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

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

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

Philip Herbert image

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

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

 

Louise Katerega image

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

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

Quincy image

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

Victor Richards image

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

Djoee Tomakloe image

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.

 

Tia – Monique Uzor image

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.

 

Boston Williams: Orator image

Boston Williams: 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.