51st State Band in Concert at Putney Arts Theatre 2015

On 13th November, the 51st State Band were honoured to present a richly textured programme of music in the company of some huge stars of the Jazz world. Presented by passionate and enthralling Canadian singer-songwriter, Tammy Weis, this was truly an exciting and inspiring event.

Check out SWL.TV’s coverage of the 51st State Band in Concert at Putney Arts Theatre.

It was our great pleasure to welcome guest artists Tony Kofi, Byron Wallen, Patrick Clahar and Laci Olah.

Tony Kofi is famous for his solos of exuberance and tenderness, and his sound is that of a master. We were priveleged to feature an original composition written by Tony and tailored for the 51st State Band.

Byron Wallen  is one of the most innovative, exciting and original trumpet players in the world. He has performed and collaborated with a host of international artists throughout his prolific musical career, and is regarded as a seminal figure in world jazz.

Patrick Clahar is a powerful post-coltrane tenor player and one of the leading saxophonists of his generation. His performances are tempered with a strong sense of melodic inspiration, and he’s worked with a host of internationally renowned musicians.

Laci Olah is a Hungarian-born, classically trained violinist who comes from the sixth generation of musicians in his family. His skills in improvising and 0rchestrating have lead him to collaborate with musicians from a range of genres including pop, jazz, rock and film scores.

We also had two incredible guests to present the Jack Petchey awards, Alun Armstrong and Julian Joseph.

Alun Armstrong is a British National treasure, who has played the full spectrum of characters over his career, including some of the most important and defining roles. He spent nine years with the Royal Shakespeare company, originated the role of Thénardier in Les Misérables and won an Olivier Award for playing the title role in Sweeney Todd.

It was a brilliant concert and myself and my friends had a really uplifting evening. It’s amazing what you’ve achieved at World Heart Beat and you must be really proud. I wish you all the best for your next phase of this exciting project. We’ll be spreading the word about your amazing success.

  • Alun Armstrong

Julian Joseph has been a towering figure in contemporary Jazz for over two decades. Acclaimed by critics and audiences the world over, Julian never fails to inspire with his mastery of the piano and limitless scope of his creative imagination. We are hugely grateful for Julian’s endless inspiration at World Heart Beat Music Academy.

Check out last year’s concert here >>


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  1. Paula Shaw 14/11/2015 at 9:38 am #

    Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful evening last night with so many talented young people clearly having a great time! It was really an uplifting experience and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Diana 15/11/2015 at 12:22 pm #

    I just wanted to say how fantastic the concert was last night. Such a good mixture of music and so many happy faces. It was really uplifting.

    We were so proud of Guy last night. Being part of the 51st State Band has been so good for him. Since joining you he has passed his grades 3 and 4 trombone exams with distinction and is taking his grade 5 next week. He has learned so much from you and the other musicians. It has really boosted his confidence and his musical ability.

    Thank you so much for all that you do. The band is a HUGE tribute to you and all your hard work.

  3. Michael Webber 15/11/2015 at 12:23 pm #

    What a fun, impressive and moving evening you put on last Friday. We loved it. And appreciate the hard work you will have put into the hour’s showcase. Well done and thank you! We will come to the next one.

  4. Sue Wing 15/11/2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Thank you for a truly amazing concert on Friday. It had a wonderful and unique flavour and each year the band goes from strength to strength and gets better and better. Thank you for all you pour into the young people, giving them this incredible life experience. I particularly liked the Tijuana Taxi number, as I grew up hearing my parents’ Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass records, so it transported me to a very happy place! Amazing to hear that music live (as I am sure it is supposed to be heard!).

    Thank you once again for all your hard work and inspiration.

  5. Veronica Bradbury 15/11/2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Wow! Every year I think that it can’t get better but yet again it does just that. Last night was amazing. The concentration the band displayed was first hand evidence of how music puts the brain into a higher functioning level. The professional musicians were an inspiration to those youngsters. I could literally see and feel their awe and wonder when they were listening to the solos. They will remember and be inspired by that concert for the rest of their lives.

  6. Nithya 16/11/2015 at 1:35 pm #

    It was a real pleasure being there – I really enjoyed the music and meeting old friends!

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Jenny Baylis 16/11/2015 at 1:35 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know we really loved the show. Henry and Ben really liked the Jazz particularly, both playing imaginary instruments on their water bottles and Henry was even conducting at one point.

    It was brilliant. Great stuff.
    Thank you

  8. Sringkhala 16/11/2015 at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you so much for inviting us for last evenings concert we had such an enjoyable time.You are doing a great job encouraging all those lovely young people to play music. Keep up this great work!

  9. Catharine Boardman 16/11/2015 at 1:39 pm #

    I am so delighted to support the Academy. The concert last night was absolutely superb. A really good choice of music and such talent. Emily really enjoyed playing next to such a superb musician. What an honour.

    Emily loves playing with the band. Her schedule is so busy, but band is something she always wants to go to. She gets so much pleasure from it.

    Thank you for all your efforts.

  10. Tony Martin 16/11/2015 at 1:40 pm #

    THANK YOU so much for giving us all such a wonderful evening of music, performed at such a high level by 51st State Band! You must be very proud. Everyone loved it!

  11. Sally 17/11/2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Congratulations to you, it was a great concert and testament to your hard work.

  12. Sasha Birch 17/11/2015 at 12:18 pm #

    The kids loved performing and the Melvin family loved watching . Best one yet!

  13. Rebecca Davidson 17/11/2015 at 12:19 pm #

    I just wanted to say a huge congratulations to you. You’re a genuine inspiration and I know Martha gets so much out of band, not just musically but also socially from all the different people she meets. One of the best nights of the year!

  14. Sue Bairstow 17/11/2015 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks to all. It was a splendid evening.

  15. David Kirk 24/11/2015 at 1:39 pm #

    All of us thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Great kids, great sounds, great atmosphere.

  16. Messeh Leone 24/11/2015 at 1:42 pm #

    I have no words to express how sweet this event was . The show was great and was high level music, real music.

    Everyone enjoyed and the kids were excellent.

  17. Jason Rosam 24/11/2015 at 1:43 pm #

    I just wanted to say the show is fabulous and thanks so much for all the hard work you and the team put into it.

  18. Perry 24/11/2015 at 1:55 pm #

    It was fun! Great to see you and the band again, and they sounded wonderful.

  19. Howell 24/11/2015 at 1:58 pm #

    Just a brief note to say how much I enjoyed Friday night, thank you so much for inviting us. I love the big band sound and to hear a big band with such soloists, what a treat! I also love the variety of music disciplines you are working with; I have never come across gypsy violin tuition before, so that was a real ear-opener too.

    I salute your work. And the other events of the evening show how much we need that spirit of hope and community that art can bring for our young people and for us all.

  20. Tammy Weis 24/11/2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Thank you for inviting me to present. It was a wonderful experience and I would like to do it again!

  21. Zahra 24/11/2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Thank you really enjoyed it it was a great night x

  22. Corinne 24/11/2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Wonderful concert tonight…just so joyful! Thank you for inviting us and many congratulations..we were blown away by that concert…amazing!!! Loads of love and much admiration, as always

  23. Laci 24/11/2015 at 2:11 pm #

    The concert was amazing, I’m mesmerised with what you have achieved with the school. It would be amazing to have a whole show around and with the violin/gipsy ensemble. I feel so lucky and grateful to be a part of the WHBMA family!!!!

  24. Leah 24/11/2015 at 2:12 pm #

    I enjoyed every minute of the concert, it was so inspiring. Thank you so much!

  25. Melanie 24/11/2015 at 2:13 pm #

    It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the academy thank you so much x

  26. Amelia Sailer 24/11/2015 at 2:13 pm #

    It was a great concert and my family really enjoyed it! X

  27. Paula 24/11/2015 at 2:14 pm #

    The concert went fab!

  28. Amber 24/11/2015 at 2:16 pm #

    It was lovely being at the concert. I always like coming back to World Heart Beat. X

  29. Milda 24/11/2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Thank you so much its nice to be part of it as well x

  30. Naima 24/11/2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Just wanted to say I loved the concert and thanks so much for everything.

    Naima xx

  31. Jenni 24/11/2015 at 2:18 pm #

    I think the band did really well. Thank you as always for your incredible encouragement to my children.

  32. Jana 24/11/2015 at 2:19 pm #

    The Band’s concert on Friday was an absolute delight, as always, thank you from all of us.

  33. Tim Medforth 04/02/2016 at 2:41 pm #

    We THOROUGHLY enjoyed the performance ….what a super atmosphere and what great music making …. the enthusiasm and passion of everyone involved was so obvious….and sparkling performances from professionals and amateurs alike ….just great to be there.

  34. Eileen O'Mara 04/02/2016 at 2:41 pm #

    The concert was an absolute treat …..thanks for linking us in with this

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