On Friday 15th November two packed houses at Putney Arts Theatre were swept off their feet when 70+ gifted young musicians from World Heart Beat’s 51st State Band wowed them with a vibrant programme of jazz, rock, soul and musical theatre.
Houselights went down and spotlights went up on to an audience that was promptly immersed in a wave of Re-Birth Brass Band’s ‘Keep that body shaking’ from a surrounding circle of trumpeters, flautists, clarinetists, saxophonists and trombonists. The band then settled into a stunning medley of Queen, followed in contrast by a lovely selection from Mary Poppins. Our virtuoso vocalists, Sian, Ava and Anjelo delivered heart-breaking solos of great jazz numbers ‘But not for me’ and ‘Someone to watch over me’, then rocked ‘Bohemian rhapsody’ and delivered Norah Jones’ ‘Don’t know why’ as smooth as silk. There were awesome tributes with the greatest hits of Aretha Franklin – Queen of Soul, and to Henry Mancini with his velvety, orchestral ‘Mr Lucky’.
From the pen of World Heart Beat lead patron and king of jazz piano, Julian Joseph OBE, the band and soloists performed an exquisite rendition of his highly moving ’A force stronger than love’ in front of him. Further celebrity was ‘one of the most innovative, exciting and original trumpet players alive’, Byron Wallen, also a devoted mentor at World Heart Beat, who inspired while playing alongside his fellow young trumpeters.
The exciting theme from Mr Spiderman provided the climactic finale, which was capped with a standing ovation and endless applause.
Our patron Julian Joseph presented the Jack Petchey Foundation Awards to our students Alex Williams, Maia Goodwin, Lydia Sailor, Katie Watts, Maya Vyas, Katrina Williamson and Ophelia Lanfranchi. Congratulations also to Ezekiel Ajie who won the Jack Petchey Foundation Leader Award. Watch this space to see how our students decide to invest back into the academy whether by provision of instruments and equipment or organising workshops and masterclasses.
The energy and joy was in full flow with our young musicians demonstrating what they do best with heart felt passion!