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World Heart Beat Online Programme

World Heart Beat is launching its free online music programme, World Heart Beat Online – four curated music courses honouring South Asian and Latin American music and their communities.

The programme will be available to ALL young people (aged 7 – 20yrs+) with tuition and instruments (and devices if needed) provided for free.

Latin American online music courses  

  • 10-week ‘Introduction to Latin Music’ led by Pepe Barcellos, for 20 young people, aged 7-12yrs. This course will include an introduction to some of the percussion instruments and rhythms from Latin America, and how to play them using the correct technique. Lessons to take place on Fridays, 5:00 – 5:40pm. Starts Friday 3 December
  • 8-week Caipira course (Brazilian 10-stringed guitar) led by Almir Pessoa for 16 young people, aged 12+yrs. Content to include basics of the caipira and students to play one piece by the end of the course. Lessons to take place on Mondays, 5:00 – 5:45pm. Starting January TBC 

South Asian online music courses

  • 10-week ‘Introduction to South Asian music’ led by Alok Verma, for 20 people, aged 7-12 yrs. Content to include learning Teentaal and aesthetics of South Asian percussion along with two different time signatures and one raaga, Bhoopali with some scales. Lessons to take place on Thursdays, 5:00pm-5:45pm. Starts Thursday 2 December
  • 8-week Sitar course (plucked string instrument) led by Jonathan Mayer for 16 young people, aged 12+yrs. Content to include basics of the sitar, learning about raagas and playing one piece by the end of the course. Lessons to take place on Tuesdays 5:00 – 5:45pm. Starting December TBC

About the teachers

Oli Savill – Latin Percussionist

Oli Savill, world-renowned Percussionist and Composer, having been at the heart of the UK jazz, broken beat and dance scene for the last 25 years and playing with bands such as Delata and Mala for his ‘Mala in Cuba’ project, as well as currently touring with dance superstars Basement Jaxx. 

Oli was born in Lisbon, Portugal and although he studied guitar (and then bass) from a very early age, it was at the age of 11 that his parents gave him his first pair of bongos for Christmas. After a stint with the Petshop Boys he left Europe and went to Havana, Cuba to study afro-cuban percussion at the ‘Escuela de Superacion professional de Musica Ignacio Cervantes’, as well as studying privately with members of the ‘Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba’. 

On his return to the UK, he quickly became very busy as a freelance percussionist, also co-writing and touring his own album under the name ‘Dalata’. To this day, he has recorded, performed and/or toured with many artists from all over the world, including Gary Barlow, Juanes, Matt Bianco, Professor Green, Roy Ayers, Shakira, Sly +Robbie, Tom Jones, Zero 7, Annie Lennox, Natasha Atlas, Yasmin Levy, Smoke City, Mala, Bennie Maupin. 

He has been the live and studio percussionist for Grammy + multi award winning band Basement Jaxx since 2004. 

Almir Pessoa – Caipirist 

Almir Pessoa is a singer, composer and Caipira player (Violero). His professional career debuted in 2002, when he premiered his show “Viola na arena”, which earned him the nickname of “O Violeiro do Brasil”. His style mixes country music, MPB and country. He represented the State of Goiás in the cultural events of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. 

He was the first Brazilian to sing inside the English Parliament Hall at the invitation of Baroness Floella Benjamin. In addition to his work as an artist, he directs IVAP (Instituto de Viola Almir Pessoa), where he is responsible for the musical training of dozens of guitar players in the city of Goiânia.

His music brought him to travel all around Brazil and Europe, especially France, Belgium, England, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, many more. He gave the first country guitar course outside Brazil, in London in 2017, at World Heart Beat Academy. He signed the guitar Rozini model Almir Pessoa, launched in London in April 2017 and in Brazil in July of the same year. He released three albums, “Almir Pessoa – Voz e Viola”, “Almir Pessoa – O Violeiro do Brasil, vol. 1”, and “Almir Pessoa – O Violeiro do Brasil- live.” 

Alok Verma – Tabla teacher

With a strong musical influence from his parents, Alok started learning Tabla from the age of seven. In 1998 he won the Classical Tabla Solo competition at national level in India. He had his first public performance with his mother and by 13, he was working with All India Radio on numerous recordings. 

He has performed with a number of artists including Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, Boris Grebenshikov, Dr L Subramanium, Kavita Krishnamoorthy, Harharan, to name a few. 

His inspirations vary a lot from Ustaad Zakir Hussain to Hidalgo Giovanni to Buddy Rich. Alok has performed all over the world in various countries like France, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, UAE, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Morocco, Belgium, Russia, Germany, India, Spain, Switzerland, Singapore, Zimbabwe, United States of America! 

He has played on many albums across the globe with different producers and singers. He also produces own music and beats. Avartan and Aura are the two albums which were the highlight of 2019. 

Alok Verma is a master teacher, teaching tabla to young people at World Heart Beat music academy.  

Jonathan Mayer – Sitarist

Son of the late Kolkata composer John Mayer, Jonathan began his musical training at the early age of five with violin from his grandfather Albert Hepton, piano from James Methuen-Campbell and composition from his father.  

At the age of 16 he started his sitar training under the western sitarist Clem Alford who was a disciple of Sachindra Nath Saha from the Senia gharana. In 1993 Jonathan began studying composition from Andrew Downes as well as sitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire where he gained a B.Mus (Hons).  

After graduating he studied Imdadkhani gharana technical proficiency under Ustad Wajahat Khan and finally settled in to the Senia veen-kar Gharana under the extremely knowledgeable maestro the late Pandit Subroto Roy Chowdhury. 

Jonathan has performed all over the world including France, Germany, Russia, United Arab Emirates, USA, Australia, America, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and two very successful tours in India which includes a performance at The Dover Lane Music Conference as well as a number of performances for the BBC in the UK. 

FREE Instrument provision   

For the Introductory classes, general household items in the home, for example, pots and pans can be used to create sounds and rhythms. 

For the more specialist Caipira and Sitar classes, instruments will be loaned free of charge.

All computers/devices (if needed) will be loaned free of charge.

Music Concert and Performance

On completion of the programme, World Heart Beat will invite participants to take part in a live music concert alongside World Heart Beat students to showcase to the local community.  

Advanced students enrolled in World Heart Beat’s Music Leadership programme will provide 1:1 support to help young people with their music learning.

The Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants

The project is funded by The Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants which helps support thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations – thank you for your continued support!

SIGN UP NOW

If you are interested in taking part in World Heart Beat Online, please email info@worldheartbeat.org with your name, age, level of experience (all levels welcome), preferred course and any other relevant details.

We look forward to welcoming you!


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