The exceptional people that are attracted to support both the vision and the reality of World Heart Beat make us uniquely successful in both our musical and social contribution to young people, and in our business enterprise..
We are supported by a dedicated and knowledgeable board of trustees who oversee the fantastic work we do. They give their time and energy for free to help us make as positive an impact as we can. We think they are amazing…
Rachel van Walsum
Chair of Trustees
Rachel van Walsum is Director and co-founder of Maestro Arts, an interdisciplinary agency providing strategic and comprehensive career management, worldwide, to an elite array of international artists within the worlds of classical music and performing arts.
After graduating in 1987 with a BA in Music, Rachel joined the BBC World Service as a Studio Manager supervising live radio broadcasts and making arts and magazine programmes. The demands of the World Service night shifts finally influenced her decision to leave and take on a temporary job as Concerts Manager at the Aldeburgh Festival, where she was subsequently promoted to Press Officer of Aldeburgh Productions.
At the end of 1993, Rachel was appointed Head of Public Affairs of the Bournemouth Orchestras and in February 1995 joined Van Walsum Management in London as an Artist Manager. Between 2003 to 2005 she was Deputy Chair of the International Artists Manager Association and in 2005 became Managing Director of Van Walsum Management. Van Walsum Management was sold in 2008 and, following a short sabbatical, Rachel and her husband, Joeske, founded Maestro Arts, which has become a flourishing Artist Management Company in London.
As a testament to her judgment and experience in the classical music industry Rachel is a regularly invited jury member for International music competitions and industry award panels. As an advocate for Artist Management she is an invited speaker about managing artist’s careers and mentors a number of young artists.
Believing in the power of music to transform lives, Rachel has been a Trustee of World Heart Beat since 2015.
James is an artist manager, record producer, educator and impresario, integral in the creation of major label jazz artists from the UK – Jason Rebello, Cleveland Watkiss and his brother, Julian. He continues to play a key role in guiding the careers of many other British jazz greats, as well as global artists including Nina Simone and Cassandra Wilson.
He has consulted for BBC Worldwide, and has co-produced television and radio shows for the BBC and ITV. Film and the stage are important facets of his reach as an executive producer for projects in Opera and Ballet, including collaborations with critically acclaimed choreographer Sheron Wray, whose company, JazzXchange – when resident at the Royal Opera House – commissioned music from contemporary Jazz heavyweight maestros Byron Wallen, Julian Joseph and Wynton Marsalis.
James advocates quality music making, with a record of supporting and creating music series’ on television (Jazz with Julian Joseph) concert venues (Wigmore Hall, Barbican). A founder of the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy, supporter of HMDT Music and a powerful advocate of World Heart Beat Music Academy and Sahana’s vision for empowering young people through musical excellence. He also lectures at music academies, universities and conservatoires on the music business and focussed career planning for the music profession.
James is a passionate proponent of excellence in the arts, believing that music enriches our society immeasurably, and must be valued, encouraged, protected and championed.
He is vice-chair of JazzUK, and sits on several boards including those of the PRS Foundation and the Mayor’s Music Fund.
Nick is a freelance management consultant who helps all kinds of organisations become more customer-focused. He is passionate about all forms of music and how it can open up opportunities for young people.
Nick’s career includes senior management positions with several leading companies. In his spare time can be found singing in a local community choir or trying to improve his rudimentary guitar skills.
Corinne is a partner of Baskerville Design, in South West London, specialising in creating, launching and nurturing new brands. She has been a Wandsworth resident for almost 30 years, and served as a school governor for over 12 years. In this role she was instrumental in the selection of head-teachers and other senior staff.
Corinne has worked with Sahana for over 18 years, sharing her passion in the belief that music is an essential part of education, inspiring and empowering young people.
Having qualified at Goodman Jones Chartered accountants where Zac looked after growing media, property and construction clients, he joined Lehman Brothers in their financial control area to explore the world of finance in Investment banking. Moving eventually to UBS (a Swiss bank), Zac worked around the world as he built out businesses in different markets putting in controls to remediate risks and ensuring integrity of the financial statements and appropriate tax treatments across borders.
In 2013 Zac moved to Switzerland where he was CFO and Financial Controller for the Swiss Investment Bank. As business partner and Controller, focus was on supporting the strategy of the bank as he set up new company structures and reduced costs through outsourcing, offshoring and robotics to manage the changing regulatory environment.
After several enjoyable years Zac moved back to London in 2016 to settle down and provide a new life for his family. Zac’s vision was to create an accountancy firm, GQC Ltd, that really supports businesses and offers consulting, accountancy, tax and advisors services for entrepreneurs taking them from A (Accountancy) to C (consultancy) in a seamless journey. Zac also holds Directorships at two residential property firms, The Quinn Partnership Ltd and Laycock Properties Ltd.
Jayne has spent most of her professional career in the fund management industry, specialising in investment into emerging markets. She co-founded Hong Kong based Regent Pacific Group in 1990 where she established, and was responsible for, the Group’s corporate finance activities and managing the groups London office.
In 2000, she became Managing Director of Charlemagne Capital, a London based emerging markets specialist which was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in 2006. The group was acquired by Fiera Capital Corporation of Canada in 2016 and she became MD of the group’s European operations.
In 2018 she decided to retire from a full-time role in the investment management industry.
Jayne has lived in Wandsworth since 1994 and is Vice Chair of Governors at Emanuel School. She has a Masters degree in Theology from the University of Oxford.
Kwabena is a Wandsworth local, having grown up in the area.
Kwabena joined World Heart Beat in 2012, where he played the saxophone and performed in jazz ensembles, the 51st State Band, as well as taking part in fundraising and marketing opportunities for the academy.
At World Heart Beat he was one of ten young Heart Beat students selected to take part in the GUCCI Timepieces and Jewellery sponsorship programme, in conjunction with the Grammy’s in LA.
Kwabena is passionate about giving young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunities that he was given at World Heart Beat; being able to hone and develop a musical skill to really help make a difference to their lives.
He is now a trainee solicitor at a city law firm, currently part way through his traineeship.
We are honoured to work with these brilliant patrons who continually help to raise awareness of our work and support us in so many ways…
Acclaimed as one of the finest jazz musicians to emerge this side of the Atlantic, Julian Joseph has devoted his long career to championing the music across the British Isles and into the far corners of the globe. He has forged a reputation beyond his formidable skills as a composer and performer, and is universally recognised as a highly knowledgable and engaging broadcaster, musical ambassador and cultural advocate.
His charitable work and generous skills as an educator have made a major contribution to Britain’s cultural landscape and heritage. He is a greatly admired and respected figure in British Jazz, celebrated for his service to others and for sharing all the benefits of his life in music to inspire the musicians of the future.
Julian shares his unique insights into the philosophy and practice of jazz performance in his recent book, Music of Initiative.
Rezwana Choudhury Bannya is an acclaimed Bangladeshi singer, known for her distinctive style of singing. She is the leading exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, the songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore.
Rezwana has won many awards, including Bangladesh’s highest civilian award – the Independence Day Award – and is considered to be a symbol of the friendship and cultural bond between India and Bangladesh.
In 1992 Rezwana founded the music school ‘Shurer Dhara’ in Bangladesh, with the aim of providing a cultural platform to underprivileged children in society, bringing them under the umbrella of Shurer Dhara. Through the songs of Rabindra Sangeet, they spread the joy of music in the lives of others, and through music they are helping to build vibrant and thriving communities.
Boris Puroshottama Grebenshikov
Boris Puroshottama Grebenshikov hails from St Petersburg, Russia. With the tenderness and insight of a poet, he has captured the hearts of his fellow countrymen, and is as highly acclaimed and respected in Russia as The Beatles are in the West.
Boris Grebenshikov is considered to be the ‘founding father’ of Russian Rock music. His landmark Russian Album is considered by many to have changed the definition of Russian rock’n’roll music forever. He has produced more than 50 original albums since the formation of his legendary band Aquarium in 1972, and his music includes a whole ream of ethnic and folklore influences
Our Ambassadors are high profile supporters who are particularly passionate about the work that we do. Their commitment, enthusiasm and generosity gives great energy to raising awareness of the joys of learning music. We so appreciate their support.…
Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE, DL
Baroness Benjamin was well-known to millions as the host of Play School and Play Away, and her real passion is for inspiring children and young people. She has spent more than 40 years campaigning for young people…
In Floella’s words “I believe one should always give as much as possible to try and make a difference wherever or whenever you can. You get such a buzz from giving back and making a difference, changing the world. I haven’t done charity work for any ulterior motive but only to change people’s lives “
In 2010, she was introduced to the House of Lords and given the full title of Baroness Benjamin, of Beckenham in the County of Kent, and in March 2020 she received a Damehood at Buckingham Palace.
Diversity is an important issue for Floella, and she works tirelessly to highlight the importance of it being reflected in every aspect of our society, especially in our media which touches millions at any one given time. “When diversity is embraced we become culturally richer.”
Our Youth Board
This is a collective of World Heart Beat’s dedicated young musicians, who meet with us regularly to discuss their ideas and how we might implement them…