Loving both variations: and if there is no space there is also this:
We also have a new YOU TUBE channel: please sign up and support: Our first Video is a collection of photos and videos that corresponds with our time with Yosvani Diaz from Los Rumberos de Cuba. The track used was recorded live and direct from Map Studio in Kentish Town London. ( if you are in the area, go to the Cafe, it has really good food). Yosvani Sings lead and Plays Iya. ( Not an easy task) Whilst trying to keep us on track.
We did some great gigs last year. We have some wonderful photos to document them
“Lullaby for Naila” Photos by Jonathan Martinez
This gig was to launch the Cd “lullaby for Naila” Which was a celebration of ancestors. The story of one small girl and the story of us all. Please click on each image to view
Joe Accompanying Tess
Low harmony Section with Lilli, Sandra and Mish
Reem and Al Macsween
Nana and the Choir
Sonia Singing a Lullaby from Benin
High Harmony Section with Xenia, Anne-Marie, Leah and Sheila
Sarah-Jane Lewis and Leon Rosselson
Sonia and above Sonia as a Baby
Michael Clemente Rosselson
Michael and Naila
Singing for Yemaya
Daniela and Leon, father and daughter
Davinia and Jackson
Former Choir members in the Audience
Reem Kelani and Leon Rosselson. Reem’s father looks down on the performance
The Choir looking happy!
Juanita singing a Lullaby from the congo
Gerardo Singing a Lullaby for Naila in Spanish
Mike and Lilli
Daniela and Leon
Everyone on Stage. Amelie Clemente-Ridge designed the Album Cover
Singing for Elegua
Sarah-Jane Lewis and Juwon
Me and My Son
The Star of the Show
“OUR LATIN THING”
London Lucumi Choir at the Barbican Celebrating 30 years of Latin Music in London with Roberto Pla’s Orchestra and featuring Snowboy and others. Photography by Jonathan Martinez
We played at the Interfaith Music Festival at the British Museum and Raised Money for Water Aid also over the Summer;
Christmas with DJ Ritu at London’s Southbank. “A World In London” We were very lucky to be invited to DJ Ritu’s Show ” A World In London” on Resonance FM. We had a great time. Artist Alban Low also sketched us as we sang. A few days later we performed at the Clore Ballroom at London’s Southbank. It was great fun. Here are some photos:
“Just got home from a super Cool gig. We were singing on a raised stage underneath the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus, part of a Samsung Promotion emphasising the health benefits of singing and celebrating of diversity. The team were really blown away by us and we got lots of good feedback. We wore these watches which measure your heartbeat, calorie expenditure and arm movements. All of that data was converted into visual sound waves and projected onto a screen below us! It was probably one of the most interesting gigs we have done. Plus the energy was super interesting; ( in metaphysical terms). singing to Orisha in that very full on and famous landmark” My Status on the 18th December:
Photos by Choir Members and thanks to Cheil and Cornucopia Music
NEXT GIG COMING UP:
We finally launch our third CD on the 29th April 2017 at Rich Mix as part of La Linea Festival:
To begin 2017, I am posting a link to the Blog of one of the Original and longer standing Members of the Choir, Mish Aminoff. Mish is a photographer and has documented the Choir and it’s members since the beginning. Please check out her wonderful Blog, which includes her work regarding the Choir and the members who have made it what it has been and what it is now. Also check out Mish’s other subjects also. We look forward to more years of singing and making music and taking more photos.
This year we will be launching our third CD. A Video and a special release coming soon. Watch this Space. We are also on the look out for more COMMITTED members. ( by which I mean, those that are prepared to put in a little bit of work and time). Get in contact!!!
It has been a sad time for the Choir. As director, I get to know people very well who come regularly to choir. Often if people come early, we share a cuppa and talk about life. Even when people leave, I get updates, emails and correspondence from those that have enjoyed the choir in the past. So it is easy to become fond of people who join the Choir. This was the case with Paris Johnson and Martyn Thompson, both of whom passed recently. Both ex members of the Choir were funny, creative and really up for trying new experiences. Both Paris and Martyn gave a lot to the Choir whilst they were attending. Paris left the Choir to pursue a degree in Art and Martyn left to go and live in Spain where he made a new life for himself. Both had a love for the Creative Arts. I taught Paris Singing at the Mary Ward Centre before he joined the London Lucumi Choir. I then followed his progress as he dedicated time to being an artist,which I know he wanted to pursue for a long time. I met Martyn when he was in the Singology Choir. We also knew people in common as he played Saxophone with a band called “the Sputniks”. He came up and asked about the Lucumi Choir and then subsequently joined. He was a talented musician, and a poet and a wonderful photographer who I paid tribute to here on this Blog. He was very involved with the Choir for a couple of years and really had an amazing community spirit. He came up to Manchester when we recorded our first CD and was fully involved in the recording process. Both members wished to carry on the connection once they had left. Martyn often talked about bringing the Choir to Spain and coming back to sing with us. Paris invited us to play at his end of term show last year. Both things sadly never happened. It is a reminder not to put things off and to really live the moment. I would like to take the opportunity to remember both Paris and Martyn: Paris was involved in recording our first Demo, he was on stage at the Barbican when we Supported Eliades Ocha, He was also onstage during our involvement of the Cuba 50 Festival and he was very important when we presented our debut of “Time and the Trickster by Juwon Ogungbe” in December 2009. Martyn was very involved in the Choir until we recorded and released our very first album in 2012. He helped me a lot in the couple of self promotional gigs that we did at the Tufnell Park Tavern, also around Christmas Time. It is nice that he was involved in the recording of our very first album “Un solo Palo”
Over the summer we were working hard on a Video project. We were filming a Video to promote a recording which will be pre-released on the Movimientos Label next year. Our recording is a cover version of the Ibeyi’s composition, “River”. We were happy to collaborate with Husband and Wife team, FireSoul Media, who are Elio Peña and Rebecca Radmore. The filming mainly took place by the River Wandle, Mitchum in South East London and also in Queen’s Woods, where the lost River Moss Well had it’s Source. What has been achieved with low budget and limited time, was a work which is really beautiful thanks to FireSoul Media.
We are really lucky to be included in the festivities of the Latin American Film Festival this Saturday on the 12th November:
This is the background story relating to the pre release and free download. It was released to celebrate Obatala’s feast day which is in the Lucumi tradition on the 24th September. We are happy to be collaborating with Movimientos Records for our next release. The London Lucumi Choir enjoy collaborations with like minded artists and Movimientos, whose master mind is Callum Simpson, has been supporting the Choir on and off for the past few years. In addition our pre-release is a collaboration with Candomblé Artist, Ricardo Axé and mixed by London based producer Raf Riley. We chose Raf because of his particular sound and the fact that he is London based. The Edit of the Video was enabled by young film maker currently in his last year of film school, Leo Durrant. It’s a family affair. Raf Riley is the son of Mish Aminoff who is in the Choir and Leo, the son of Gavin Durrant, also in the Choir. Artwork was supplied by long time collaborator, artist Jacob V Joyce.
My idea was to record three songs from three areas of Orisha worship to demonstrate how we are connected. We recorded short sequences dedicated to the Orisha Obatala/Oxala/ Orisha nla Have a listen to the below tracks. You will agree how remarkable it is that despite the passage of time, space, repression and trauma, the recognisable similarities are astonishing.
We sent the tracks to Raf Riley and let him add his creativity. Then I wanted to demonstrate the similarities in Video form, and tried to cram into just over two minutes, Obatala in all forms natural, in the animal world, personalised within the priesthood, within ceremony and dance.
Rafael Greifer, better known by his stage name Raf Riley, is a record producer and artist from North London. He was formerly a member of ExR alongside Etta Bond, and is signed to OddChild Music with releases on Diplo’s renowned Mad Decent label. Raf Riley has worked with many artists including Professor Green, Labrinth, Diplo, Naughty Boy, Dr. Luke, Plan B. and Mike Skinner.
More about Ricardo Axé
Ricardo is a Brasilian Candomble practitioner, dancer and percussionist who has occasionally taught us some beautiful sequences for Orisha, Brasilian style. He is well known on the Maracatu scene in Brighton.
Leo is a talented up and coming film maker who is at his last year at Croydon College studying film making. Remember where you heard about him first!!!
The London Lucumi Choir has been very honoured to feature on the stage with Britain’s finest Salsa Musicians. You may be asking what does an Afro-Cuban Spiritual Choir have to do with Salsa? Well, where should I start. There has been much written about the development of Salsa Music and so I will keep it brief. Historically Salsa was a term that was used as a useful commercial tool to sell music that was growing in the Barrios of New York in the 70’s. The Roots of Salsa Structurally can be traced to Cuban genres of Music such as “Son” and ” Guaracha” although other musical elements indigenous to other Latin and Caribbean Communities in particular the The Puerto Rican Community. Afro Cuban Jazz also made it’s mark and it’s very difficult to separate the role of Afro Cuban Percussionists and the fact that most of them had ties as ceremonial drummers in one Afro Cuban religion or the other. The Film ” When Spirits Dance Mambo” Directed by Marta Moreno Vega, illustrates this perfectly. It is hard to imagine the development of Afro Cuban Jazz and music such as Salsa without percussionists such as Julito Collazo, Chano Pozo, Francisco Aguabella, Armando Peraza, Mongo Santamaria and also Milton Cardona. Many of these percussionists had a background in ceremonial drumming and so the influence of Santeria was always there. In addition, Afro Cuban Jazz, Salsa and before it, Son and Guaracha have always been a vehicle to honour the Orishas and there are countless songs and arrangements dedicated to the Orisha, in Cuba and also in the United States.
With Relation to the London Lucumi Choir and Latin Music in the UK the main protaganists of the Choir were involved in the Salsa Scene for three decades or More. Daniela R De Armas was founder of two Salsa Bands in the 1980’s and the 1990’s “Salsa Y Aché and Salsasonica . David Pattman was Bongosero of one of the earliest London Based Salsa Bands “EL Sonido De Londres” . Jim Le Messurier was founder member and Timbales Player of one of the best Salsa Outfits in the UK, La Clave and Bill Bland was involved in countless Latin bands throughout the last 30 years.
Below: A track by Salsasonica written by Alex Wilson and Daniela Rosselson ( De Armas) and some vintage photos back in the day! Salsasonica
Press Cuttings Salsa Y
El Sonido De Londres early 1980’s
Salsa Y Aché 1992
La Clave 1980’s
The London Lucumi Choir will be joining Roberto Pla, his orchestra and host of other amazing musicians on the 16th July 2016: TO BOOK PRESS HERE!