In July 2015, we were given the exciting opportunity to visit Cape Town and work with some local musicians as part of Call to Create an international project set up by The Roundhouse. We took Ruben Fox, Trustee Lawrence Becko, and our veteran brass director, Claude Deppa. Claude originates from Cape Town and so we were able to meet the extended Bloco family in that part of the world and then get the massive joy of bringing some of them back over to London in the November of 2015 to meet our Bloco family for the On Mass performance.
Walking into meet the Little Giants in the Cape Town Flats area was like walking into a Kinetika Bloco rehearsal in South London. It was so interesting to see the similarities between the culture of our organisations. They bring together young people from across the township and suburbs of Cape Town and put a real emphasis on music education, ensuring that young people learn about their musical heritage whilst encouraging them to experiment with other genres and styles. They partner with the local high school and Jazzvenues to ensure they provide a pathway for the young people they work with. They give opportunities for the older members to mentor and support the younger generation through a Saturday programme at the school. And overall they enable young people to find the joy in playing music together and cross cultural boundaries that currently still exist in Cape Town.
Claude Deppa said of the trip “This was an exceptional opportunity to take my experience, and my Kinetika Bloco family back to the community I grew up in. George Werner, the Director for the Little Giants, was a long-time family friend and childhood big brother. Knowing how similar our paths had developed within community music growing up it was beautiful to see how the same musical energy existed in both of our organisations and to enable their young musicians and ours to experience it. This made 2015 a year none of us will forget. The present lockdown has revealed difficulties faced by all and especially the artists whose recharge point is making people happy! So, keep loving your music and your instrument. Stay strong and keep safe”
The Little Giants and Kinetika Bloco continue to demonstrate the immense power that music has to bring young people together across cultural boundaries and to provide new ways for communities to move forward and we know we are going to need to put those super powers to work even more when we come out of this Lockdown in all areas of the globe.
In the meantime please enjoy some of The Little Giants music on their facebook page:
And enjoy one of our non-musical favourite moments from the trip!
Stay Safe, Tamzyn