Joanna Foster’s stunning acapella quartet Anima sing inspirational songs of enchantment and soul quests, a magical fusion of jazz and soul. ‘the depth and power of Foster’s jazz inflected songs stand up to the competition.’ Now Magazine ‘ the music is always fantastic’ The Guardian

Anima means ‘soul’ and ‘ breath of life’. Following in the footsteps of Bobby McFerrin and Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Anima acapella quartet cover a wide musical terrain, from the exhilarating up beat energy of jazz, through rhythmic soul numbers, to haunting Irish folk.

Anima’s recent credits include The Tribal Earth Festival in East Sussex; the ‘Green Sunday’ event at The Arcola Theatre; ‘Dance of Desire’ show at The Quaker House with Butterfly Theatre Co.; ‘What the River Sings’ at Trinity Buoy Wharf with The Grand Union Orchestra; ‘Visions of 7’ show at Bridport Art Centre; ‘Ocean of Song’ at St John at Hackney Church and regular lunchtime concerts at The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Joanna Foster actor singer playwright composer
Anima at The Arcola Theatre
Anima perform Visions of 7

The rich diversity of these four actor/singers ranges from acting with The Royal Shakespeare Company to singing jazz, folk and pop, playing with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and performing at The Royal Opera House.Singers are Cleo Bayley, Joanna Foster, Stephen D. Fletcher and Katie Rose.

Cleo is a singer song-writer once signed to Warner Chapel Publishing. Having performed with various bands, she went on to set up a variety of community music groups including Hackney Voices Community Choir and Mudlarks Community Choir. She is a long term member of Anima and lives in Westcliff on Sea with her husband and two children.

Joanna is an actress, singer, composer. Acting includes RSC, RNT and recently The Bible Ch 5. Her song cycle Visions of 7 premiered at The Arcola Theatre in 2007. Composed for ‘Breathe’ project at The Royal Brompton Hospital with the Singing for Breathing group and artist Jayne Wilton. She writes and performs with acapella group Anima and co runs Hackney Voices choir with Cleo Bayley.

Anima preservation room

Steve is a keyboard player and singer having played with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Paul Brady, Bob Geldof and others. He first met Joanna Foster as an actor performing in Godspell and has been a part of Anima for five years. He also represented the UK in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest.

Katie Rose - singer, musician, facilitator, writer - described by The Guardian as a 'fine singer', Katie has released three albums and composed music for projects including Road to Peace, a film about the Dalai Lama. Passionate about the power of song to make a difference, she is a regular fundraiser for Sing for Water and co-ordinated a large concert at which members of Anima and Hackney Voices performed with other community choirs.

"...the music is always fantastic" - The Guardian

"...the depth and power of Foster's jazz inflected songs stand up to the competition...Her songs are witty and intelligent, and the music flows beautifully..." - Now Magazine,

“...sensitive, versatile contemporary singing with lots of joy, fire and feeling.” - Kindred Spirit Music Magazine

“...originals by Joanna Foster are complex quilts in a Sweet Honey in the Rock tradition...A definite find for fans of female voices” - Ladyslipper Magazine USA

“...blows the socks off many contemporary groups...” - Now Magazine

Visions of 7 at The Arcola Theatre

Anima at Clapton festival

Anima performing at Clapton Music Festival

Visit Anima’s website

Former members and thanks to; Barbara Gellhorn, Hazel Holder, Maia Waldman, Konnie Deppe and Eve Polycarpou. Bryan James and Simon Annand for photography.