentre.com

"Sarah Gillespie, who joins Bob Dylan's lyrical bite and languid delivery to the forthrightness of Joni Mitchell, with a little rap-like percussiveness thrown in, is an original," wrote The Guardian and Jazzwise critic John Fordham.


A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who cites among her influences the aforesaid Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, plus Tom Waits and Lou ReedSarah is renowned for mixing elements of jazz, blues and folk with her distinctive streetwise lyricism.


Sarah’s lyrically driven songs are conveyed with a powerfully sensuous voice and deft finger-picking guitar. With her distinctive delivery, she's a passionate and formidable storyteller – wrestling with the toils of life, love and yearning in a style that blends everyday banter with raw poetry.  


Bursting with character, Sarah's voice is strong and provocative, yet at the same time full of vulnerability - and it is this that makes her such a compelling performer.

All four of Sarah's albums - Stalking Juliet, In The Current Climate, Glory Days and Wishbones - have garnered four and five star reviews from The Guardian, MOJO, The Independent, Rock and Real and The Arts Desk, plus plaudits from iconic musician Robert Wyatt.

As a teenager, Sarah busked across America and returned to London where she received a first class honours degree in literature and a Masters in Philosophy and Politics.


She went on to perform across Europe, the UK and the USA, with appearances on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Start the Week and Loose Ends, plus airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 3, and local stations worldwide. Her debut collection of poetry, Queen Ithaca Blues, was published by Oxford's Albion Beatnik Press.

Backed by young jazz heavyweights Chris Montague, Kit Downes, Ruth Goller and James Maddren, this lady's a fiercely independent and radical singer-songwriter, eschewing the clichés of the 'chick with a guitar' genre to deliver something far more poetic, political and visceral.


A hugely talented performer, aside from her sublime songwriting and a sultry voice that conjures up smoky saloon bars and jazz joints, she is a successful artist and poet.

"At the height of her career, Wishbones is required listening, Gillespie and her band required viewing," commented Close Up Culture, and when reviewing a recent concert (when her voice went midway through her set), commented: "Even in adversity, Sarah Gillespie shines like the moon. Brilliantly so. A full moon." 

Sarah Gillespie (Vocals/Guitar), Chris Montague (Guitar), Kit Downes (Organ/Piano), Ruth Goller (Bass), James Maddren (Drums).


Lithuanian-born, London-based Ruta Di is a gifted vocalist/guitarist who blends a rich and inventive mix of neo-soul, jazz and funk with heartfelt lyrics.

Ruta Di (Vocals/Guitar), Michele Tacchi (Bass).

Tickets: £16 / £14 Concessions. Students £6 (+ Booking Fee)

Doors: 7.00pm. 1st Set: 7.30pm