Who are we?
Essequibo Music is an Arts Education Organisation based in the London Borough of Ealing. The members of our education team include contemporary Black British artists, storytellers, poets, musicians, all inspirational and experienced workshop practitioners working in the educational, cultural and performance arenas. All practitioners have enhanced CRB disclosure.
Essequibo Music has had week-long or fortnight-long residencies in educational settings in Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, London Borough of Ealing (The EAZ Project) and Oxford. We work with Primary and Secondary schools and After School Projects, Teachers’ professional Development courses and Higher Education Performing Arts courses across the country. Among our special Essequibo Music projects have been a week-long residency at the Eden Project in Cornwall and an education workshop in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. Most of our projects culminate in a performance that can include music, dance, storytelling, song and costume design. The programmes use multimedia and draw on cultural traditions from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
What we do
Essequibo Music runs workshops in Storytelling, and Poetry, African and Caribbean Dance, Carnival Costume Design, Live Music and Digital Imaging. The Essequibo Music collaborative works as a team with teachers and project workers to develop skills and talent in all these areas, and to promote confidence and social skills. Themed week-long projects give an opportunity to bring these many arts experiences together. Themes we work with include Myths and Legends, The Rainforest and Caribbean Christmas.
We work closely with staff as well as students to prepare for week-long experiences. The week begins with a short performance for a large group and continues with workshop sessions run in an informal, yet structured manner. The week leads to a dramatic ‘presentation’ of the skills that students have developed around the project theme.
Essequibo Music also works with a number of adult community associations and youth groups, supported by the Learning and Skills Council and the Children’s Fund. We work with children, young people and people with disability, parents, teachers, youth and community workers. One of the core values of Essequibo Music is to reduce isolation, promote social inclusion and to reduce community tensions. We are happy to work in environments where young people are at risk of exclusion or of becoming involved in criminal activity. We aim to encourage social cohesion and individual creativity in disaffected young people.
VOCAL TRICKSTERS – This opportunity for thirty gifted and talented young musicians to develop new skills, work with high caliber musicians, play live led up to a professional performance recorded at the Ealing Jazz Festival.
TASTE OF AFRICA – A month-long series of African themed workshops led by Essequibo Music musicians for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a Hammersmith Primary School. This culminated in a performance on BBC Radio Three.
DIGITAL MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY – A week-long workshop for Hammersmith and West London College. Students learned to link live music and song with music technology. The developed their own compositions, scored and arranged them with the aid of digital mixing and imaging. This work led to the production of a CD.
EALING CHILDREN’S FUND – An ongoing programme for Primary, Special and Secondary Schools in deprived communities. Through Arts-related projects, we aim to develop ‘Excellence & Enjoyment’ in the schools involved and in the curriculum they offer.
HARROW ARTS CENTRE – Essequibo Music’s former role as Creative Consultant to Harrow Arts Centre involves us in project development, diversity issues, concert programming, fundraising and organising education workshop sessions available to local schools and to the public.
Essequibo Music was founded by award-winning musician Keith Waithe LRSM, PGCE currently the Director, Flautist and Proponent of Vocal Gymnastics Educational Systems.
Other Artists include:
Sandra Agard – Storyteller/ Writer
Jo-Jo Yates – Cora Player / Master Drummer / Percussionist
Helen McDonald – Vocalist/Singer
Kofi Adu – Ghanian Drums
Mo Nazan – Jazz Guitar
Essequibo Music Educational Programme
Essequibo Music is a collective of exciting talented contemporary British artists,
storytellers, poets, musicians and inspirational workshop leaders, working in the
field of education, music and performing arts. Led by international flautist,
composer and educator Keith Waithe.