BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus

by World Heart Beat Music Academy
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus
BE THERE - support young people during coronavirus

World Heart Beat has had a busy and productive start to the year, some of the key highlights of which we’d like to share with you below.  

In February, after much behind the scenes collaboration, brainstorming, site explorations, rehearsals, filming and production, World Heart Beat introduced The Nine Elms Sessions – a series of six music videos celebrating the Nine Elms local community whilst reflecting on the area’s heritage, present identity and promising future. The music videos feature the next generation of musical talent from our academy, and were kindly co-supported by Wandsworth Council and Developer EcoWorld Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens, the new business and residential quarter in Nine Elms.  

The videos play homage to the Nine Elms’ Portuguese and Latin communities with an energetic samba parade; tell the history of the Nine Elms docks as a destination of choice for Irish settlers; salute the Vauxhall-born, early aviator and aircraft manufacturer Hilda Hewlett; commemorate the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness; feature the iconic Ramport Studios (where The Who recorded its Quadrophenia album) as well as showcasing snapshots of the Nine Elms landscape, including The U.S Embassy, The New Covent Garden Market and Battersea Power Station. 

This summer, World Heart Beat will be welcoming individuals to its new state-of-the-art digital music education and concert venue in Nine Elms, featuring a 200-capacity auditorium and industry standard recording studio in advance of its official opening in October this year. Please visit our website here to find out more about the project! 

Last month, we launched EMERGE, our first-ever music industry intensive course for emerging talent (aged 16-25 years) keen to develop their music careers. The event was supported by Stride, an organisation which encourages creativity and innovation to thrive in South London. Music Industry professionals including Domino, Reprezent Radio, Jyoty, Anjelo Disons, Lex Amor, andShireen Valentina took part in panel discussions, networking opportunities, interviews and practical workshops ranging from beat-making, filming for music videos to learning about copyrights. It provided an excellent opportunity for young creatives to be inspired and to learn more about the UK music industry, as well as gaining skills and cultivating new networks. EMERGE ensures that the vital experiences, knowledge and imaginations of Black, culturally diverse and female talent are placed front and centre in the future of the music industries. This summer, we’ll be holding an 8-week training programme delivered with industry leader partners – watch this space to find out more!  

We also launched the Planet Harmony Project, which explores the themes of social, racial and climate justice through music. Working in collaboration with Griffin Primary School in Nine Elms, Trombonist, Writer and Producer Winston Rollins (The Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Aswad, Jamiroquai, Courtney Pine, Jool Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra) is leading a 12-week course with 22 young people who have little or no musical experience, but plenty of enthusiasm to learn! The project also includes an introduction to samba rhythms, making instruments out of recycled materials as well as writing songs.  

Other exciting news to report is the launch of our online Piano Department – please subscribe to our YouTube channel and see some of the exceptional performances from five of our emerging pianists performing Bach, Beethoven andProkofiev. The event took place at the beautiful Coach House Pianos, and was hosted by award-winning composer and World Heart Beat’s Head of Keyboard and Composition, Michael Csányi-Wills.

Thank you as always for your support!

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It’s been a wonderful time as ever at World Heart Beat with community events in Nine Elms, eye-wateringly good fundraising success, the launch of our Latin and South Asian Online Programme and even performing in the annual Lord Mayor’s Show on a horse-drawn bus performing to a crowd of more than 500,000 spectators 

First and foremost, we are delighted to announce an award of £800,000 from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) towards the creation of a vibrant new music education centre and concert venue in Nine Elms, to launch in Autumn next year.  Just one of six grants awarded in London, the funding is an endorsement of the project, which is situated in an area of major regeneration and will help benefit thousands of young people, many living in disadvantaged conditions in neighbouring estatesacross the wider borough of Wandsworth, and beyond. 

The public concert hall, the first to open in London since 2008, will programme an exciting mix of emerging, professional and international headline artists performing music from across the globe. To reach our target, we have now launched the final phase of our fundraising campaign, to raise the last £600,000 to enable us to fully realise our vision. Anyone interested in supporting can find out more  by visiting where you can also find the ‘shopping list’ and how to donate.  

A Wandsworth Council spokesperson said: “Securing £800,000 of the Levelling Up Fund is a huge milestone for Wandsworth Council and World Heart Beat. As ‘cultural anchor’ partners, this money will go towards cementing a musical base into the very fabric of Nine Elms, a place that is fast becoming a destination for arts and cultural organisations. We look forward to continuing the fantastic work that World Heart Beat are already doing in the Nine Elms community to reach new audiences and bring music to our vibrant neighbourhood.” 

We have taken part in an abundance of community events in Nine Elms to introduce and help strengthen our presence in tharea before we open our second venue next year. Oli Savill, Basement Jaxx percussionist led two drumming workshops for World Heart Beat at St. George's Thessaly Church on the Patmore Estate; young people and families in the area took part and were encouraged to join in the fun by learning Afro-Cuban beats.  

At the end of August, wtook part in the Latin Jam Festival, free, family-friendly weekend event with live music and dance which took place at the Black Cab Coffee Company, a riverside piazza venue overlooking the inlet dock and the River Thames in Nine Elms. World Heart Beat put on Brazilian Rhythm workshops and a performance for young people led by Charlles Andre Souza De Almeida (known as Charlles Junior) and his Samba Band. 

At the end of October, we took part in the Line of Light Festival, a weekend event to celebrate the communities living above the extension of the new Northern line tube, taking audiences across a 3.2km walking route between Battersea Power Station and the Oval with projections across buildings, accompanied by soundscapes. Our gig band musicians performed to an evening crowd at New Union Square, Embassy Gardensone of two Festival hubs with other free family friendly community activities, including arts workshops and street theatre. 

In mid-November, courtesy of the Rotary Internationalour New Orleans Band second line band took part in the Lord Mayor’s Showenthusiastically joining in the celebrations of 800 years of pageantry Our musicians made their way through the City of London whilst performing on an open top, horse-drawn bus to a crowd of over 500,000 spectators! 

Last monthwe launched our free online music programmeWorld Heart Beat Onlinefour curated music courses honouring Latin American and South Asian music and their communities, for young people (aged 7-25 years). Internationally acclaimed musicians Alok Verma, Pepe Barcellos, Almir Pessoa and Jonathan Mayer are leading the introductory and specialist courses, with sitar and caipira  instruments available on loan for freeThere's still time to sign up, so please share if you know anyoneor any communitieswho may be interested in taking part 

If you are a cinema-goer, look out for the latest ZEDRA ad featuring our young musicians and our Jazz programme Leader trumpet-extraordinaire, Byron Wallen; they were invited to be part of ZEDRA’s  #HeroesWorkHere ad campaign, to shine a light on its true heroes, including those at our academy! 

We wish everyone a very happy festive period and prosperous 2022! We would like to say thank you for all your supportwhich is invaluable in helping make the dream of World Heart Beat a reality.  


Photographer Sam Bibby at Bibby Productions
Photographer Sam Bibby at Bibby Productions
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It's been aeventful summer for World Heart Beat with the return of live music performances as well as continued online activity after a difficult covid influenced, lockdown year. 

In May, two of our young musiciansAva Joseph and Carla Flores produced and presented their first ever virtual concert ‘Operation Forest’, a follow up to ‘For the Struggle’ concert held earlier in the Spring. The concert highlighted the need for global awareness of racial injustice and equality for all – as well as the need to protect our planet.  

The young musicians came up with the concept during lockdown. Since they were no longer able to meet in person and in light of Black Lives Matterthey came together virtually with fellow Heart Beat musicians to express themselves as well as giving something back to the academy, in recognition of the support they’ve received over the years. Many of the students involved also learn at the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy (JJJA) - both academies help to secure the shared enrichment and creation of more well-rounded musicians, who thrive through learning and performing together.   

Highlights included Jazz vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, MBE – a mentor who provides masterclasses at the academy featuring in the centerpiece composition with ‘Oh Freedom’, a post-civil war African American freedom song by galvanising all the musicians to sing as an a capella choir, as well as BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Deschanel Gordon performing Duke Ellington’s classic ‘Come Sunday’, from his highly celebrated suite of 1942 entitled ‘Black, Brown and Beige’. 

Another highlight over the summer was our Congrego! Festival (Latin for gather/join) which provided a vibrant and danceable showcase of Latin energy and culture at this year’s Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival (WAF). This year, World Heart Beat, one of this year’s grant awardees, showcased a fiesta of stunning curated performances providing a much-needed celebratory date for the diary that brought musicians, dancers and the community together after so much time apart 

Taking place in the ‘outdoor’ iconic Big Top Tent, Internationally-acclaimed Cuban violinist Omar Puente directed and performed with World Heart Beat’s young musicians in a programme of Cuban, Venezuelan and Brazilian music, as well as everyone’s favorite tracks from the Buena Vista Social Club repertoire and a performance from his own Cuban band.  

From the excitement of Salsa and the wonderful rhythms of the Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, traditional Rumba and Son to the blood-racing energy of Latin Jazz the dynamic, high energy professional dancers from The Salsa Cabana Show brought the warm 'Rhythms of Cuba' to accompany the music – it certainly was an evening to rememberThe energy and vibe from the festival was such a hit that Omar will be introducing a new Latin Music course for our young people starting in September, we can’t wait! 

 World Heart Beat also presented its online livestreamed American Cultural Concert as part of a jazz inspired education and performance programmefunded by The American EmbassyMusical performances spanned a whole host of music genres including New Orleans 2nd Line Band, blues, jazz, soul and R&B. 

The academy has taken part in many workshops and festivals (as well as performing piano recitals to local Southfields’ residents queuing for their covid vaccinations) in the Nine Elms area, a great opportunity for the local community to find out more about World Heart Beat before its second venue opens in Spring 2022. Musicians and volunteers toopart and helped show that everyone can take part in music learning – no matter the age, experience or background.  

Events included the community-led Happy Streets Festival organised by Wandsworth Council, exclusive 2-day percussion workshops learning Afro-Cuban rhythm for families and young people led by Oli Savill (Basement Jaxx percussionist), as well as taking part in the Latin Jam 2 Festival– a weekender of Latin music and dance –  by holding Brazilian rhythm workshops for young people (aged 6 –25 years) plus a performance by Charlles Andre Souza De Almeida (known as Charlles Junior) and his Samba Band, as well as World Heart Beat ‘one to watch’, Ava Joseph. 

Finally, ware so pleased to be able to get out once again into the community and to share our broad genre of musicfrom Jazz to Latin to South Indian to Classical with so many young people. We look forward to what the next quarter holds, and have some interesting projects in the pipeline to tell you about in our next update! 

Until then, thank you as ever for your continued support. 

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Following the UK's third lockdown earlier this year, with the arrival of the summer term we are now grateful to be back to face-to-face music learningThe academy feels fully alive once more with the sounds of live music practice as well as the patter of feet and excited chatter from our young musicians' keen to return to the academy. Despite the continued lockdownsWorld Heart Beat has not slowed down and instead has continued full throttle with its online tuition, projects and performances, outlined below. 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, World Heart Beat musicians came together with their lockdown version of Stevie Wonder’s inspirational Love’s In Need Of Love Today to help spread the message of love and to help lift spirits. 115 young musicians including vocalists, flutes, violins, saxophones, drums, trumpets, trombones, tabla players and entire rhythm sections came together virtually with their home recordings which were arranged and mixed by eminent bassist and producer, Nick Cohen, and edited by film composer, Michael Csanyi-Wills at World Heart Beat Music Academy. Watch the link here

In March, World Heart Beat’s Second Line Band and the London Samba School took part in Alt. Vibes – a University of Roehampton, Wandsworth Council and community supported online initiative, funded by the Research England Strategic Priorities Fund. World Heart Beat musicians and The London Samba School performers were hoping to perform in a parade live throughout the Alton Estate and the University of Roehampton campus, helping to raise community spirits and boost wellbeing in light of lockdown. However, with COVID-19 regulations firmly in place, the performances were instead online allowing people to watch, listen and join in via the University of Roehampton’s YouTube channel, with free online samba classes offered in the lead up to this online event. Watch the link here

At the end of March, World Heart Beat proudly presented its live streamed 'For the Struggle' concert. In light of Black Lives Matter, the concert highlighted the ongoing need for global awareness of racial injustice and discrimination and celebrated the musical excellence and messages of hope and unity from renowned artists including Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff and Joe Henderson.  

The concert showcased a mix of influential protest music produced during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s through to contemporary jazz pianist and producer Donald Brown and American jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding. This programme was directed by Trevor Watkis, with Ayo Vincent as Assistant Musical Director and presented by Julian Joseph O.B.E and Actress and Musician, Hannah Azuonye. Watch the link here 

On Friday 30th Aprilin partnership with the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy (JJJA) World Heart Beat presented its ‘Together We Go Forward’ jazz concert in celebration of International Jazz Day featuring some of London’s most exciting young jazz musicians. 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of International Jazz Day, the global movement to celebrate jazz which brings together countries and communities and highlights music’s role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. 

It was an exciting opportunity to show off some of our excellent jazz talent and to show how the partnering of both academies helps secure the shared enrichment and creation of more well-rounded musicians who benefit through learning, gaining experience and performance opportunities. There was some exceptional jazz playing from musicians including Josiah Wade, Wilf Cameron Marples (drums) Ezekiel Ajie  and Tom Sheen (bass) James Wade-Sired and Wilf Diamond (trombone) and Ava Joseph (voice) and featuring the wonderful jazz music of the late American composer Chick Corea alongside great tunes by Charlie Parker and Harry Connick Jnr.  

World Heart Beat’s jazz programme is spearheaded by the exemplary work of internationally renowned British jazz musicians, including pianist Trevor Watkis, saxophonist Tony Kofi and trumpeter Byron Wallenall of whom are also part of the founding faculty of JJJA. Watch the link here

That’s it from us for now! Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to updating you on our next projects and events to come. 


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Despite entering a third national lockdown, we hope you are keeping well and wish you all the very best for 2021.

The latest government announcements have moved us firmly back into the ‘online-only’ music learning camp until at least the February half-term.

Whilst we miss the face-to-face learning and live performances, the positives that have come out of lockdown include the gained experience into online music directing, recording and production, and we continue to learn more each day! We have a talented, in-house production team whose skills and knowledge have filtered through to our young musicians who have acquired exceptional hands-on experience in this field.

In October, we helped mark Black History Month with our collaboration with world renowned Jazz musician Byron Wallen, who we are also lucky enough to have teaching in our Jazz faculty at World Heart Beat. Funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Byron’s ‘Masks for Seeing’ collaboration saw a presentation of West African masks and sculptures to Year 5 children in South East London.  Byron’s project involved deepening children’s knowledge, perception and value of works of art and music from across Africa, and culminated in online musical compositions and a video showing the students’ musical journeys.

Last month, we hosted a virtual live-streamed concert for Jazz Pianist, Karen Shiraishi, one of our visiting alumni from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Karen performed in her Jazz Trio plus performing guests, all of whom are World Heart Beat musicians. Whilst at World Heart Beat, Karen was one of two exceptional students to attend Grammy Camp LA. She was also mentored in her teens by Julian Joseph OBE, Trevor Watkis, Tony Kofi and Byron Wallen. The event was held in association with Yokohama Calling, which produces collaborative arts events bringing together musicians from Japan, the UK and beyond.

All hands were on deck to produce World Heart Beat’s magical virtual Christmas Concert, which consisted of two live-streamed performances showcasing a selection of Christmas classics, Themes from the Nutcracker, Jazz, New Orleans through to charming Celtic Fiddles. Thanks to our musicians, our production team and young film crew we were able to showcase performances from students aged 4 to 25 years. The Christmas Concert was watched by music fans, friends and family from around the world from the comfort of their living rooms, with over 220 tickets sold!

We were also delighted to be able to extend our Christmas Concert offering virtually to care homes across the country by partnering with Artists ‘n Residents, a musical initiative set up to bring live music from talented musicians straight to care home residents each week.

Now, as we find ourselves in our third national lockdown, our young people, particularly those living in challenging circumstances, need your help more than ever to help maintain a sense of purpose, self-worth and identity during times of isolation and uncertainty. To find out how to support us, please visit our GlobalGiving BE THERE Campaign.

A huge thank you to all those who have supported us already.

To keep up-to-date with our events and activities this year, please do subscribe to our social media pages and our YouTube channel for all our latest video footage!

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Organization Information

World Heart Beat Music Academy

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @whbeat
Project Leader:
Sahana Gero
London , London United Kingdom

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