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Maggie Nicols | Back
Vocals and Dance

Maggie Nicols describes herself on her website as an "actor, activist, teacher, community catalyst, dancer" and - most significantly for Jazz North East - "singer of songs and sounds". Certainly her career has been extraordinarily varied, beginning at 15 as a dancer at London's Windmill Theatre, with her first singing engagement in a Manchester strip club a year later. Dancing and singing continued through the 1960s, the former at such prestigious venues as the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and the latter increasingly in the company of the new band of improvising musicians centred around John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble. The '70s brought political engagement as an active feminist, founding the Feminist Improvising Group and collaborating with a variety of women's theatre and music collectives. All these threads continue to occupy her - she is quite likely to break into tap if the music so moves her - but it's her singing, whether performing actual lyrics or using her voice as a wordless instrument, that sits at the very heart of her inspirational art.

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