We are growing daily and our strength is in our unity. No member will ever be charged or asked for money for any of our services. Freedom for Musicians is by musicians, for musicians and free from exploitation.
Run by volunteers, Music for ALL has a primary focus of making more musicians by supporting musical education as well as helping individuals and community projects within the UK.
Music is seen as a fundamental part of society’s DNA and playing a musical instrument can provide a real sense of personal achievement. That’s why Music For All would like everyone to have the opportunity to be involved and share their creative side.
More than 22 million people in the UK are looking to kick-start or rekindle their musical journey and Music For All are there to help. This is why they have been chosen as Gear4music’s nominated charity.
To help with the increasing demands in music education, free musical taster lessons are offered to inspire the next generation of musicians in schools and local music services.
To help individuals, grants are offered to fulfill their musical dreams irrespective of age or personal circumstance. Community projects can also benefit from grants to give them a push in the right direction. Music For All recognise that music can also help instill a great sense of community spirit – and so helping to support sustainable music programmes is an important part of the equation.
Gear4music are proud to support Music For All’s quest to give everyone their musical opportunity.
If you would like to find out more about the great work undertaken by Music For All, check out their website below. www.musicforall.org.uk
In celebration of Ed Sheeran’s 3rd album release, Martin have unveiled the singer-songerwriter’s latest signature guitar, ‘Divide’ . Keeping in line with the rest of Ed’s mathematically themed albums, the latest signature sports the unique ‘Divide’ design upon its head stock and body.
Built in accordance with Ed’s favour of the comparatively slightly framed LX1E Little Martin, The ‘Divide’ Signature Edition similarly follows suit and comes fitted with a solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany back. Helping with the projection of mid and low register tones, this pairing of tone woods provides a balanced clarity that helps your guitar retain a deep, rich sustain allowing your chords to cut through the mix and whilst giving you a commanding presence.
A loyal imitation down to every last detail, the ‘Divide’ guitar also comes equipped with a custom interior label, Fishman Sonitone electronics and seperate gig bag. Ready to play right out the box, the guitar is a formidable workhorse that will serve the humble singer-songwriter day in day out, no matter the occasion.
The course coincides with the London Promenade Concert Season: The “Proms” are held annually at the Royal Albert Hall, an easy tube ride away from Temple to South Kensington. Alternatively, and closer, there will be concerts, theatre, film and other attractions at The Barbican and The SouthBank Centre.
The cost of the course (excluding meals and accommodation) is £360 reduced to £320 if paid in full by Monday 1st May 2017.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday can be attended at the daily rate of £85.
“Lucinda delivers deep understanding with a lightness of touch!” SC Singer and Teacher
“Wonderfully inspiring. So much food for thought – I loved your eating analogy!” SG Piano Teacher
“One of the best workshop leaders in the UK! Lucinda has a knack of tuning in and delivering exactly what everyone wants and needs. -I can’t think why I waited so long to come on this course!” JR Violinist and Teacher
We rarely see aspects of Yemen beyond the damage of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and clashes with Houthi rebels. Of course Yemen, like any other nation, is a country with culture and history, and its people have lives beyond those dictated by conflict.
That’s what footage uploaded on YouTube earlier this week served to remind us of, as it features two talented street performers in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. But as the video goes to show, culture can never thrive without politics.
The video was titled “A mighty performance by the military band of the Republican Guard,” as a joke; the video uploader said the lyrics poke fun at exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and called for former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to lead the “new” Yemen. The Republican Guard is an army led by Saleh’s son, Ahmed, who is known to be siding with the Houthis.
The uploader said the known Yemeni song’s changed lyrics also called Hadi a “Jew” and a “Saudi agent.”
Setting all political correctness aside, these talented musicians are still pretty entertaining. Here’s the performance:
Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad on Wednesday held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants.
As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants’ austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul’s western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control.
“This is a place for all, not just one sect. Daesh represents no religion but is an ideology that suppresses freedom,” Mukdad told Reuters, using a derogatory name for the militants. “Everything about Daesh is wrong.”
Mukdad, 28, fled Mosul after Islamic State fighters stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam.
Wednesday’s hour-long concert marked his first return to the city that was overrun by Islamic State in 2014.
Mukdad said he chose the Tomb of Jonas, or Mosque of the Prophet Younis, as the site is known by Muslims, to symbolize unity.
“I want to take the opportunity to send a message to the world and send a strike against terrorism and all ideologies which restrict freedom that music is a beautiful thing,” he said.
“Everyone who opposes music is ugly.”
DEFYING ISLAMIC STATE
Mukdad advertised the concert venue and time on social media, a bold move in eastern Mosul at a time the militants still control the Old City across the Tigris river.
Soldiers guarding the venue, which lies near the ancient Nineveh ruins, at first refused access after the boom of a nearby rocket rang out, saying they could not guarantee the public’s safety. They later relented, and troops joined the applauding crowd.
“The performance was like a dream,” said Tahany Saleh, who as a woman was forced by the militants to cease her university studies.
“I wanted to come to give a message that war has not stopped life in Mosul,” she said. “You can see all this damage but still we still want to be happy, we want to listen music.”
Under Islamic State rule, entertainment was banned. But in defiance of the militants, Mukdad continued to play at home alone or quietly with a dwindling circle of fellow musicians, closing windows to avoid detection.
“I stopped playing because I was too afraid but Ameen kept going,” said Hakam Anas, one of his friends who founded a musical club with the violinist. “We tried persuading him that he could get easily killed, but he kept playing.”
One night the militants raided Mukdad’s house, taking his instruments and vowing to punish him. He escaped to Baghdad where he still lives.
In a sign of how nervous Mosul residents remain six months into the military operation to flush out Islamic State, just 20 people, mostly young men, attended the concert.
“This is what we young people need,” said Abdullah Thaier.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; editing by Richard Lough)
We drove out of the crammed city, past polluted rivers, on dirt roads through dried-out palm forests, to a small school in the woods. Gang territory.
A few weeks ago, I traveled with one of our trainers through El Salvador to plan a project with UNICEF: strengthening children’s resilience in a country that has suffered from war and its successor—gang and criminal violence—for many decades.
Against a hopeless context—dislocation, poverty, decades of unprocessed trauma, lack of economic or social perspective—we met them: Pablo, a young violinist, who returned from exile to start a children’s orchestra in his native town. Sister Peggy, whose Center for Art for Peace brought life back to an empty city and made it safe. Mia, a musician who has taught generations of young Salvadoran artists to teach children in their own communities. David, Gabriel and Cecilia, who bring children to their cultural center in the woods, to draw, write, make music, and learn about their indigenous heritage.
They remind me of the words of a dear, wise friend: where empathy is lacking, be empathy. Where hope is lacking, be hope.
In a world dominated by violence and hopelessness, we are reminded that in every dry jungle, there is an oasis of hope. As musicians, we are lucky to have the greatest tool for empathy and hope: music. We are proud to join with other musicians without borders, to support their work in bringing empathy and hope through music to the children of El Salvador.
Phil Parker Ltd are pleased to welcome Eric Miyashiro to 85 Hampstead Road !
Eric Miyashiro is an Internationally acclaimed trumpet player. His playing is characterized by a term used on his web site,”StratosphERIC”. Miyashiro is well known as a powerhouse Big Band lead player but he is also a first call classical symphonic musician. Eric is comfortable playing all idioms. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and clinician.
He will be interviewed for live broadcast by Jazz fm and follow up with a clinic in our seminar room. Playing and listening places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.
Born and raised in Hawaii to a musical family, Eric is now one of the most in demand soloist/clinician in the world. He spent his early days in Honolulu studying both classical and Pop/Jazz music, later moving to Berklee Collage of Music to continue his education. Since leaving school, he has toured worldwide with: Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, and performed with many other artists and orchestras around the globe. Eric now resides in Japan, where he is the first call studio/session/solo player, and is also very active as a leader of his own bands; EM band and the Blue Note All Star Jazz Orchestra. Eric’s versatility has been showcased in many television shows, radio, and film scores. He is also known as an accomplished composer, arranger, and producer.
Eric is a visiting trumpet/popular music professor at Kunitachi College of Music, Showa Music Academy, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, and Osaka University of Arts.
Eric Miyashiro is an International Yamaha Performing Artist.
The Music Fund for Cuba was established in 2001 in memory of British singer Kirsty MacCollwho was inspired by Cuban music in her last album and loved the island, its culture, and its people.
Cuba is renowned for its cultural traditions. Its music, art, and dance are enjoyed by people around the world. Budding artistic talent is nurtured and encouraged within the country’s free music and arts schools which are open to all.
Sadly this heritage and the development of future talent are hindered by a lack of access to basic equipment and materials that we in richer countries often take for granted.
Violin strings, paper for music scores, reeds for woodwind instruments, ballet shoes, paints and other small but essential items are all in short supply. One of the main reason for these shortages is the continuing economic blockade of the island by the United States.
The Music Fund for Cuba aims to help nurture new talent by providing much needed support and equipment for children and young musicians, dancers and artists throughout the island that may otherwise be denied.
By supporting this vital work, you can help to keep alive Cuba’s rich cultural heritage and nurture a new generation of talent.
Guests arriving at international music conferences are usually welcomed with a bit of a meet-and-greet by the pool, an ice-cool daiquiri and canapes, perhaps. They are not normally whisked off to sites of forced evictions and killings. But when the host city is the Palestinian capital, Ramallah, normal rules – as with most of life in the occupied territories – do not apply.
The hilly West Bank town has just hosted PMX, the first ever Palestine Music Expo. Dreamed up by three locals – a rapper, a composer and a journalist – and a British record label boss, PMX showcased a blossoming of musical talent among a people whose voices have struggled to be heard. What emerged after three memorable days of talks, tours and live performances could form the blueprint for a whole new music industry – and even the re-branding of a nation.
Martin Goldschmidt set up his label, Cooking Vinyl, in the 1980s and has worked with Billy Bragg, Marilyn Manson and the Prodigy, among many others. He came to a music-biz conference in Tel Aviv two years ago and decided to venture out into Palestine. There he met rapper Mahmood Jrere from Palestinian crew DAM, composer Abed Hathout and journalist Rami Younis from progressive news site 972mag.com, and they introduced him to several local acts. The place was alive with talent – but lacked a music industry of its own.
“We knew we could provide delegates with an experience, an insight into the place,” says Goldschmidt as he recalls hatching the plan for PMX. “Once you visit Palestine, it gets under your skin. It messes with your head in quite a shocking way. It really makes you think.”
Jrere agrees: “We wanted to give delegates a different perspective from the one they get from the news.” And so, at 10am, a bus takes us to a refugee camp at nearby Qalandia. There are 20 delegates from Britain, the US, Canada, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Switzerland and France: agents, managers, lawyers, promoters and producers, as well as NGO representatives.
As the bus sways through a landscape of rubble and twisted metal, our Palestinian guide points out evidence of what he calls an apartheid society. It is shocking just how many walls there are. He indicates a sleek dual carriageway stretching for miles. To reach the same destination, Palestinians may have to go five times the distance through a series of grubby checkpoints.
There are no tents in Qalandia. Occupied by the Israelis after the six-day war in 1967, the camp has existed since 1948, and is a maze of jerry-built, breeze-block units and gaping rubbish sacks. Vivid black stencils on the whitewashed walls depict the faces of young men killed by Israel’s security forces. Our guides are three camp residents who make hip-hop under the name Sa’aleek, meaning “the Scrawny Ones”.
“Sa’aleek also means Vigilantes,” says 20-year-old Mohammad Silwadi, a whip of a boy with an eerie intensity. He works at a petrol station and as a hospital chef – but he lives to write rhymes. “This man was a journalist,” he says, pointing to a stencilled face. “They shot him. Knocked down his house. It is forbidden to build it again.”
He walks over to another face. “This was my friend,” he says, showing a miniature of the same image on a chain around his neck. He’s close to tears. His voluble bandmates fill in, invoking Tupac Shakur and Immortal Technique, all in American English learned from hip-hop lyrics: “We are revolutionaries, you get me?”
At the edge of the camp is a checkpoint through which all Palestinians must pass – on foot and only with the correct permit – to enter east Jerusalem. Built into the wall and blackened by the smoke of burned tyres, an Israeli observation tower looms over a perpetual jam of people and vehicles.
In the shadow of the tower, Silwadi opens a metal door. “Our studio,” he says. We squeeze into the tiny room, which contains a computer, a keyboard, two speakers and a mic. Dust fills our eyes and mouths, as well as every crevice of the equipment. Silwadi clangs the door shut, the others fire up the beats, and Sa’aleek unleash a torrent of rhymes.
During the drive back to Ramallah, we learn that Sa’aleek are not actually on the PMX bill. Ninety acts applied, but the Qalandia trio had never performed live before so didn’t make the cut. This seems a shame, so the delegates decide to petition the organisers.
After lunch comes a speed-networking session, held at a fashion boutique in Ramallah. The musicians line up amid the mannequins, while the delegates sit at tables, looking dazed after the morning’s crash course in life for your average Palestinian. A buzzer sounds to start the first 10 minutes of networking – or in my case, interviewing. DJ Odai sits down. He says he’s a refugee from Jaffa. He tells me he has often sneaked away to the city of Haifa for gigs.
“Being Palestinian fucks up your sense of identity,” says singer Rasha Nahas, my next interviewee. “Hebrew is everywhere. Eventually, you find yourself thinking in Hebrew, and you say, ‘Wait – this is the language of the oppressor!’ So English is a way to escape that.” Finally there’s Moody Kablawi, a smiling, 6ft 5in trip-hop artist (“the only one in Palestine!”) who has a gargantuan afro and controls his own lighting from the stage.
Goldschmidt and the expo’s other organisers are uncertain how many people will buy a ticket to watch the evening’s music in the huge tent that has been pitched in the hotel grounds. But by the time the first note is struck, there are 1,000 people in the crowd. What is most striking is the variety of styles. There’s a folky flavour to opening band Talila, while Nahas has the theatricality of Weimar cabaret with added violins and rockabilly. Then Jrere and his friends in DAM bring the noise, closing the night with an incendiary set.
The next night the crowd is larger still, and barrel-chested MC Saz does the pogo in full flowing white robes and fez, before stripping down to his vest – and even that comes off in the end. Already deals are being struck. From the Golan Heights come the winningly named Toot Ard. Their fusion of ska with the desert blues of bands such as Tinariwen quickly persuades Scottish booking agent Isla Angus to make a move.
Angus handles the live careers of a roster of artists including Sleaford Mods, and plans to bring the Palestinian group to Europe for shows at the end of summer. Why does she think they’ll do well? “They sing in Arabic, but the rhythm section is from the Prince Buster playbook,” she says. “It’s a joyful package and there’s always something special about seeing a bunch of musicians at the top of their game playing together. Plus, like everyone I’ve met here, they are the personification of grace under pressure.”
After a final set of panel discussions and a moving livestream with musicians in Gaza who faced difficulties leaving the strip, PMX moves towards its finale, which will take place in a cavernous basement. Its low ceilings bring an added intensity – perfect conditions for Sa’aleek, back by demand from Qalandia, for their first-ever live performance. They’re so excited (and under-rehearsed) that they can barely remember how their songs go, but the crowd get behind them, and when they go a cappella they turn things round. As they bounce their way through the closing tune – a rousing mix of marching-band snare drums and keening strings – the effect is overwhelming.
Then comes the final act, Zenobia. Two guys at keyboards making pulsing electronic instrumentals that build to emotional climaxes, like some crazy Kraftwerk of the Levant, and wild Arabic double-time clapping spreads through the crowd.
It all goes to show that the best music is often born from adversity. Supported by friends from many nations, in this swaying, cheering room of young people, a new side to Palestine is emerging – one that is about joy, fun and laughter. “Through music,” as one artist said to me, “we can be free.”
• This article was taken down for review on 12 April 2017, amended to correct and clarify details and republished on 13 April 2017. It was amended again on 18 April 2017 to change a caption and to remove a reference to the separation barrier which mistakenly associated a walled section of the barrier with the Israeli coastal city of Haifa.
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