An internationally known musician, poet & soundscape artist, Shephali Frost’s music crosses the boundaries of language, culture, genre and form. Her Indo-British fusion band, ‘Shephali Frost Ensemble’ is making waves with a unique combination of western & Indian classical music with modern jazz, to present Sufi poetry & ghazals from 13th to 18th century in ancient India, Pakistan, Persia, Iraq & Afghanistan. Her powerful voice is joined by core collaborators, Zak Barret, Martin Hathaway & Chris Caldwell on saxophone, Trevor Taylor on percussion, Shanti Jayasimha on cello, Susie Hodders William on flute, Dave Lee on piano, Jonathan Mayer on the Indian sitar & Aslam Ali on tabla.
The band is currently on a UK tour spanning 8 venues across the country from July to October 2023 (Details in Events).
Shephali’s repertoire is a surprising intermix of medieval songs with modern English lyrics, spoken-word & poetry. Slow, contemplative compositions alternate with fast rhythms, alternating her audiences between meditative repose & impromptu dance. A keen student of history, she also takes her audience on a well-researched tour of Sufi poets and their era.
Shephali is known to collaborate with multiple genres and artistic disciplines. She recently performed a fusion concert with the Chelmsford Cathedral Choral singers on the event of Luke Jerram’s model of the Earth, Gaia coming to the Chelmsford. She recently completed a commission to create music & archive-based soundscape to commemorate 100 years of BBC by the Chelmsford Museum & contemporary artist Sian Fan.
Shephali has collaborated with pioneers of the free jazz and improv movement, Trevor Taylor & violinist Peter Wachsmann at Jazz Centre UK, in Southend, where she created experimental & impromptu soundscapes with intersection of poetry, music, spoken word & drama.
Shephali is trained in Indian classical music & apart from her Indo-Western repertoire, is renowned internationally for her performance of traditional Urdu poetry in a distinct and much-loved style. Some highlights of this traditional repertoire are the Urdu Language Academy in Bhopal, Metaphor Lit fest in Lucknow, Nehru Centre in London, SOAS & Waterman’s Arts Centre UK. In December 2022, she conducted a concert tour in India culminating in the international Urdu festival, Jashn-e-Rekhta in New Delhi.
Shephali is a well-known poet. Her poetry in translations was featured in the recent Mulosige project by the Museums of London & The School of Oriental & African studies, University of London. She is the author of two books of poetry in Hindi & has just finished writing a book of poetry in English called, ‘New Delhi Nocturne’. Shephali’s creative work is deeply influenced by her award-winning stint as screenwriter and documentary film-maker, which includes an RTS award, Nicoll Fellowship finalist award, New York Los Angeles best screenplay award & Women’s International best screenplay award, among others.
Shephali has always addressed urgent world issues like world peace, human rights & climate change. Her earliest performances were on the streets of New Delhi, at various people’s rallies in support of minority rights and communal harmony. Some past highlights of her community-based concerts in UK are her collaborative concerts with Syrian refugees in Essex, fund-raiser for Red Cross in Ukraine & creative-writing workshop with members of 'Freedom from Turture' in London. She has recently created the ‘Hello World - Refugee music project’ with support from the Essex County Council.