Rising Stars - The Fresh Sounds of New Talent at Pizza Express August 21st

Rising Stars - The Fresh Sounds of New Talent 

Czech Guitar star Libor Smoldas hosts a very special night dedicated to the some of the brightest rising musical stars. We are especially happy to stage a concert of some of the exceptionally gifted musicians that have spent time as students on our courses, and who have now embark on their own professional careers and journeys as artists. All of them are well on the way to become the next rising stars. Expect to hear highly accomplished exciting music, often with a new original twist. 


Libor Smoldas     guitar

Sam Barnet         sax

Daniel Clason      trumpet

Nick Fitch             guitar

Eleni Arapoglou   vocals

Nel Begley           vocals

Roz MacDonald   bass

Eddie Hick           drums

Ticket Price


Show Time: 830pm


Libor Smoldas   guitar

Libor Ć moldas was born in 1982 in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, but has lived in Prague most of his life. He has been gaining recognition across Europe and USA for several years now. Playing hunderds of concerts both in clubs and festivals and releasing several albums as a leader. He ranks among the stars of the Czech jazz scene in spite of his youth, and plays, teaches and records with the international stars of the jazz world including Adam Nusbaum, Bobby Watson, Brian Charette, George Mraz, Sam Yahel and Jeff Ballard. He the won award for Best jazz composition of a year Awarded by OSA and Bohemia Jazz Fest 2014.

Daniel Clason   trumpet

Daniel was playing the organ in a church from the age of 6 and later started to play trumpet when he was 10.

He was fortunate to have always been surrounded by music lovers in his family. He says his real inspiration comes from his mother who has supported him in all his efforts to be a musician.

He won a Scholarship in 2014 to attend Siena Jazz, Italy

Later on he went on to play lead trumpet in Jazz Focus (youth Bigband) and then with Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest directed by Martin Fondse (4th trumpet and solist). He also plays with the “Marco Santos” group, and ‘’Pandora Project’’. His own album Daniel Clason Ensemble will release its most recent recording very soon.

Due to a surgical proceedure at the beginning of 2014 he was put in a life threatening condition and had to be kept in an artificial coma for an extended period of time. During this time it was unknown if he could ever be able play again. He became more aware of how precious music was to him and the love for it only grew in spite of the physical injuries. Due to this experience he feels that life is worth exploring and no one should ever feel held back from following their dreams. Now fully healed Daniel enjoys a full calender as his musical journey continues and he goes ahead on the road to establishing himself as a musician and composer. He is one of the most gifted young jazz musicians to have emerged in Netherlands in recent years and is a valuable addition to the European Jazz scene.

Eleni Arapoglou    vocals

Fascinated by the variety of musical traditions, she has studied music from India, the Middle East, the Balkans, Latin American, flamenco, Greek music as well as songs from the world of jazz & soul. Singing such different music lead her to develop a quite versatile voice and curious ear with which she constantly explores the beauty of improvisation, both in jazz and in a freer musical landscape. During her years at Berklee she performed at the Latin Grammy Ceremony with Alejandro Sanz in November '13.

Eleni is a graduate of Berklee Boston and is now performing in New York with her own group. She enjoys collaborating in various projects and is always eager to explore her voice and performance in different settings that challenge her as an artist.

Nicholas Fitch   guitar

Nick is a guitarist currently studying at the Guildhall School Of Music He specialises in Rock, Jazz, Pop & Classical. 

He doubles on mandolin, banjo, ukulele, slide guitar & lap steel.

He has performed at many of the country's top music venues including Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, The 606 Jazz Club, Pizza Express Soho, Pizza Express Pheasentry and The Barbican.

Nick is regularly playing in and around London, both as a bandleader and as a sideman. He also holds the chair for both the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and the NYJO Nonet

Eddie Hick   drums

Eddie graduated from Leeds College of Music with a BA hons in Jazz music, receiving the Sam Rose bowl for outsanding performance and the John Scheerer's Drum Prize. Shortly afterwards he relocated to London and has since toured extensively across the UK, Europe and Latin America.

He has toured/recorded with Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra. He has also performed and recorded with many different artists in a wide range of genres including;

Mark Ronson, Alicia Keys, Tinie Tempah, Dave Liebman, Bobby Watson, Edward Simon, Omar Puente, Sarah Gillespie, Dele Sosimi, and Gary Crosby to name a few.

He began playing drums aged 13, being heavily influenced by the music of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, James Brown and Ghanaian Kpanlogo.

He has also been featured on national TV (BBC1). In 2011 he recorded on the theme song for the London 2012 Olympics, "Anywhere in the World' by Mark Ronson and Katy B, and was filmed in the music video. Eddie now also teaches on Global Music Foundation (GMF) courses in the UK and Europe.

Nel Begley

Nel Begley is a vocalist and songwriter based in Leeds, currently composing and performing within a number of projects including 'Nel and the Elephants' (EP's self titled and Morning Love) and 'After Hours' performing internationally. Graduate of Leeds College of Music where she had the opportunity to work with musicians including Ben Cotrell and Callum Au, and develop a deep love of Jazz and vocal improvisation.

Sam Barnett

is a young musician from London playing Saxophone, Piano and composition. I’m studying at The Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music Junior Jazz Academy. 

He is sponsored by Trevor James Saxophones as their first “Emerging Artist” playing their Signature Custom Raw Alto and Tenor saxes.

He is also an EMI Music Sound Foundation award holder and won the Youth Category of the Mayor of London’s Gigs competition in 2013. He has trained with National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Tomorrow’s Warriors and the the last two summers He has also enjoyed training at Berklee College of Music in Valencia and Boston where he was honoured to be awarded a scholarship for their undergraduate programme.


Rising Stars - The Fresh Sounds of New Talent  at Pizza Express August 21st