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The Nine Elms Sessions

World Heart Beat is proud to introduce The Nine Elms Sessions – a series of six music videos celebrating the Nine Elms local community whilst reflecting on the area’s heritage, present identity and promising future, as well as the arrival of its new music academy and concert hall this summer.

First Female Pilot

Starting with Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz, the video celebrates (what would be) Hilda Hewlett’s 158th birthday – the Vauxhall-born early aviator, aircraft manufacturer and flying instructor. Born on 17 February, 1864, Hilda was the first British woman to earn a pilot’s licence. She ran a successful aircraft manufacturing business in Battersea (which built more than 800 aircraft during the First World War) as well as building the first flying school in the UK (Weybridge). Release date: Tuesday 15 February 

Samba Parade

In honour of Mardi Gras (or Carnival Tuesday), The Samba Parade celebrates the vibrant Latin communities living in and around ‘Little Portugal’, in South Lambeth. The video features Year 5 students from Griffin Primary School, Nine Elms who took part in weekly Latin samba workshops led by Brazilian percussionist, Xande Oliveira as well as headdress-making sessions using recycled materials with TARU Arts. The session culminates with an energetic and inspiring parade through the school and local Patmore and Carey Gardens estates. Release date: Tuesday 1 March (Mardi Gras) 

The Settlers

With further recognition to the region’s past, The Settlers highlights the importance of the River Thames and this section of London’s South Bank as a popular destination over the centuries for Irish settlers seeking long-term employment and seasonal work, particularly in the construction industry. Irish Property Developer EcoWorld Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens kindly co-supported these sessions, and developing a new business and residential quarter which is also the location for World Heart Beat’s second venue. Nine Elms is one of London’s last remaining former industrial districts undergoing a huge transformation, with the delivery of 20,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs by 2030. Release date: Thursday 17 March (St. Patrick’s Day) 

United Nation’s International Day of Happiness

The fourth session celebrates the UN’s International Day of Happiness (founded in 2012) to help people around the world realise the importance of joy and wellbeing in their lives. Young musicians take part in communal marimba playing of Sarura Wako, a traditional Zimbabwean children’s song with the direction of African band, Otto and the Mutapa Calling. This uplifting and vibrant session is filmed on Thessaly Road featuring the Happy Street railway bridge installation of brightly coloured panels designed by Yinka Ilori for Wandsworth Council’s commission with the London Festival of Architecture. Release date: Sunday 20 March (UN’s International Day of Happiness) 

My Generation

The fifth session plays homage to rock band The Who, who in the early 1970’s converted the old church on Thessaly Road into Ramport Studios specifically to record its Quadrophenia album. It was the also the recording studio of choice for other bands such as Supertramp (Crime of the Century) and Thin Lizzy (Jailbreak). My Generation was the song of the mid-60s rebellion and was all about finding a place in society, written for rebellious British youths known as ‘mods’. Written by The Who’s Pete Townshend on his 20th birthday, the video today celebrates his 77th birthday. The building is now a medical practice (corner of Thessaly Road and Corunna Road) with iconic murals by the late Battersea resident and artist Brian Barnes MBE, who campaigned in 2011 for a green plaque to commemorate this historical site of interest. This session is dedicated to the memory of Brian who died on 28 November, 2021, aged 77 years. Release date: Thursday 19 May 

The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

The Nine Elms Sessions finishes with our young musicians performing Handel’s awe-inspiring The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee Weekend (marking the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne). Musicians are seen performing the lively and ceremonial piece in and around Nine Elms landmarks, including the U.S Embassy, Battersea Power Station, New Covent Garden Flower Market, The Black Cab Coffee Co. (Riverlight Quay) as well as a sneak preview of the soon-to-open new music academy and concert hall space to open to the local community this summer, with its official launch in October 2022. Release date: Thursday 2 June 

Sahana Gero, MBE, Founder and Artistic Director at World Heart Beat said: 

The Nine Elms Sessions, kindly supported by Wandsworth Council and Embassy Gardens has given us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our local community and showcase our musical talent through exploring the past, present and future of our soon-to-be new home, Nine Elms.” 

Sahana adds: “Nine Elms has so much to offer. While the past reflects on its commerce and industry, the future promises arts, culture and opportunities. Our new music academy and concert hall will provide inspiration and joy through learning music, as well as career opportunities for young people, and a music venue offering an exciting programme across a diverse range of music.”  

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council said:  

“We’re delighted that these music sessions herald the countdown to opening World Heart Beat’s new premises in Nine Elms”. 

“It has been the council’s priority to support cultural organisations as they make their home in Nine Elms, so we worked hard to help the charity secure this space and get it right for the future. The Levelling Up funding that we were awarded with World Heart Beat is helping to create a state-of-the-art music education facility and London’s newest concert venue – providing unrivalled opportunities for our young people from all backgrounds.” 

With huge thanks to:

Wandsworth Council and Developer EcoWorld Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens for supporting the Nine Elms Sessions


World Heart Beat uses the power of music to inspire, bring people together and make a positive impact

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