MUSIC HIGH FIVE: Helen McDonald shares her musical faves

…where we hi-five local musical movers and shakers. We ask five questions to get to know the people who play regularly or contribute in other ways to Brixton’s live music scene. This month it’s the turn of Helen McDonald

What do you do and where do you do it?

I’m a musician and storyteller. I often tell stories at the Horniman Museum. I’ve played in Brixton and all over the place from Russia to Zanzibar, Ghana, Sudan, Guyana and Jamaica with bands and Theatre Companies. Yaaba Funk and Future Groove are the main bands I play with.

Favourite memories of playing in Brixton?

I’ve had some great gigs in Brixton with Yaaba Funk at the Grosvenor and Mango Landin’, and more recently at The Hootananny and The Ritzy. Pop Brixton also has great vibes, great audiences, Brixton Vibes!

What are you listening to at the moment?

All kinds of things … Thundercat, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday … Old and new keeps me happy.

Favourite album of all time and why?

Gil Scott Heron Piece of a Man. I was lucky enough to meet Gil and he told me to sing his song Lady Day and John Coltrane, so I recorded it! It’s on 7-inch vinyl – old skool! get it at Pure Vinyl Record Shop in Ferndale Road, Brixton!

Where can we hear you next?

Playing with Yaaba Funk on 3 May at The Hootananny, 6 July Thamesmead Festival, and with Future Groove and the Jazz Migrations, on 25 June Upstairs at the Ritzy.