Artists

Lost Legends’ digital directory includes brief biographical information about emerging talent and credited artists (musicians, singers, spoken word artists, poets and dancers) as well as their connection and involvement with Black History Month.

Funmi Adewole image

Funmi Adewole

Funmi Adewole: Performer/Writer and Dance Practitioner

‘Funmi Adewole worked in the Nigerian media as a radio drama actress, TV producer and presenter before moving to the UK in the 1990s. The UK opened up the opportunity for her to work as a performer, touring with mainly African dance drama and physical theatre companies. Her credits include performances with Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, and contemporary dance company the Chomondeleys.

Currently Funmi has a portfolio career as a poet and storyteller, using words and movement as evidenced in her work, ‘The Sleepwalker’ which premiered in Canada, as part of a triple billed called ‘Re-conter L’Afrique’, produced by Tangente danse. In addition to her work as a dramaturge with professional dance artists as a dance advocate and a scholar of theatrical dance from African and diaspora aesthetics. Funmi is an early career fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester which allows her to combine her creative skill in the world of academia.

www.theblack-e.co.uk/content/about-us/trustees/funmi-adewole

 

Mellow Baku image

Mellow Baku

Mellow Baku: Spoken Word Artist, Composer and Singer.

Mellow Baku, artist and composer of song, spoken word and jazz, performs throughout the UK and internationally. With over 500 shows in 15 years in local pubs to concert venues in London and New York, she sees stage, studio and community as spaces to connect, share and explore.

She has completed two albums, numerous session recordings and delivered a range of workshops in the public, schools and on hospital wards.

Mellow collaborates with musicians in ensembles to orchestras, and also works solo. Her performances range from soulful folk and roots with acoustic guitar to live looping, experimental digital soundscapes and poetry.

mellowbaku.com

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze image

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze: Poet

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze was born in 1956 in Hanover, Jamaica. She studied at the Jamaican School of Drama before travelling to Britain in 1985, on the invitation of poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, a leading light in the dub poetry scene. Dub’s fusion of reggae rhythms and the spoken word, combined with political subject matter, found a responsive audience in the radicalised black community of Britain in the 1970s and early 1980s and Breeze is recognised (acclaimed) as the first woman performer in this traditionally male-dominated field. She has published eight books of poetry and stories, made several recordings of her work and written for stage and screen.

Jean has been involved with Black History Month events since the 1980s, such as the ‘Words Out’ Literature Festival and Black History Month joint event in 1998 as part of Windrush celebrations.

Highfields Library was packed out with 85-90 members of the public, plus staff. Support was provided by Chester Morrison from Timiti Arts who performed his poetry.

Jean Binta Breeze entertained with a mixture of stories and poems, in particular, a moving long poem concerning a girl Brighteye’ who had moved to England from Jamaica to join her mother and now as an adult faced the prospect of her mother’s return to Jamaica leaving her in England where she now had children and grandchildren herself. Not a dry eye in the house. Much of her work seemed to be exploring identity and place but was so human everyone in the audience whatever their background could find things in the work that they identified with. Jean’s final piece concerned cricket! She is a vital and moving performer and the buzz in the Library was incredible.

Jean came away on a real high from the event. “That Library was jumping”, she told them.

In her poem ‘The Garden Path’ Breeze writes: “I want to make words/music/move beyond language/into sound”. Breeze achieves this ambition, utilising powerful rhythms and refrains and singing or chanting many of the poems until they become a kind of alternative liturgy, as in her poem ‘Planted by the waters’ written for Maya Angelou’s 70th birthday. Elsewhere, she effortlessly inhabits the patois speech of an earlier generation like the granny in ‘The arrival of Brighteye’. Breeze’s work has a strong political dimension but it resists limitations, ranging over a wide variety of subject matter from childhood memories of Kingston to contemporary life in inner-city London. Breeze prefers to explore social injustice obliquely, using personal stories and historical narratives to concentrate on the psychological dimensions of black women’s experience, exemplified by the deeply moving ‘Arrival of Brighteye’ which records a life lost between two alternative homes. Freedom is an important theme, artistic and physical as well as political. However, Breeze’s poems are also full of delight in the world, as in her deliciously sensual description of longing in ‘Could it be’.

Breeze is represented by Renaissance One: www.renaissanceone.co.uk/artists

www.renaissanceone.co.uk/jean-binta-breeze

www.poetryarchive.org/poet/jean-binta-breeze

Eshe Blake-Bandele image

Eshe Blake-Bandele

Eshe Blake-Bandele: Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer

Eshe Blake-Bandele was born in Leicester in 1989 and discovered a passion for dance at the age of three with a local dance troupe performing on numerous stages throughout Leicestershire. Her dance training began 6 years later, when she was scouted to join Leicester Arts in Education Youth Ballet Scheme. She also developed her confidence in performance dancing with Carinosa, a local soca based dance troupe.

Eshe began her formal training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, achieving a BPA Honours and Post-Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance. She then continued her pre-professional training with the school’s touring company Verve 12, working with world renowned choreographers such as James Cousins, Lea Anderson and Akram Khan including a lead role in ‘Vertical Road’ which toured the UK and Europe.

Following graduation, Eshe began a professional career with Keneish Dance, an African contemporary dance company, touring with its production ‘Vigour’ in 2012. With these companies, Eshe performed on many grand stages including Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. She is now a partner of Dance Select, a multi-skilled dance and circus company, performing fire and stilt work throughout the UK.

Eshe is currently a teacher and choreographer at Studio 79, a faculty of the Dance and Performing Arts College in Leicester, on its BTEC Course. In this role, she benefits from the opportunity of showcasing her work on major stages including Leicester’s Curve Theatre.

Collaborating with her Studio 79 colleague, Joshua Pilmore, Eshe has co-choreographed a very well received dance piece for Move It 2017 entitled ‘The Offering’. Move It is an annual dance festival held at the Excel Arena in London and features professional dancers, dance schools and celebrities. The piece was a fusion of African and commercial dance styles, enjoyed by the many thousands attending this popular event.

Eshe has always been involved within the Leicester African Caribbean community in dance and performance events and activities. She has participated in various productions held at The African Caribbean Centre, Curve, The Y Theatre and many more. Eshe strongly believes that celebrating Black history is not a single, annual, monthly activity but a continual, dutiful and lifelong commitment to uplifting the African Heritage community and sharing its culture with wider audiences.

Facebook: Eshe Blake-Bandele

Instagram: @ebb_dance

Photo credit: Jamie Allsop

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Juliette Brade

Juliette Brade: Leicester Caribbean Carnival

Juliette initially trained as a radio broadcaster and journalist, and has worked as a national disaster coordinator, youth and community development officer before becoming Leicester’s Caribbean Carnival coordinator. Juliette holds a BTEC national diploma in computer studies from Charles Keene College and a BA Hons in Business Information Systems from De Montfort University.

Juliette was employed by the government of Montserrat as a radio announcer at ZJB Radio. Later recruited by radio Antilles, in the role of announcer and production assistant for several years, before transferring to the newsroom as a journalist. She was trained at BBC Grafton House, London and BBC Radio Leicester as well as Caribbean School of Media and Communication at UWI Mona Jamaica in mass communications.

Juliette worked as community development officer with the government of Montserrat in the roles of youth officer, probation officer, social worker and secretary for the Montserrat festival committee. Her work focused on involving the community in all aspects of community development and she was involved in staging the year-end carnival. She was involved with the Montserrat theatre group, founding member for Trojans club in Monserrat organising many performances such as Miss Trojan Caribbean Queen Show, and member of the Y-Teens and appointed Y-Teen leader, youth arm of the YWCA in Montserrat.

Juliette was invited to assist radio Montserrat with the establishment of a news department and appointed a news editor and deputy manager for the radio station. In 1990, Juliette was seconded to the chief ministers office and was assigned the task of establishing and managing the disaster preparedness office. She was awarded the Montserrat badge of honour in June 1997 in recognition of her valuable services to Montserrat in the field of disaster management.

Juliette moved to the United Kingdom in 1997 following the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat in 1995. Elvy Morton, then carnival chairperson invited her to participate in the carnival as a volunteer and she became a director the following year and in 2003 she became the carnival’s coordinator. Juliette arrived in the UK with the Oriole String Band, a traditional music band, which she managed for several years. The band performed all over the UK as well as Dublin, Cork, Galway and the Fickle Festival in Ireland.

Since then Juliette has been producing costumes for Leicester Caribbean Carnival. Organising workshops to teach costume designing, construction and presentation skills. These workshops have all had experts in the field working with those interested in art. In addition, Soca robic classes were introduced to promote health and well-being within the community.

Carnival arts mean the world to Juliette and she has always wanted to see that skills are passed onto others in order for the carnival to grow from strength to strength. Leicester Caribbean Carnival plans to develop its work by focusing on increasing younger children’s involvement with carnival arts through song, dance, arts and crafts and to focus on history, culture and traditions.

Michael Brome image

Michael Brome

Michael Brome: Spoken Word and Poetry

Michael Brome is a spoken word artist and mentor based in Leicester. He has performed widely – from music and literature festivals to comedy clubs, from cultural venues such as Camden Jazz Café and New Arts Exchange to universities, theatres and day centres for senior citizens.

He was winner of the national ‘Spoken Word Commission’ initiated by Baroness Lola Young that resulted in a showcase at Southbank Centre. He was a contributing artist to the ‘Freedom Showcase’ the abolition of the slave trade bicentenary series. In 2016 he performed at the British Library for Renaissance One’s festival of Caribbean literature and he was a featured writer as part of BHM seasons including a shared event with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze at Hansom Hall (Poets On The Verandah) and a performance at Nottingham Contemporary.

Brome has been involved in numerous BHM events over the last 10 years, in particular, as a Commissioned Artist for the Freedom Showcase, 2007, an event marking the bicentenary of the Abolition of the slave trade in a Literature Network Project produced by Naomi Wilds and directed by Melanie Abrahams. Also, as a host for the Serendipity BHM showcase Strange Fruit in 2015 and as a performing artist alongside Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze for the Poets on The Verandah event in 2016, a showcase in partnership with Serendipity and Renaissance One.

Michael Brome is represented by Renaissance One:

www.renaissanceone.co.uk/michael-brome

Photo credit: Courtesy Tilt

Hilary S Carty MBA CCMI image

Hilary S Carty MBA CCMI

Hilary S Carty: Consultant with creative industries

Hilary S Carty is an independent coach and consultant specialising in leadership development, management and organisational change. Prior to working independently, Hilary was the Director of the Cultural Leadership Programme, a £22m government investment in excellence in leadership within the Uk cultural and creative industries which is acknowledged to have raised the sectors’ leadership capacity, facilitated diverse leadership practice and personnel, and delivered increased economic benefits for cultural sector leaders and organisations.

Hilary’s career demonstrates a successful record of senior level management experience in the arts, cultural and creative industries including Director, London (Arts) at Arts Council England, with responsibility for overseeing the development of arts programmes and funded organisations, as well as leading the Regional Arts Plan for London and steering the Council’s work on the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. This followed her role as Director, Culture and Education at London 2o12, where she delivered the inception and planning of the Cultural Olympiad as part of London’s successful Olympic bid.

Hilary’s book Folk Dances of Jamaica, ISBN 185273 007 2 (1st Edition 1988), written whilst undertaking her Diploma at the Edna Manley Centre for the performing Arts in Jamaica, remains a valued text and was reprinted in 2010.

www.co-creatives.co.uk/hilary-s-carty

Alphonso Christie image

Alphonso Christie

Alphonso Christie: Actor, Writer and Comic

Alphonso Christie was trained at the Birmingham School of Speech Drama. He has performed in theatre pieces at venues across Leicester since 2015 performing as himself in the Standup Comedy Festival that took place at DMU Square Mile. Alphonso has also performed as himself in a Standup Comedy based at the Hub. Other performances include performing as the hitman for Knocking Off (short) with QwerkBox Productions. Performing as Thomas Putman in The Crucible and as Bill Syke in Oliver Twist with the Birmingham School of Speech Drama (B.S.S.D).

Alphonso has built up his repertoire of roles within theatre performances. In Leicester, he has performed as Father in Letters To My Willy at the Y Theatre, Paul in The Sound of Reggae Panto at the Brown Street, Theatre. At the Drum venue he performed as Brian in Shopping and Fucking and Paul in 6 Degrees of Separation. He has played Buddy Lomax and Coriolanus at the Y Theatre as part of a monologue showcase. He was the host/narrator for A Christmas Horror at Paul’s Pizza. In 2017, he performed as Theseus in Midsummer’s Night Dream.

Alphonso is currently working on developing a few personal projects that connect to future Black History Month events’ including a one man show called ‘Letters to my Willy.’  Working alongside Metro-Boulot-Dodo as part of 2017 BHM events’ he will be presenting Empire Soldiers VR that tells the stories off the Caribbean soldiers of World War 1 in an innovative Virtual Reality experience. Take a journey alongside the soldiers returning from war and discover how they changed the world we live in today on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October 2017.

Facebook: Fonz Christie

Instagram: obifonz

Photo credit: Dave Morris

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Rosetha Claxton

Rosetha Claxton BA HONS: Dancer/Teacher/Choreographer

Rosetha was a child Model and attended dance classes from a young age, performing in fashion shows and competing in dance competitions throughout Britain where she won Medals for Modern, Tap and Song and Dance. After gaining ‘A’ Level dance she went on further to study at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

Professional work started with becoming a member of one of Britain’s leading Black Dance Companies RJC Dance Productions performing and teaching styles such as Reggae, Jazz, Contemporary, African, Salsa, Capoeira and Physical Theatre. Touring the UK and South and Southern Africa and was filmed for a Channel 4 Documentary on female dancers. Cheerleader Captain for London Towers Basketball Team. Appeared in music videos and choreographed for her own shows.

She has been teaching and choreographing for 20 years throughout the UK, Africa, Germany and Saint Kitts. Working in Schools, Colleges and with Youth and Community groups.

She has been Assistant choreographer for The Special Olympics 2009 at Leicester Walkers Stadium and Follow the Light-Olympic Torch Relay for East Midlands Cultural Olympiad Projects for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Currently she continues to run her own dance classes and freelances in Schools and Colleges in Leicestershire.

Alleyne Dance image

Alleyne Dance

Alleyne Dance: Dance Company

Artistic Directors Kristina and Sadé Alleyne present their company Alleyne Dance, an internationally touring, innovative, modern, multi-disciplined dance company based in London. Kristina and Sadé have worked with many companies across the years and trained in many genres of dance including traditional African dance, Hip Hop, Kathak, Latin and Circus Skills. They have worked with Akram Khan, Arthur Pita, Gregory Maqoma, Henri Oguike, Filip Van Huffel, Antoine Mac, Chisato Minamimura and many others. As twin sisters, they click as a duo performing with a sense of domestic, commitment, trust, beauty and compassion.

Photo credit: Irvin Lewis

Bizzi Dixon image

Bizzi Dixon

Bizzi Dixon: Complex and sophisticated musician, a multi-talented composer, singer and instrumentalist

Bizzi started singing at a very young age, as the youngest child of Pentecostal Ministers. He learnt the fundamental parts of gospel and R’n’B vocals and how to play key instruments such as drums, keyboards, guitar and piano. After performing in church based and local secular bands, Bizzi was asked to join the UK R’n’B group Rhythem & Bass as one of the lead vocalist and songwriter. The group achieved some success, which included a tour of the USA in the 90’s

Once back in the U.K, Bizzi secured a recording contract with Parlophone (EMI). He was fortunate to collaborate and perform alongside some of the worlds leading acts.

Whilst at Parlaphone, Bizzi released ‘Bizzi’s Party’ which proved very successful on the underground circuit and reached a national chart position without any mainstream radio play and it still gets played regularly throughout Europe.

More recently Bizzi has set up two companies: one is an award winning company called ‘Bad Music Entertainment’. Bizzi travels around the UK assisting young people as a vocal tutor and songwriter and in music production. This is to enable them to improve their talents’ and also for Bizzi to pass on the industry knowledge he has accumulated over years.

The second is BME Records. BME records founded in 2009, genre all good music.

Bizzi has proven over the years that he is one of the leading vocalists in the UK. This was confirmed with him reaching the final eight in the The Voice UK 2014, out of over fifty thousand applicants which is an outstanding achievement. Bizzi Dixon’s album ‘Simply Bizzi’ was released in November 2014 on the BME Record label.

Bizzi was also the Project Manager for Leicester Windrush project which explored the heritage of Black immigrants within Leicester over the last 65 years.

www.bizzidixon.co.uk

leicesterwindrush.com

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Philip Herbert

Philip Herbert: Musician and composer

Philip Herbert studied Music Education at University of Winchester and later studied music at postgraduate level at Andrews University, Michigan, USA. He also completed piano teaching and piano performing diplomas from the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music, respectively.

Philip has taught music at all educational levels as well as making music through composing and performing. He has also coordinated workshops and devised projects for young people in collaboration with some of Britain’s finest musicians. He has also been involved in musical projects that have been broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 as well as BBC TV.

www.philipherbert.org

Michelle Hubbard image

Michelle Hubbard

Michelle Hubbard: Poet, Performer, Narrator, Writer and African drummer

Michelle is a renowned performance poet and African drummer based in Nottingham known as ‘Mother’ Hubbard. She has over 20 years experience as a poet, performer, narrator, writer and an African drummer. Founding member of the monthly Nottingham open mic night Blackdrop spoken word events, Michelle has a series of self-published poetry books including Tapestry of a Black Woman (2005) and The Irish Jamaican. (2007) She is also a spoken word enthusiast, interested in how the art form allows her to push boundaries and can act as a vehicle to tackle subjects that are not always ‘safe.’ Michelle is currently a full-time self-employed creative: Michelle Mother Hubbard Arts. She is available for readings, performances, workshops, events planning as a guest speaker and much more.

Michelle was involved with Black History Month Live 2014 – 2015 and her interdisciplinary theatre piece, Cutting Edge, was a one woman live performance piece that explored the taboo subject of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and cultural expectations of women. Using her own perspective from her lifestyle as a Rasta, Michelle explored the conflict between her desire to keep African traditions alive with her modern perspective against suppressive and damaging practices such as FGM. Her work processed this cultural conflict through a fusion of oral narrative, chant, rhyme, rhythm, percussion, body percussion, mime, dance, African drumming and visual imagery. Experimenting with and fusing chant, rhyme, rhythm, percussion, body percussion, body expression in mime, dance and motion, African drumming, photographic/visual imagery, props and objects, and dramatised poetic theatre and oral narrative.

Base: Nottingham

Email: mum.dukes@btopenworld.com

Telephone: 07977894858

Humanhood image

Humanhood

Humanhood: Theatre

Humanhood is an exciting new company based in Birmingham, founded in 2015, under the Artistic Direction of Rudi Cole and Julia Robert. The company exists to create thoughtful productions that merge energy shifting light, sound and movement, evoking an extraordinary experience for the audiences. Humanhood’s repertoire includes Without Walls Consortium commissioned outdoor duet Orbis and full length theatre production ZERO, first Prize Winner at Madrid’s International Choreography Competition Pasoa2. The company are associate artists at DanceXchange and DÉDA.

Photo credit: Donata Kukyte

Delores Joseph image

Delores Joseph

Delores Joseph: Singer and Songwriter

Delores Joseph singer and songwriter emerged onto the Leicester music scene with local band ‘Oneness’ and Motown band ‘Ten Feet Tall’. She later sang backing vocals for renowned Bob Marley Tribute band ‘Duppy Conquerors’, touring extensively in Europe and performing at corporate functions and festivals such as Bishop Stock Blues festival, headlining at Richard Bransons’ Annual Virgin Media event and supporting bands such as The Wailers on their 2001 tour at Leicester De Montfort Hall. In 2015 she performed at the Black History Month event ‘Strange Fruit’. Delores is a phenomenal jazz artist who brings her passion in her own unique style through traditional jazz standards.

 

about.me/deloresjosephs 

facebook.com/deloresjosephs 

 

Photo credit: Tawana Joseph

Marcus Joseph image

Marcus Joseph

Marcus Joseph: Saxophonist, Spoken Word Artist, Composer and Writer

Marcus Joseph was classically trained on the clarinet from age seven, taking his ABRSM grades up to Grade 8 in school. He has played in various Leicestershire Arts county bands and orchestras. A brief stint in a hip-hop group as a DJ and MC resulted in airplay on BBC1 Xtra, but after attending a jazz workshop in London Marcus was inspired to pick up the saxophone full time and studied in Leeds, London and New Orleans.

Marcus’s childhood experience as the only African-Caribbean boy playing a classical instrument in ensembles later developed a passion for working with youth to cultivate interest in live music and musicianship.

Marcus is currently freelancing as a saxophonist; teaching, composing and developing his own unique sound: a warm fusion of Jazz, reggae, hip-hop and contemporary music. Marcus’s debut E.P & music video is out now on BandCamp & YouTube.

Quotes

“The energy, versatility and raw talent of Marcus Joseph’s performance is a deeply inspiring and mesmeric experience. If you see his name on a flyer then you should book your ticket immediately” – John Berkavitch

“I appreciated the way you’ve combined the various modes of expression (voice, saxophone, composition, improvisation, message of the music) into a complete musical expression. Always good to keep our awareness on the bigger picture.” – ELLERY ESKELIN (American tenor saxophonist)

“Leicester’s Marcus Joseph, saxophonist turned spoken word artist, is a man who transcends musical boundaries and genres to produce inspiring, optimistic and life-affirming songs that are perfectly encapsulated in his new E.P, Real Talk, an ambitious fusion of Jazz and hip-hop, with a little reggae thrown in for good measure.” – Samuel Chambers (Demon Online)

www.marcusjosephsax.com

Reviews

 

http://www.demon-media.net/music/born-and-bred-marcus-joseph/

Social Media

marcusjosephsax.com
facebook.com/marcusjosephsax
instagram.com/marcusjosephsax
twitter.com/marcusjoseph7
soundcloud.com/marcusjoseph7

 

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Louise Katerega

Louise Katerega: Dancer and Choreographer

Louise Katerega is a versatile contributor to the UK dance scene and especially acknowledged for her national and international development work in dance by, for and with disabled people. Based in Leicester, she has enjoyed a broad portfolio career as a performer, teacher, choreographer, consultant and creative producer. Her dance company, Foot in Hand made history at Bloomberg’s 2006 Place Prize as one of its first inclusive ensembles. She has been nominated for Leicester Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year and is one of People Dancing’s Associate Artists.

Louise trained at London Contemporary Dance School, Coventry University (Performing Arts), holds a first class degree in Film and Literature from the University of Warwick and trained as a life coach. She is an occasional speaker and writer about dance, has served and currently serves as a board member for several local and national dance organisations.

She first performed as part of Black History Month in 1999 with one performance choreographed by Sheron Wray ‘DNA: Destiny’s Natural Ally’ and another her own choreography performed by 4 dancers ‘Between the Stones and the Stars’.

www.footinhand.co.uk

Photo Credit: Benedict Johnson

Carol Leeming image

Carol Leeming

Carol Leeming FRSA: Polymath, Poet, Writer, Director, Musician, Composer and Cultural Leader

Carol Leeming FRSA, acknowledged polymath, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a multi-artist, is a published poet, playwright, author, director (film & stage), singer songwriter music director, percussionist, tutor, performer, publisher and media presenter. Some of Carol’s career highlights include, significant success in the music industry in the 1990’s with two songs for the sound tracks for major feature films e.g. UK film Trainspotting and USA film Angie. In 2005 Carol was shortlisted for the Imison Tinniswood Award by the Society for Authors/Writers Guild for her Radio Drama Reality Check broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Notable works produced and directed for stage and published, include choreopoems, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva Curve Theatre 2012, Love the Life you Live…Live the Life You Love published in the Hidden Stories book Leicester University/Phoenix and Awarded the Siobhan Logan Award in 2014 by Leicester Writers Club writing for Listeners.

Carol’s poetry is widely anthologised and published in Black British Poets (Bloodaxe & Newcastle University). In 2016 she wrote the play Vex performed at Brighton Dome theatre and published a debut collection of poetry titled the Declamations of Cool Eye and production directing film poem titled Enchanter screened at Phoenix Cinema for which she was awarded the Penfold Media Award by Leicester Writers Club 2016. Carol is on the Board of Demon FM and been one of its presenters and presenter also for 2Funky Radio. Carol has previously been awarded, several Arts Achievement Awards including a Lifetime Achievement for her contribution to the arts by Leicester African Caribbean Citizens Forum.

Carol has been involved with Black History Month in Leicester since its creation in 1987, performing in 2010 and 2015. She was also, Black History Consortium Chair and worked with Mainstream Partnership organisation to promote young Black artists.

daretodiva2000.wordpress.com/author/carolleeming/

 

Photo Credit: Robert Gurney

Kaine Management: Gospel Choir image

Kaine Management: Gospel Choir

Kaine Management Choir: Singers 

Kaine Management Group has been in existence since May 2002 and has been involved in and developed all sorts of projects and programmes, such as Sing Freedom 11, Free Gospel Choir Workshops for Women and a Festival of Choirs.

Kaine Management’s programme has been growing since it was first launched now contains:

  • A growing arts programme with a specialism in gospel arts, through workshops, artist management and events in art, community and educational settings.
  • A cultural programme that supports Black History Month, Martin Luther King Days and their own Sing Freedom projects.
  • A community and education programme that works to raise the achievements and aspirations of disadvantaged individuals, that attracts young people who are socially excluded into positive activities, female refugees and asylum seekers and aiding them into work and building the confidence and self esteem of teenage parents.

Kaine Management is now a registered charity and private company limited by guarantee with big dreams to continue to support our community.

Kaine Gospel Choir perform contemporary Gospel classics such as “Oh Happy Day” and their repertoire also includes:

  • Never Never give up
  • Lord I lift your name on high
  • Oh Happy Day
  • This little light of mine
  • Just want to thank you for ever
  • Give me joy in my heart
  • Come Together
  • As the Deer the pants (So my soul longs after you)
  • The greatest thing in all my life is loving you
  • Oh when the saints/Swing low/I’m gonna sing
  • My life is in your hands
  • Something inside so strong
  • There is none like you
  • Amazing Grace
  • Oh taste and see that the lord
  • Make us one
  • Heaven

www.kainemanagement.org.uk

 

Gerrard Martin image

Gerrard Martin

Gerrard Martin: Dancer

Gerrard Martin trained at De Montfort University and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. He has danced for the Rosie Kay Dance Company, toured nationally with Tavaziva Dance, Union Dance Company, as well as dancing for the West End’s production of the Lion King, Ballet Black, Aletta Collins Dance Company, State of Emergency, and Phoenix Dance Company. Gerrard has choreographed for Outbox Theatre, Longborough Opera, British Museum, Pegasus Opera and the National Portrait gallery. The West Bengal Federation of Dance, India commissioned Gerrard’s choreography for World Dance Day. He was an assistant choreographer on the One Love Musical, and the 40 UAE Royal Anniversary Performance, Abu Dhabi.

 

Madu Messenger image

Madu Messenger

Madu Messenger: Vocalist, Lyricist, Graphic Designer and Digital Artist

Madu Messenger is a vocalist/lyricist and works with the internationally known UK dub reggae group Vibronics.

As a post-graduate of De Monfort University, with a focus on media and immigration and its relationship with history, he has been able to capture moments of historical struggles faced by Black communities in the lyricist found in Vibronics meets Brain Damage, album. His other works Empire Soldiers is a historical conceptual work, that tells the stories of soldiers of colour who fought during World War One.

In addition, Madu is a gifted graphic designer and digital artist, who has worked on various projects including album designs, promotional material and billboards.

http://www.vibronics.co.uk/hometrov.html

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Ambrose Musiyiwa

Ambrose Musiyiwa: Video, Photography, Journalism, Poetry and Situational Arts

Ambrose Musiyiwa is a multimedia journalist, poet, freelance writer and events’ organiser. He facilitates CivicLeicester, a community media channel that uses video and photography to highlight conversations taking place in and around Leicester. He is the author of the poetry pamphlets, The Gospel According to Bobba, The Gospel According to Carol and The Gospel According to Sheila.  He co-edited Welcome to Leicester (Dahlia Publishing, 2016), an anthology that explores the story of Leicester through poetry written by people with knowledge of the city.

His poems have been featured in poetry anthologies that include Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015), Do Something (Factor Fiction, 2016), and Write to be Counted (The Book Mill, 2017). One of his poems, The Man Who Ran Through The Tunnel, was first published in Over Land, Over Sea and was translated into many languages as part of Journeys in Translation. His short stories have appeared in a number of international newspapers and magazines as well as in the anthologies, Writing Now (Weaver Press, 2005) and Writing Free (Weaver Press, 2011).

Since August 2010, using video and photography, Ambrose has been documenting events, campaigns and performances taking place in and around Leicester. He also organises the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival that takes place over seven consecutive days in December, culminating on December 10, which is International Human Rights Day. As part of Black History Month 2016, he co-organised the Journeys Pop-Up Poems Library that was held during the Everybody’s Reading Festival. As part of this project, he gave out postcards at the train station in Leicester to encourage commuters to make connections between their journeys and the journeys people who were seeking refuge were making, with each postcard showing a poem from Over Land, Over Sea.

Blog:

http://ambrosemusiyiwa.blogspot.com/

http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/

 

y. https://www.youtube.com/user/CivicLeicester

f. https://www.facebook.com/CivicLeicester

t. https://twitter.com/CivicLeicester

 

Photo credit: Miranda Lee

The Orator image

The Orator

Boston Williams: The Orator, Poet

The Orator is a Poet. Boston is half Montserratian, half Jamaican and fully passionate about the pursuit of life and the art of storytelling. From delivering workshops in Modern Black Leadership at The University of The Gambia to demonstrating against antifascist groups across the UK, The Orator is as politically active as well as he artistically active. Early 2017 see’s the release of Vernacular, The Poetry Album. Late 2017 see’s the release of Vernacular, The Orators debut Poetry Collection. Whether it’s through print, record or live – everybody is encouraged to get involved with this young man’s journey.

www.instagram.com/theorator_uk

www.twitter.com/theorator_uk

 

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Quincy

Quincy: Comedian 

Quincy is regarded as one of the best of a new wave of Comic’s to come out of the UK, with a regular turnover of material and a stage presence second to none – that has put him among the most well respected Comics on the scene.

Starting out as a DJ playing in the RNB room at Twice as Nice, Quincy homed in on his comedic skills whilst MC’ing & quickly entered the world of comedy in 2000. Within the year, Quincy received instant recognition by doing warm ups for the hit TV show Blouse and Skirts on BBC1 and becoming a finalist in competitions such as Gagging For It in 2000, a runner up in the Leicester Mercury new act of the year 2001 & a finalist in the BBC New talent showcase 2002.

Quincy turned a full time Comedian in 2005 and went on to win the best break through act at the BECA awards (Black Entertainment Comedy Awards) and to headline at major clubs around the UK. His style and charm has also seen him perform around the world, from as far as Saudi Arabia to Austria where his wide range of material sees him adapt in all arenas. Taking solo shows Quincy’s Single Mum & The Book of Quincy to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has made his name heard on the lips of Producers for potential TV stardom.

He started Quincy’s Comedy Lounge in 2007 and its popularity has seen it grow rapidly, selling out Theatres in his home town of East London – where he is now looking to expand to even bigger things.

www.quincy.org.uk/index.html

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Saraa Rain

Saraa Rain: Spoken Word Artist, Poet and Playwright

Saraa Rain is a Spoken Word artist, poet and playwright originally from Nottingham. Over the last 14 years, she has written and performed at festivals, open mic nights, spoken word events and commissions throughout the Midlands and the UK. She is also a member of the BlackDrop Poetry Collective. Blackdrop is an open mic event, which has been running for over 10 years.

Saraa’s writing confronts societal issues such as ‘race’, gender and inequality. Her experience as a social worker challenges concepts of the family, relationships and life journeys. Saraa’s honest reflections address hard-hitting issues with rhythmic style and an odd bit of comedy.

In 2012 Saraa performed alongside Michelle ‘Mother’ Hubbard in the UK Pomedy tour in London’s Broadway theatre and Huddersfield’s Hudawi centre supporting Benjamin Zephaniah and Yasus Afari.

In 2013, Saraa was one of three poets who performed at the “Prism of Feminism” event at the New Arts Exchange in Nottingham looking at post-modern concepts of feminism.

In 2014, Saraa performed an extract from her Spoken Word theatre piece “Broken In Transit” as part of the BHM Live event at Leicester Curve theatre. The full-length version was then featured at the FONT festival the following year. This developed Saraa’s interest in writing for theatre and in 2015, Saraa completed a short play entitled; “Notts Sweet Home” as part of the “Emerging Perspectives” writing attachment with New Perspectives Theatre company which toured the East Midlands in July 2015.

Saraa continues as an associate artist at New Perspectives Theatre and is in the process of developing a full-length play.

 

Base: Nottingham

Twitter: @saraarain

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraa.rain.7

WordPress: http://saraarain.wordpress.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDCytFyx3tw-ginH_-6QYzA

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Victor Richards

Victor Richards: Actor, Writer, Poet and Storyteller

The London-born Leicester-bred son of Barbadians, Windrush actor, writer, poet and storyteller. Victor has written and performed three one man plays, Streets Paved with Gold, Return to the Caribbean and Children of the First Generation, also produced a unique poetry production entitled I Spy Through the World’s Eye to delighted audiences in the UK and internationally as far as Japan.

His book ‘Poetry Trilogy’ was published in 2008, the spoken word with reggae music album ‘Illusion – Streets Paved with Gold’ was released in 2015. He is preparing special events on tour for the 70th Windrush anniversary 2018.

www.vjaytheatre.net

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ili Sanchéa

ili Sanchéa: Singer, Rapper, Songwriter and Dancer

ili Sanchéa aged 23 from East Midlands: Derby, is a singer, rapper, songwriter and dancer. She has been creating and performing for 10 years and began at a young age performing to audiences of 1500 as a successful dancer. By 13 years old she began to write her own lyrics and by 17 was performing at local gigs and still now performs at the annual Caribbean carnival. Her influences range from jazz, reggae and all the way up to rap and R & B.

She has also been a member of the African Zamebi choir, which travelled across the city performing traditional songs of native language, and in her more recent years, performed at Leicester’s Black History Month – Billie Holiday Tribute in 2015.

Currently ili uploads regular material via YouTube, gaining great responses and following.

The young artist is in the process of signing an exclusive writing contract to Bucks Music Group Limited and has a promising future within mainstream music.

 

Instagram: @ili_sanchea

Twitter: @ilisanchea

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Chessboard Society

Chessboard Society: Theatre and spoken word

Brought together by their years of similar performative interests, Mia and Kyle embark on a collaborative and experimental piece of theatre. Using a combination of spoken word, physical theatre, mixed media and their observations on the world, the duo intend to approach real topics, in a real way and not hold back their thoughts on these topics.

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Lil T

Lil T: Rapper

Lil T is an eleven year old rap artist, based in Leicester. He started his rap career when he was just eight years old, showing an interest in writing and recording songs with his father of whom has experience in the music industry. In his first year, Lil T has performed at many local shows as well as one of the biggest carnivals in the UK, Notting Hill Carnival. He was made an ambassador for the NHS Healthy Kids campaign and also auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent where he got knocked out at the Call Back stage. Since this experience, Lil T has done many workshops with the Cash for Graft scheme to help other children with an interest in music to learn to write and record their own songs. Lil T continues to perform across the U.K at various shows; charity events, carnivals and festivals. He has recently been featured on The Voice Kids UK, where his audition alone has reached over 1 million views, and to his success, all three coaches turned, and Lil T chose to be on team Will.i.am!

Lil T performed at an event to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy when he was just 8 years old in Leicester.

Photo credit: Friday Flex, Eava FM 102.5

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CallMeLiL.T/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lil_T06

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsGE2x4kUxXyIBeZm1MQ1LQ

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Djoee Tomakloe

Djoee Tomakloe: Professional Dancer and Choreographer

Djoee is a professional dancer and choreographer based in Leicester, with a career spanning over twenty years.

After graduating from professional dance training at the Northern school of Contemporary dance in Leeds with a Vocational Diploma in performing arts he joined Kokuma Dance Theatre where he performed for two seasons, performing African Caribbean dance forms and traditional African dance forms throughout the UK. He returned to the northern school of contemporary dance and graduated with Bachelor of Performing arts degree in dance at Leeds University 1995.

Djoee has been a freelance dancer for fifteen years working in African peoples dance forms. His performance work has included commissions for numerous dance agencies including Lillian Baileys Theatre, Saddlers Wells, Jackson Lane Theatre, Phoenix Arts, Haymarket Theatre, Trent University theatre as well as a host of schools and community venues in England.

In 1999 Djoee set up a dance and music performance programme aimed at enhancing the skills of talented young people creating a team of individuals and peer tutors to imparted skills and inspire other young people across the UK. This programme ran for five years with referrals through PAYP and Connexions. The programme facilitated dance, music, D-Jing using eligible young people already active on the facilitated dance, music, D-Jing using eligible young people already active on the popular urban on the popular urban club circuit, singing, and rapping and other associated art forms such as video production, CD compilation and design, giving the young people the opportunity to develop material and learn new skills. Some who have gone on to pursue performing arts training and performance work.

After spending the past few years developing his dance skills and other personal art forms. Djoee currently dedicates his time to teaching.

 

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Tia – Monique Uzor

Tia-Monique Uzor: Dance Researcher

Tia-Monique Uzor is a recent graduate from De Montfort University, her research interests are African Dances and Dance of the African Diaspora, Identity and Black Cultural Traffic. In 2012 she presented her paper, The Evolving Face of the Iwa Akwa: The Effect of Popular Culture on Tradition, at the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora’s Re: Generations Conference.

 

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Michelle Vacciana

Michelle Vacciana: Theatre and Film

Michelle dabbled a bit at drama school and then she spent the ensuing year’s odd job acting. Exasperated with the lack of opportunity she took a left turn and arrived in Nottingham to study art and her distraction with the Lens: she [modestly] exhibited moving image installations across the region. She became heavily involved in creative projects in education and found meaning in this that lacked [for her] in her drama school experience.

Years on and fatigued she hustled into a performance collective and began writing in earnest. Off the back of that she was commissioned for her one woman show ‘Fakebook’. Moving on to produce and perform a verbatim theatre piece around the gritty realities of the Windrush generation. She piloted the idea via a Serendipity initiative (BHM Live 2012-2013). which gave her the encouragement. and launch pad to create her second one woman show ‘Journey Cakes’. Currently she is in the throes of producing a public art piece which is a community inspired video projection with a twist!

Michelle’s Black History Month involvement, role and connections with Leicester made her feel human, present, involved and observing of our Black History and Heritage.

Twitter: @lightlens

Instagram: sheddinglightmedia

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Dr Sheron Wray

Dr Sheron Wray: Associate Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine 

Dr Sheron Wray was a dancer and member for both London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company between 1988 – 2001. Sheron is widely known for her role as the leading performer and legal custodian of Harmonica Breakdown (1938), choreographed by Jane Dudley. As its custodian she continues to restage the work globally and has just completed a motion capture research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. As Artistic Director, she directed her own company – JazzXchange Music and Dance between 1992 – 2004, creating work with Julian Joseph, Zoe Rahman, Gary Crosby MBE and Wynton Marsalis.

Choreographed DNA (Destiny’s Natural Ally) for a project called Griotgraphies produced by Tony Graves and performed by dancer Louise Katerega in 1999 as part of Black History Month celebrations.

In 2013 she re-launched JazzXchange in the USA and was appointed guest curator of contemporary performance for the Monuments and Museums of Ghana from whom she received a commission to choreograph The Brown Bomber, for the Olympic Arts Festival at the Southbank Centre.

She was a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts Fellow between 2001 – 2002 developing the technology driven project Texterritory which won the European ADE prize for innovation in 2004. Texterritory is an interactive performance platform created in collaboration with Fleeta Siegel. As a result of her NESTA fellowship intersect in her concept of digitally enabled improvisation which manifests in the award-winning Texterritory.

In 2009 she was invited to the University of California, Irvine to join the dance faculty at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. In 2015, UK’s National Resource Center for Dance invited her to place her archive within their permanent collection. Concurrently she studied at University of Surrey receiving her PhD in dance studies in 2016. In 2016 Serendipity recognised her contributions to dance stemming from her roots and education in Leicester.

Dr. Sheron Wray, describes herself as a ‘Neo-African Performance Architect’. Her interdisciplinary scholarship engages with dance, music, spiritual and community held knowledge. Developed into her praxis of Embodiology® which has application across the fields of dance and music, wellness, community engagement and leadership.

In 2018, she will be the Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also later that year a Master Artist in Residence – at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. In 2016 an essay introducing Embodiology’s concepts was published by Routledge in, “Black Routes in British Dance”, edited by Ramsay Burt and Christy Adair. Further dissemination of this method of how movement inspires the mind can be found in her TEDx talk entitled “Bodily Steps to Innovation”. In 2017 a new essay on Embodiology is forthcoming in an Oxford University Press publication on dance improvisation.

Harmonica Breakdown

 

“Bodily Steps to Innovation”

http://www.tedxorangecoast.com/videopick/sheron-wray-bodily-steps-to-innovation/

 

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Rachael Young

Rachael Young: theatre, live art, interactive installations and socially engaged projects.

Rachael makes theatre, live art, interactive installations and socially engaged projects. I like to work in the spaces between disciplines and discover new languages for performance through collaboration.

Her current work is exploring notions of freedom and bravery and is inspired by autobiographical experience in relation to socio-political landscapes. For me, making art is about creating a platform from where I can shout about the things that matter to me, it’s about uncovering hidden narratives, reading between the lines and attempting to explore that which is often brushed under the carpet.

She has recently presented work at Brighton Fringe (The Marlborough Theatre), In Between Time, Southbank Centre, Steakhouse Live, The Yard Theatre, BUZZCUT, The Lowry, Battersea Arts Centre, Tate Modern, New Art Exchange, Contact, Derby Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse and has been supported by The Marlborough Theatre, IBT, Live Art UK, The Yard Theatre, Arts Council England, Arts Connect, mac birmingham, Curve, Ovalhouse and BBC Performing Arts Fund.

Rachael was involved in BHS Live 2012 – 2013 and the work I produced was called ‘The Way I Wear My Hair’ and its focus was to research the concept of ‘the strong Black woman.’ I wanted to create this piece of work to challenge the perception of ‘Blackness’ and ‘womanhood’ with the notions of strengths and weaknesses.

Photo Credit: Layla Sailor (taken from ‘I, myself and me’). 

Visit Rachael’s website: www.rachaelyoung.net
Follow Rachael on twitter @Rachaelraymck