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

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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World Heart Beat has been busier than ever over the summer monthscreating a variety of online music projects, as well as continuing its online music lessons for its students whilst self-isolating at home.   

In July, World Heart Beat welcomed its first ever virtual online Piano Party Festival – giving young pianists across London the opportunity to take to the spotlight virtually and showcase their musical skills to an online audience. 

The Festival saw over sixty young pianists (aged 5 to 25 years) of all levels of experience perform their chosen piece of music live from their own homes. Five concerts took place over a weekend which were live streamed via zoom to family, friends the wider community.  

The young people who took part showed huge skill, ability and confidence, and following the hugely positive feedback we will be repeating this virtual event annually. 

This summerthe academy was kindly donated 30 Scarlett Solo audio interfaces by Focusrite, the global music and audio products groupThis incredible gesture of generosity was made possible by Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll. 

World Heart Beat’s bass tutor, Nick Cohen, produced an online tuition course and carried out mentoring to show the students how to set up the audio interfacesand maximise their sound and recording production. The audio interfaces enable our young musicians to produce, record and mix with studio quality, whilst in the safety of their own homes. 

They are being used in a range of scenarios from one-to-one online music lessons through to taking part in the Academy’s recording projectsincluding our Facebook streamed Gala Concert, distance mentoring our World Heart Beat bands, and working on World Heart Beat’s latest project For the Struggle – a series of concerts highlighting important social issues, illuminated with music, especially in the midst of Black Lives Matter and the world’s racial temperature.  

At the end of JulyWorld Heart Beat held its annual Gala Concert, in partnership with charity Music for Liberia, this time produced virtually and streamed for the first time via Facebook. Young musicians and alumnias well as students from Music for Liberia’s beneficiaries – including the Agape National Academy of Music (ANAM), Cachelle International Creative Arts Centre and Mother Blessing’s Home performed at the event.  

There were also performances from special guest Ric’key Pageot (Steinway Artist, Madonna’s Madame X Tour) and Kamilla Arku, Music for Liberia Founder and Director and a World Heart Beat Piano teacher. Money raised goes to support children in Liberia through education and creative arts provision, funding sponsorships, supporting rural schools and providing accommodation for Ebola orphans. 

From 7-13th September, World Heart Beat took part in Radio Local on Riverside Radio – an exciting collaboration between innovative performance artists Hunt & Darton and Nine Elms residents to produce a daily live broadcast that will bring the stories of Nine Elms into people’s homes. 

From local legends to unsung heroes, from the mundane to the extraordinary, Radio Local is a celebration of local radio and community. The upbeat daily show celebrates the joys and necessity of local radio and what it means to be part of the Nine Elms community, in partnership with Wandsworth Council and Battersea Arts Centre. 

Young students from World Heart Beat Academy and the Elays network collaborated together and took part in workshops and got the opportunity to build on their radio production skills and learnt how to produce their own radio shows 

Please do keep checking our website and social media pages for our latest news and announcements. Nest stop, our For the Struggle concert will be live streamed on Friday 9th October - watch this space for more info! 




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We hope that you, your families and loved ones are all safe during this difficult time. 


“In these times, oneness, and the feeling of community and humanity are so vitally important. Music has the unbelievable magic of being able to bring these feelings into our lives. I can’t imagine a life without music.”  Sahana Gero, World Heart Beat Founder and Artistic Director  


We believe this is a critical time for us to support our studentsand therefore we have taken World Heart Beat Music Academy online and are offering music making sessions to include 1:1 lessons and supported practice, as well as social sessions, for EVERY young person. That’s 350 students and 475 sessions every week! 

The coronavirus crisis is making it very tough for some young people, particularly those living in challenging circumstances whmay feel heightened levels of anxiety and loneliness. Being unable to continue with music lessons can make our young people feel disconnected from not seeing their World Heart Beat ‘family’ who provide them with support which they may be missing at home. It’s also a change to their weekly routine at a difficult and isolating time, and a discontinuity of their music learning which gives them a sense of purpose and helps boost self-confidence. 

With these factors in mind, World Heart Beat Music Academy has launched its GlobalGiving BE THERE campaign to request funding to support all our young people with the opportunity for music learning, particularly those living in difficult circumstances. Please help us by supporting our campaign now!  


We are proud to announce our partnership with ZEDRA who are sponsoring our Jazz development programme. ZEDRA’s partnership will fund the participation of eight talented young musicians with significant promise, for whom support is needed to enable them to reach their full potential.Our jazz students are receiving tuition from exceptional musicians even during this lockdown period.  


Community is so important for us all at World Heart Beat and so our young people have been recording at home. We are excited that we will be able to share with you very soon our three#HeartbeatAtHome music videos to support our young musicians and help drive awareness of our GlobalGiving BE THERE campaign further. Please look out in the following few days to find out more from us on this exciting collaboration! 

We have been given the amazing in kind support by A-lister Nick Cohen (top UK session bassist and songwriter whose credits includes Eurythmics, Roy Ayers, Massive Attack, Matt Bianco and Ive Mendes) who arranged and mixed the audio of one of our lockdown videos, and bytwo times Grammy award winning Producer-Mixer-EngineerCraig Cameron (UNKLE, Adele, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Suzanne Vega, Amy Winehouse to name a fewand edited by Michael Csanyi-Wills, award winning composer with credits that include feature length film scores. 

Our Widening Horizons Programme supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation for young volunteers (aged 15 - 25 years) has now launched. We are delighted to announce our Heartbeat Collective, a group of seven young people selected for their passion for music and a desire to make a positive contribution to the academy and the local community.  


To get you in the mood and to awaken the vocal chords, the highly talented vocalist and lyric soprano Ilona Domnich has started her Morning Wake Up classes which are FREE and open to all young people, every Wednesday morning. Pls email if you’d like further information.  


This year we are taking part once again in the Wandsworth Arts Fringe (8 - 24th May) the annual festival highlighting local music, arts, theatre and dance this year from the comfort of your own living room. We will have a selection of performances and live streams taking place from our World Heart Beat musicians. 


We hope that when brighter days return, our young people will be well and happy, and ready to come together once again to play and perform for you again in person! 

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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
$13,649 raised of $30,000 goal
155 donations
$16,351 to go
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