London is a melting pot, and the tradition that the songs are based in comes from a particular African religion that has , survived, adapted been tolerant of other paths and been able to work alongside them but has also understood that survival has meant change and an understanding of culture and life beyond the practise. It is therefore no surprise that the Choir is also a melting pot. Members come from all around the globe. Here are some of the countries that have been represented in the choir. Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, The Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad, Bermuda, Barbados,Guyana, Mexico, Argentina, Armenia, Finland, Spain, Persia, Israel, France, Germany, Lebanon, Ireland, USA, and of course, the UK. The amount of different languages also spoken in the Choir is also extensive, making it not as difficult as you would expect to teach in a language that is not spoken everyday. The ages range from 17 to 70 and there is no criteria for joining with regards to age. It is truly an intergenerational project. There have been several parents and offspring that have joined us. It is an activity that unites people and so family members can enjoy coming together.
Long Standing Members:
“I was participating in an afrocuban dance class when I heard Daniela sing powerfully to the Orishas …and I thought “I want to do that! “Daniela told me about Martica’s workshops and I got hooked..I’ve been teaching world cinema and visual culture for several years I’m also a photographer . I’ve studied percussion (timbales) and have led singing assemblies and workshops in primary schools with an emphasis on world music. I’ve danced salsa for over 25 years, and was the producer of a long running world music radio programme (Planet Mambo on BBC London). I am also the mother of two musical sons! (one of whom is also in the choir; Dan Greifer!)”
Anita has mixed UK/ Indian heritage and she is known in the choir for her amazing big and beautiful voice; she also sings solo on occasion. She had taken part in some of Martha’s Workshops and was a member of Daniela’s World Music Choir at the Mary Ward Centre before being thrown in the deep end at the Category Finals of the BBC Choir Competition of the Year replacing one ill member. Her beautiful voice features on the third CD, ” Moyuba Baba, Moyuba Yeye”
Sonia Kounasso: Sonia is from Benin but was brought up in France. She had experience singing with top RnB Choir MKC before she joined the London Lucumi Choir and now sings Solo with us regularly. She has contributed to the Choir on their last two CDs.
Juanita Euka: Juanita has been a regular member of the Choir since 2011 and continues to come and sing with us, despite the fact that she is lead singer of so many other amazing projects. Other Projects that Juanita sings in include, Wara, Afro- Beat Collective and Animanz. Hear Juanita singing on “River” on the London Lucumi Radio Station on the front page of this website
Michael Clemente-Rosselson and Naila Francis Rosselson are Daniela’s Son and Granddaughter. Both have sung Solo, Michael has recorded and sings on the “River” track. Naila is the youngest member of the Choir and comes regularly to rehearsals after she finishes her Pineapple dance classes!
OTHER MEMBERS STORIES:
Leah Barnett: ” I am a yoga teacher and massage therapist working in London. I have traveled to Cuba a few times and love singing devotional songs from many traditions.”
“I Love Cuban music and dance in all it’s forms and have been Deejaying under the name of Club Clandestino, playing Cuban Timba, for over 20 years. Also interested in Many forms of African music as well as Samba, Soul and Funk and love seeing bands perform live. I’ve been performing with Paraiso school of Samba for 10 years and took part in the Olympic closing ceremony in 2012 .I have a wonderful son, Leonardo. I’m self employed and currently work as a food Photographer.”
Dan Greifer is Mish’s Son, and used to be the youngest member of the choir until Daniela’s Granddaughter joined at aged 4. Yet he is one of the olders serving members of the Choir having been involved from the early days. The Choir has seen him through the difficult process of Voice breaking.
Lilli Elina: is a talented multi- instrumentalist originally from Finland. She has been coming to choir for almost two years and contributed to the “Lullaby for Naila” Cd with a couple of original arrangements on the Piano. She Plays percussion, piano and bass and her credits include “Salsiology” and “Penya”. She is also an arranger of music.
Members Currently active also include:
Sophia Barrett, Astrid Jones, Susan Ward-Davis, Anne-Marie Perks, Rocio Ayala, Aimee Spanswick, Tamara Rebolino, Viktoria Rill.
Past Members Include:
Mariana Whitehouse, Jose Hendricks, Eliane Correa, Sara Mcguiness, Namvula Rennie, Tayo Alao, Michael Rathbone, Kayode Olafimihan, Isabel munoz, Karen Brown, Sarah Wackett, Jennie Debenham, Sarah Write, Paris Johnson, Annabel Morales, Davinia Bano, Melissa Blanco Borelli, Lee Crisp, Hamish orr, Irina Rey, Jessica Hand, Dorothea Smartt. Lynn Bird, Emma Dabiri and Izzy Dabiri, Xenia Savva, Ulanah Morris, Olga Baglay, Marcia Williams and Rianna Morgan, Sandra Morales.
The Choir meets regularly to rehearse, but we also have fun and get together socially
London is a transcient city. People come and go, and people get married, have children, move towns. The door is always open and some members leave and come back. If you would like to join please fill out the contact form below.