This popular UK jazz pop fusion group comprised Deirdre Cartwright (b. 27 July 1956, London, England; guitar), Josefina Cupido (b. 21 July 1951, London, England; drums/vocals), Laka Daisical (b. Dorota Koch, 8 January 1953, Oxford, England; piano/vocals), Linda Da Mango (b. Linda Malone, 19 April 1951, Southampton, Hampshire, England; congas/percussion/vocals), Alison Rayner (b. 7 September 1952, Bromley, Kent, England; bass), and Ruthie Smith (b. 24 November 1950, Manchester, England; saxophones/vocals). The all-women Guest Stars came together in the early 80s. Their lively mixture of Latin, African, Caribbean and jazz musics reflected their various backgrounds in groups such as Soulyard (Daisical, Da Mango, Smith), Redbrass (Cupido), Jam Today (Rayner) and Tour De Force (Cartwright - who was also co-presenter of the BBC Television series, Rockschool). The six were also core members of the all-women big bands Sisterhood Of Spit and Lydia D’Ustebyn Swing Orchestra, and Cupido, Daisical and Smith sang with the a cappella Hipscats. Linked by their commitment to feminism and to collective working (the band organized their own tours and released their own records, with the help of administrators Deborah Dickinson and Anne Cooper), the Guest Stars did not neglect the goodtime aspects of their music; their live performances were often uproarious affairs, more like parties than concerts. They toured the UK, the USA, Germany, Spain and the Middle East and released three albums before splitting up in 1989. Since then Cartwright, Daisical (with Slave To The Rhythm) and Rayner (with the Jazz Garden) have led their own groups, while Cupido works regularly with the Grand Union big band. A brief Guest Stars reunion took place in 2004.
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