Follow me on Facebook - Join my group!
Kevin Le Gendre Quotation
Latest News


Flute Master Classes
by renowned international flutist Keith Waithe

Sessions commence 16th September 2013
From 4.30pm-6pm
Monday, Thursday, Friday

at Essequibo Music, 20 Cantley Road, W7 2BQ

Course fee: £20

For enquiries or to book a place email:

Friday 27 September:

A Benefit. Performance, Poetry, Music & Spoken Word celebrating James Berry's life in Literature.

Supported by the Alzheimer's Society and many partners.

@The Tabernacle W11,

London Tickets and Info HERE .

Last year we toured and worked with Kwame Dawes, Mervyn Morris, Hannah Lowe, Diana McCaulay, Amiri Baraka and many more authors, visit our site here

VIDEO: Watch the latest performance by acclaimed poet Jean 'Binta' Breeze here

Dowload the Flyer


Saturday 31 August

World Rhythms Day

Experience a fun packed day, featuring live performances, workshops and food from around
the globe!

Royal Victoria Country Park
Tel: 023 8045 5157


On Thursday 20 June we have the first of the Khukuri Collective gigs with the fabulous Keith Waithe on flutes/voice and Irma Cehic on piano and Tim Warmley from 7.30pm and music charge £5.00

Thursday 4 July - JAM with members of the British and International Vocal Jazz Academy who perform with Chris Neill on piano - songs from the Great American Songbook. FREE ENTRY.

We hope to see you and please pass these details to family and friends and spread the word about the excellent live music nights

Monty's - 1a the Mall, Ealing Broadway W5 2PJ.


A Tribute to Jayne Cortez

An evening of poetry, music and memories

Friday 19th July 2013

Bolivar Hall, 54 Graftonn Way, off Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 5DL

£20.00 donation


Open Flute and Drum Showcase

Keith will play a selection of flutes from his collection of more than 200 examples from around the world. He will demonstrate djembe drumming techniques and be accompanied by participants from his recent classes at OPENshop

Thursday 19th June 2013

Drayton Court Hotel, W13

£5.00 suggested donation


Guyana Folk Festival 2013

In celebration of Guyana's 47th Year of Independence

Bank Holiday Monday 27 May 2013

For full festival line-up see


Keats Festival 2013

Poetry from Jo Shapcott and John Hegley plus live music from Keith Waithe and the Camden Young Singers

RSVP by Thursday 16th May 2013 / 020 73332 3868

Thursday 23 May 2013

For full festival line-up see


Raga Jam -
A Meeting in the Blues

Raga meets African and Caribbean grooves in the Blues. A multi-cultural fusion in Ealing where British Rhythm and Blues began

Compere – ANJAN SAHA
Sunday 17 February 2013
Questors Theatre, Mattock Lane, W5
7.30 – 10.30pm
Tickets £12

to purchase, go to
& follow links to RAGA JAM


Listen to the Jazz Festival Interview!!

Read Keith's new interview with the Ealing Gazette

2010 Tour Date are out now!


Season’s Greetings!

Dear Friend,

Thanking you for all your love and support over the past twelve months which has constituted a phenomenal year of achievement . During August of this year, I was commissioned to write a 20 minuet piece 'Flute Fraternity' by BBC Radio 3 for Prom for a lunchtime concert between 2.45pm and 3.05 pm on Saturday 4th August 2012 . It was a most spiritual journey of my Flute collection now standing at 207.

On behalf of my Family, the Macusi Players and myself I would like to wish you and your family peace, health and prosperity over Christmas and into the New Year 2013.

Keep on Keeping on!

Director, Flautist, Composer and Educator

BBC Radio 3 Music
Commission entitled 'A Flute Fraternity'

This documentary was one of the best you have ever made and the demonstrations were quite unique. I learnt a great deal more about you and your collection of Flutes and wish to thank you for making this public.

Read the full review here

Global Rhythms Festival
Sunday 14th October 2012

Royal Victoria, Country Park, Netley

Experience and explore live music and dance from around the globe. A fun-packed day featuring live performances, workshops, world foods and more.

Download the Programme (PDF)

BBC Radio 3

Twenty Minutes
The Global Flute Fraternity

Click here to listen

Dear Julian May,

What a treat to listen to your interview with the flautist Keith Waithe during the Proms interval the other week!

I don't know whether or not there have been other similar interviews during Proms intervals however this interview caught and held my attention throughout because it was both entertaining and eye-opening. Taken on a virtual world tour of the flute instrument via an interview at a flautist's home (and in the kitchen no less!) resulted in a refreshing and relaxed interaction between the musician and his beloved instrument.

Congratulations to you and Mr. Waithe.

Noreen Dunn
(an occasional listener)

Proms Twenty Minutes 2012:
The Global Flute Fraternity

Prom 28 4th August James Galway matinee concert
Presenter: Julian May with Keith Waithe
Producer: Julian May
Editions 1 x 20

James Galway plays a sophisticated concert flute made of gold, - and the penny whistle. These are two extremes of this instrument. People have, everywhere and always, fulfilled their need to make music by blowing into and across a reed or a hollow bone.

Keith Waithe, the Guyanese jazz flautist, and composer, has gathered members of the flute family from all over the world. He now has approaching 207 flutes, of bamboo, wood, metal, bone and even pottery. For the interval of this matinee he takes Julian around the collection, and around the world, telling the stories of the flutes - their provenance, their use, how he came by them – and he plays them.

Keith Waithe has been a resident with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, his band The Macusi Players, performs widely and he composes for the theatre and radio, for instance for ‘1492’ and Derek Walcott’s ‘The Schooner Flight’, broadcast on Radio 3 and produced by Julian. He has also made a theatre show using his collection of flutes, performed at BAC. He can talk as well as play.

Saturday 4th August 2012

14.00 – 16.00 MATINEE

Part 1: Antiphonal Orchestras
CHABRIER: Espana (Ulster Youth Orchestra) (8’)
MOZART: Flute Concerto in D (Ulster Orchestra/James Galway) (20’)
Elaine AGNEW: Dark Hedges BBC Commission (Ulster Orchestra and Ulster Youth Orchestra and James Galway) (12’)

Part 2: Merged Orchestra
STRAVINSKY: Firebird Suite (1911) (30’)
James Galway Encores (10’)

Sir James Galway (flute)
Ulster Youth Orchestra of Northern Ireland (90)
Ulster Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta - Conductor


Brecon Jazz Festival 2011: Keith Waithe's Macusi Players, Market Hall, review

Keith Waithe and his band of Macusi players brought some vibrant sunshine to the Brecon Jazz Festival.

Music Across Borders
March to June 2011

UK Centre for Carnival Arts
3 St. Mary's Road, Luton LU1 3JA

Featuring the best in global music with performances every friday.

Download the Programme (PDF)

Global Rhythms Workshops
4th-5th February 2011

Winchester Discovery Centre

The whole family can explore, experience and create Global Rhythms with two evenings of superb concerts and a full day of workshops and demonstrations. Pick and mix your own menu of music from the Caribbean, Africa and India.

Download the Programme (PDF)


BBC Radio 3 Music
Commission entitled 'A Flute Fraternity'

This documentary was one of the best you have ever made and the demonstrations were quite unique. I learnt a great deal more about you and your collection of Flutes and wish to thank you for making this public. It would not be inappropriate to say that this entire recording could have been a thoroughly boring interview/documentary, but you lifted the level of the interview so that the questions and answers flowed naturally. Indeed, it was your dynamic personality, enthusiasm and knowledge which came through.

The opening was a quasi miniature autobiogaraphy of a fine, cultured young man who had arrived in Britain from a distant land, thousand of miles overseas in South America as a Trumpeter, but who found his musical talents best suited to the Flute. What a transformation! No one knew him. He had to establish himself. He had to do so alone and by himself. But Fate glanced at him and motioned him forward. He encountered many trialsa and tribulations from may who seemed envious ofhim but had nothing of themselves to help him. They tried to suck him into mundane life, but he was made for bigger, better things. So he persevered and reached heights very few could have foreseen!

This jovial young man who had little or no worries in this world, was known in Guyana as a Brass player. He passed through the tunnel of disolution, and came out the otherside. His was a life that one could easily call "blessed". The great metamorphasis that propelled him forward was not luck, it was Fate. From that previous Brass instrument, his personally changed as he matured, and so did his creative aspirational sounds which opened up a new world, gavitating to the Woodwind. Indeed, he changed from the formal sounds of the Trumpet to the mellow, almost human Woodwind sound of the Flute. Well, not all the Wind instruments he owned were really made of wood; some, as we discovered in the recording, were made of human bones or clay, among other things. Despite that, his chosen instrument - The Flute - is now well established.

This once young man, Keith Waithe, now a matured musician in all his glory in the heart of London, has captured the world - in the West (Europe), the East (Asia and the MiddleEast), the Americas (North, South and Central), the Subcontinent of India and Pakistan and many countries in Africa. He is now recognised throughout the world as a phenomena with his famous Jazz ensemble.

When Keith played on one of his Chinese Flutes, as we heard in the recording, fluttering his tongue and creating a bird-like sound in Guyana and later in China, it seems he was indirectly adopting a technique used in the "Turangalila Symphony" by the great 20th century composer Oliver Messiaen. The flutterrings became louder and longer evoking a spiritual rite all his own. The idea of humans having "good thoughts" and birds not liking Chinese music seemed real when he used the South American, Guyanese made Flutes. He discovered some unusual wind instruments; some of which were made of human bones. Those instruments we discovered were from the Wai-Wai Amerindian tribes. They made Flutes too; not sophistcated as those known in Europe, but they had the kind elements which one could recognise as Flutes. In the West, they will be considered as grotesque objects; but people apparently played those Flutes, made of human bones. Then we discovered the Peruvian Flute which was another curiousity. It was created from the earth - ordinary clay!

2010 Jazz Festival Interview...
Listen now

Ealing Gazette Interview


Keith Waithe




I'm a professional musician and composer, a flautist and band leader of the Keith Waithe and the Macusi Players. I've been playing most of my life in Guyana, South America, and here in England. I have one of the largest collections of flutes - 203 - from all over the world. I also hold workshops and master classes and have been a regular act over the last 20 years at Ealing Jazz festival. When I first started, there were about 150 people and last year there were 7,000. The band will also be closing the Hanwell Carnival this weekend. I'm also chairman of the Haiti Solidarity group based in Hanwell. We're a group of community organisations and individuals from the Ealing area who have been touched by the disaster and we're committed to raising money for the relief effort. For more information, visit

Marital Status

I've been married to Jan Parnell for 25 years and we have four children. Ashley who's 35, Mark 33, Ayesha, 19, and Adam who's 14.

Where do you live?


How long have you lived there?

About 15 years. I've always lived in West London after moving here from Guyana when I I received a scholarship to study music.

How do you get about?

Two means. By the nature of my work I have to use a car for all my musical instruments. I have 20 drums and do workshops in schools around the borough. I also believe in using public transport and use the bus a lot and the Piccadilly line train.

What do you love most about the borough?

The friendliness of people, the ethnic diversity and range of people from Poland, Africa, Caribbean, Asia and Somalia. And of course, because of my obsession with fresh air and spiritual things, I love the nature and the green spaces in Ealing.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Monty's in Northfield Avenue. The food isn't oily and the chefs are careful about what they cook for people. The biryani dishes are very nice. I'm clearly not a vegetarian and enjoy regular take-aways from there.

Favourite shop?

TK Maxx in Ealing Broadway as they have designer-type items and they are all reasonably priced.

Favourite bar/pub?

The Haven in Ealing - its a pub that you can sit and have a conversation in without being disturbed by really loud techo music. Although it might sound strange coming from me as I love music, you don't have to shout to communicate there and like to have a quiet drink with just a little background music. I like a good glass of shiraz or pinot grigio.

If you could change one thing about the borough what would it be?

I would like to transport Ealing to the Guyana rainforest I have recently visited. I had the most amazing spiritual experience trekking and walking in the rainforest and met the first people of a tribe who settled in South America and they are such a peace-loving community. I would love for Ealing to be transformed with the people experiencing the same peace, the magic of the morning song birds, getting back to basics and being comfortable in your self and forgetting about insecurities.

If you were invisible for the day where would you go?

I would love to go to Cornwall to explore nature as it's so beautiful and it has amazing beaches and dolphins there. I would want to see people's reaction to the beauty and see how they feel.

How do you relax?

By playing the flute, gardening and going to gym.

Favourite film?

Avatar the 3D film partly because it reminds me of the kind of beauty we have in different places and the graphics and composition is phenomenal. The music really captures the mood of the film and there's superb acting.

What keeps you awake at night?

I worry about people who are totally selfish and not sharing or communicating and I would want to encourage them to be more caring in society.

What is your favourite record?

As a musician I have so many! I love Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy as she has a beautiful voice which touches you with hope. I also like Redemption by Bob Marley and his pride in being the first Caribbean superstar. He brings together music art and power with a sense of humility.

Who do you most admire?

Barack Obama. I'm just about to get his new book. I believe he's done a lot and is an example of positive hope for people across the world.

If your house was on fire what three things would you save?

Presuming my family were safe, I'd save my alto flute, the flute I use when I write music and for the spiritual side of my work. It has a deep resonating tone. I would save a book by Jan Carew as I would want to continue reading it and my 203rd flute made of bamboo by the Macusi tribe in South America.

Guyanese-UK Flautist Keith Waithe to entertain Commonwealth Leaders at Chogm, Trinidad

The renowned Uk-Guyanese flautist Keith Waithe has secured the gig of a lifetime. He is flying to Trinidad to lay on a series of concerts for the Commonwealth Heads of Government gathered in Port of Spain for their summit from November 23rd to 26th.

Waithe will play with a variety of musicians including his scratch multi racial and pioneering band from Guyana Buxton Fusion. That is made up of African and Indian Guyanese musicians from neighbouring and often warring villages, Annandale and Buxton, on East Coast Demerara Guyana. Waithe played Carifesta in 2008 and is a frequent visitor to Guyana. On this trip,he will go on from Trinidad to the Guyanese rainforest to work on a British Arts Council funded project on the music of the rainforest.

Waithe, a former policeman in Guyana and now an educator in Britain, announced this at the launch concert for his new ‘Gathering Echoes’ album held in the ornate enivorment of the PM house and Gallery in Ealing on Friday night. This building was the country home of the famous architect Sir John Soame. Waithe entertained a select audience including the Mayor of Ealing with his machinations on the flute.He often, literally, made it sing.

Waithe was joined in the concert by two fellow UK Guaynese legends the poets Grace Nichols and Jon Agard. Grace read from her new book ‘Picasso give me my face back’ based an a recent residency at the Tate Modern Gallery in London to a rapt audience whilst Agard barnstormed the audience with his rhythmic poetry including the classic ‘Kettle Anthem’ about the British love of a cup of tea.He had them eating out of his hand with his forceful delivery and humour.The warm evening ended with Agard paying a tribute ’Flute man’ to Waithe in verse with Keith playing along.

For one night, a little piece of Guyana and her rich culture descended on London W5. Soon it will grace the world stage at Port of Spain.

Award winning Guyanese flautist Keith Waithe to launch new album "Gathering Echoes" at 2009 Guyana Folk Festival.

As the title suggests Gathering Echoes is literally a collection of sounds, crossing genres with ease in true Keith Waithe style.

It is a collage of soulful jazz and Caribbean folk pieces infused with Waithe’s uplifting flute melodies and the interplay between these melodies and Helen McDonald’s stunning vocals. This long awaited album demonstrates the skill and versatility that can draw together classic jazz, reggae and folk pieces with an undercurrent of African, Caribbean and Asian percussion that has become the signature Keith Waithe sound.

In Keith Waithe’s own words “I’ve shifted from being merely a vehicle for music to drawing on influences that span from the creativity of my ancestors to that of current culture in both composing and arranging”

KEITH WAITHE... making the flute talk

See Keith at:

SEPTEMBER 2 (By Invitation Only)
Borough Hall, Brooklyn

Meyer Levin School Grounds - 5909 Beverly Rod & Ralph Avenue
• Other Venues to be announced

Folfest Family Fun Day
Sunday September 6, 2009

Meyer Levin School Grounds, 5909 Beverly Road and Ralph Avenue (Entrance on Ralph)

11am - 7pm • Kids under 17 & Seniors over 70 FREE • Adults $10

Useful Links
Caribbean Life Article
Guyana Family Fun Day
Blues Sans Frontiers
Totally Rhythm
Hit Counter
Hit Counter
Copyright 2009 Essequibo Music.