Concert: Live Jazz and Spoken Word recited without a voice box, Glasgow, 2 March 2019

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Date:  2pm, Saturday 2 March 2019

Location: Paisley Abbey, PA1 1JG

Live Jazz and Spoken Word recited without a voice box, Glasgow, UK.

The cancer charities TRACTion Cancer Support and Shout at Cancer proudly announce their event with the Peter Edwards Trio: Outspoken Jazz, in collaboration with Peter Johnson (The Repeat Beat Poet) and Bruce  Sherfield (Spoken word) featuring La Verne Williams (Soprano) and our participants who had their voice box surgically removed (Laryngectomy).

Saturday 2 March 2019, 2pm, Paisley Abbey, PA1 1JG

Tickets:  £5

TRACTion Cancer Support raises awareness of Cancers of the Head & Neck and include Cancers of the Pharynx, Larynx, Thyroid, Oesophagus and Gastric Cancer. Advance the standard of healthcare for patients with a Head & Neck, Pharynx, Larynx, Thyroid, Oesophogeal or Gastric Cancer diagnosis. For their first event they are collaborating with the only choir in the U.K. of which all members have lost their voice box due to Larynx cancer.

Shout at Cancer is a newly founded charity dedicated to helping people rebuild their lives after laryngectomy – the surgical removal of the voice box, usually performed in patients with highly developed stages of throat cancer. The psychosocial impact of losing the voice is significant, affecting a person’s professional and social life in a devastating way. It should be no surprise that patients often fall prey to social isolation and depression. A problem they face when they do go out, is the negative perception which is mostly based on a lack of public education around this topic.The changes following treatment to the structures involved in phonation introduce substantial challenges for cancer patients and can be experienced in speech after laryngectomy, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.

Regular exercise is important in controlling these structures and keeping them supple. It is however a difficult task for a speech therapist to keep the patient engaged and motivated to practise; and to give psychosocial support at the same time.

Together with Peter Johnson (The Repeat Beat Poet) and Bruce Edward we have developed workshops around Spoken Word to create a wide variety of exercises that are fun, interactive, maximize the intonation of the voice and help to express emotional distressing themes in life after laryngectomy.

We have translated the outcome of our Spoken Word Workshops into a narrative of testimonials and poetry to explain the landscape of life after laryngectomy to and engage with a broader audience. We have integrated the lyrics into an empowering selection of Jazz improvisations and our laryngectomy group will proudly recite them live on the day of the concert.

“Thanks to our concert organised by TRACTion Cancer Support we will help to make more people aware of the symptoms of Head & Neck, Pharynx, Larynx, Thyroid, Oesophogeal and Gastric Cancers leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment for better survival rates.”


Liz Grant one of the trustees of TRACTion Cancer Support

Our aim is to set up a help and support network for patients and their families throughout Scotland which includes working in partnerships with other organisations who can provide help and up to date information. We our proud to have Macmillan, Schotland Cancer Support and Big Lottery Fund as partners and excited to have our first event with the Laryngectomy choir. The Voiceless Choir, symbolically, will help us to ensure we have a voice for the patients and their social environment we want to reach.

Jazz pianist, composer and musical director Peter Edwards:

We spent a lot of time in selecting the Jazz themes to empower and integrate the Spoken Word poetry based on the stories of the unfortunate individuals who have lost their voice box. We aim to engage participants and create a stimulating and interactive environment for collaborative artistic performance between cancer patients, their relatives or supporters and a professional group of musicians and poets. The outcome is an empowering and educating statement performed live by our laryngectomy participants: a beautiful expression of inspiring resilience to aversity.

Music says the unsaid, it fills in the gaps, it gives our emotions a place.

It is hard to put word on emotions and music does this remarkably well. It is so understandable and improves the accessibility towards understanding…

Director of Shout at Cancer and Doctor with special interest in voice pathology, medical lead and research coordinator Dr. Thomas Moors:

“There’s more music in your voice than you think and our techniques and approach are allowing you to realise this. For this occasion we’ve used Spoken Word Workshops to explore how to control intonation better and express yourself about difficulties in life after laryngectomy in a welcoming and creative environment.”

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