Trinity Laban Alum Fela Kuti Honoured with Plaque at Greenwich Site

Trinity Laban Alum Fela Kuti Honoured with Plaque at Greenwich Site

London, 20 November 2020


Trinity Laban alum Fela Kuti – afrobeat pioneer and political activist – was honoured today with a commemorative plaque. Part of the Black Plaque Project and Trinity Laban’s Black Culture 365 programme, the temporary memorial was installed at the conservatoire’s Faculty of Music at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

At the installation were Dele Sosimi, musician and Musical Director for Fela Kuti’s Eypt 80, Trinity Laban’s Director of Music Havilland Willshire, Founder and Producer of Black Culture 365 Juliet Jackman, and Nubian Jak Founder Dr Jak Beula. Kuti’s son Femi and grandson Made sent a message of thanks and support from Nigeria. Like his grandfather, Made Kuti is also a Trinity Laban alum, having graduated in 2018.

Fela Kuti (1938-1997) studied composition and trumpet performance at Trinity Laban (then Trinity College of Music), arriving in 1958. He went on to become one of the World’s best-loved performers, pioneering the Afrobeat sound which continues to be a major influence on today’s charts. Through his music and his activism, Kuti also became a leading figure within Nigerian and pan-African politics.

The commemorative plaque is part of the Black Plaque Project. A partnership between Nubian Jak Community Trust and Havas London, the project aims to redress the balance of commemorative blue plaques in London, of which only 1.6% currently represent Black people. The project sees the temporary installation of 30 plaques remembering key Black figures, their contribution to history and connection to the capital. The public is invited to visit the plaques and find out more, with an interactive map available at

Speaking at the installation, Dele Sosimi said:

“Words fail me. I am buzzing, I am glowing, I am so proud. It’s a lovely thing… I feel like the plaque represents my joy and pride. Fela was a live and let live guy, he had so much love and respect for art. He was a true artist. He always said to me ‘it’s all about holding down the groove’ so as his rhythm pianist, I always held the groove. Right from day one, I was hooked. I teach afrobeat here at Trinity Laban, so to see this here, now – hopefully it will encourage more students to participate in afrobeat and spread the horizon of up and coming musicians.”

Trinity Laban’s Director of Music Havilland Willshire said:

“At Trinity Laban, we are enormously proud that Fela Kuti, who made such great achievements in music and in politics, is one of our own. It is fantastic to be able to honour him in this way: it is recognition that is overdue and well deserved. The timing is synergistic, as we recently launched Trinity Laban’s year-round commitment to celebrating Black history and art, Black Culture 365. It is a pleasure to celebrate Fela, and all of the inspirational figures that the Black Plaque Project honours.”

The Fela Kuti plaque will be on site at Trinity Laban’s King Charles Court for three weeks.

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About Trinity Laban

Trinity Laban is London’s Creative Conservatoire: an internationally celebrated centre of excellence, offering world-class training in dance, music and musical theatre. Trinity Laban identifies, supports and develops a diverse intake of talented performers and creators, wherever they may be found and throughout their creative lives. The supportive atmosphere, outstanding landmark buildings and innovative curriculum at Trinity Laban instil technical excellence and enable creativity to flourish, transforming those with potential into resourceful, enterprising and adaptable artistic leaders. Trinity Laban also provides exciting opportunities for the public to encounter dance and music, and to access arts health programmes. | @trinitylaban

About The Black Plaque Project

African and Caribbean community organisation Nubian Jak and creative agency Havas London have teamed up to create The Black Plaque Project: a new initiative to commemorate the rich, diverse contributions of Black people throughout history through a series of black plaques across the capital.

London’s famous blue plaques have served as a permanent tribute to Britain’s notable men and women since 1866 – yet only 1.6% of those honoured in this official way are of African or Caribbean descent. Often ignored or discriminated against by the establishment during their lifetime, many historically significant individuals continue to be excluded posthumously. Their names, and the important contributions they made to society, are at risk of being forgotten or even erased from history forever.

To raise awareness of this imbalance and do something visible to address it, The Black Plaque Project will see specially designed black plaques installed on buildings across London to celebrate the lives of some of its many notable Black residents – who, despite their achievements, continue to be officially overlooked.

Reseda – Steve Pledger

Reseda – Steve Pledger

Reseda Steve PledgerBritish musician Steve Pledger has managed what many of us are still seeking: to channel our emotions, our passionate reactions,  our vision into a melody and lyrics that sit together as if under the influence of the windy afflatus. The main feeling with which the song leaves you is the urge to hug the songwriter thank you. The uncomplicated arrangement and instrumentation convey serenity that only craftsmanship grows. I haven’t wanted to share a song this much in ages and I think this has just lit my passion anew. Keep them coming beautiful human!

Taking inspiration from the courage and monumental work of health workers during the Corona virus pandemic, the music artist goes beyond the 8pm claps to lay a befitting song for the selfless healers. In line with the period in which it was created, the writing and recording happened at home, more precisely end of May. The beauty and peace of the song goes to show the silver linings in the worst situations and Reseda, in all its meaning, is that to covid.

But enough talk, listen to the song for yourself right here:

The single is available to download from Steve Pledger’s website (£1.50) or free to his Patreon subscribers.

The following text appears on his website regarding nicely summing up the feeling behind the song and its context:

“It is hard to imagine the strain that is being placed on individuals who are working at the sharp-end of healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also on the relationships they are maintaining and upon which they are doubtless relying more than ever. The song seeks to reflect and respect that, and all those who anxiously wait at home along with those who give themselves over to the Herculean task of caring for those fighting for their lives… and it comes with boundless gratitude.”

Reseda, amongst other things, is a woman’s name of Latin origin meaning ‘Healer’ or ‘Healing’.


Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Rock Me!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Rock Me!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s artist profile

Her unique take on music and on her gospel roots paved the way to what we now know as Rock ‘n’ Roll. The industry is catching up to her indelible musical print with the induction of Sister Rosetta Tharpe into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is credited as an early influencer of the genre. Her sound, guitar picking style betrayed her uniqueness. Her creative soul transpires in her performance, both Gospel and secular. She was bassically playing Rock ‘n’ Roll before it existed. An idol for idols such as Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones’  Keith Richards and Cream’s Eric Clapton she is dubbed the godmother of Rock and Roll and certainly one of the forebearers who paved the way for the genre.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe in 10 songs

Her stint with Lucky Millander’s Orchestra found her performing and recording both gospel and – to the dismay of church folks – secular songs such as ‘Four Or Five Times’. A few years later, .

  1. Rock Me: Her first single blends Gospel and Rock and Roll, showcasing her innovative style and her musical abilities
  2. This train: Her guitar style on this Gospel number is a popular rendition and demonstrate her musical and genre fusion abilities
  3. Strange Things Happening Every Day: This is Tharpe’s highest ranking US chart single in R&B at number 2 delivered with pianist Sammy Price
  4. My Man and I
  5. Up Above My Head, I Hear Music in the Air: number 6 in the R&b charts
  6. That’s All
  7. Didn’t it rain
  8. Lonesome Road
  9. Precious Memories
  10. Silent Night: Her 1949 rendition of this classic Christmas Hymn also made it in the top 10

You might also like a link to her channel with video archives of her performances as well as this video documentary about Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Enya’s Orinoco Flow

Enya’s Orinoco Flow

Enya Artist profile

The Queen of electro-ethereal Folk (with a castle to match. Yep Enya bought her very own castle in Killiney, Ireland.) is revered for taking her musical heritage of Irish waves and bringing the world into it with the very ethereal sounds that are reminiscent of old Celtic fantasy stories. Enya is the spelling and pronunciation of the name of this musical artisan and E-I-T-H-N-E is the original spelling in this songwriter’s native tongue, the Donegal dialect of the Irish language.

She is born in a musical family and even formed a band with some of them, the group Clannad, better known for their Theme From Harry’s Game. Her extreme talent makes her one of the most unique music creators of all time and an inspiration for fathoming wonder out of individual originality and traditions’ inheritance.

The wealthiest woman in music (yes, it is not the usual and more onscreen suspects) earned every penny of her wealth by taking us beyond the boundaries of time, space and preconception into worlds that our minds could suddenly creating out of sound waves. Her songs are a success on and off screen bringing soft wonder to our daily lives. She is also a muse and a teacher for those who want to learn to create and harness or make the most of a most magical blend of who you are: who you worked to be and who you have be borne to be. She has inspired many not least Antonín Mrkos who named the asteroid (6433 Enya) he discovered on 18 November 1978 after her.

Enya in ten songs

  1. Watermark: This purely inspiring instrumental is the title track of her 1990 album. It is also featured in the 1990 film Green Card alongside other songs from her “River” and “Storms in Africa”. These are by far not the only pieces that have made it to the movies. Her songs On your shore and “Exile” (from the album Watermark) and “Epona” (from the album Enya) were featured in the 1991 film L.A. Story. “Ebudæ” is also featured on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams feature film Toys
  2. Orinocco Flow: One of the most recognisble songs from Enya, often called Sail away because of the repetition of the phrase in the chorus
  3. China Roses is a graceful walz of ethereal beauty that seems to be inspired directly from the far Asian elegance in a most Euro-Irish take
  4. Storms in Africa 
  5. So I Could Find My Way is a delicate lullaby from her 2015 album that sounds like a subtle entry to Christmas, an ode giving thanks and an air of a gift back, all in one, in her unique electro-ethereal way. We can now go to sleep in peace.
  6. Even In The Shadows
  7. I Could Never Say Goodbye – With this number, Enya reminds us why she loves, creates and shares such a unique and addictive style of music
  8. Wild Child: An epic rendering of the adventures bursting within and through our fragile souls
  9. Caribbean Blue: An unmissable track that cannot hide its electronica sounds but loses none of its ethereal charm.
  10. Only Time: the best way to complete this 10-piece Enya collection is with this classic from Enya’s 2000 release. Arguably her piece of reference, the tune brings a sense of divine or at the least otherwordly peace. It has been used over and over again. Its use span comedy and drama context when it seeks to pass an important message. This is the case respectively in an episode of Friends (The One where Chandler Takes a Bath) and in the media to soothe the news reporting the attacks of 9/11.

Enya featured on Tiki’s I write the songs

Pezhman Mosleh releases musical hommage to Dr Irvin Yalom called On The Threshold

Pezhman Mosleh releases musical hommage to Dr Irvin Yalom called On The Threshold

Pezhman Mosleh releases hommage to Dr Irvin Yalom called On The Threshold or When Music celebrates Psychotherapeutic Literature and Philosophy

On The Threshold: An hommage to Dr Irvin Yalom

Dr. Irvin Yalom is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Stanford University and the author of several highly acclaimed textbooks and novels, including “Existential Psychotherapy”. The author also penned stories and novels related to psychotherapy, including “Love’s Executioner”, “When Nietzsche Wept” (23 September 2018), Lying on the Couch, Momma and the Meaning of Life, and The Schopenhauer Cure. His latest non-fiction book is Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death.

Yalom is arguably one of the greatest philosophers of the current century and it is not just awards that have recognised his input. International Iranian composer Pezhman Mosleh has dedicated a musical composition to the man. The philosophical piece dedicated to Dr. Yalom is entitled “On the Threshold”. Its sound is reminiscent of the evocative sound of Mosleh

Dr. Irvin Yalom has even given the piece and his composer the honour of publishing it on his Facebook page. The existential psychiatrist even appends a warm, personalised comment:

“An eminent Iranian composer, Pezhman Mosleh, has honored me with this gift: a musical composition and video arrangement.”

The video features some talking towards the end, including extracts of Dr Yalom speeches. Nina Bahri is the impressive pianist featured on the record, produced almost contradictorily at Pop Studio.

A text, written by Pezhman Mosleh, ends the video including the words: “The feature of YALOM is love.” You can find more about Dr Irvin Yalom through the Books by Irvin D Yalom (including his biography, Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s memoirs), on Dr Yalom’s official website and on his Wikipedia page.

About Pezhman Mosleh

Pezhman Mosleh an International Iranian composer, singer and poet, better known for composing and singing a song for Mandela. The song was conveyed to Mr. Mandela and Nelson Mandela Foundation and broadcasted on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and across countries. 1 In Music has previously shared and reviewed other musical pieces by this composer, notably Snow.

Pezhman Mosleh is also a teacher of cinema philosophy and aesthetic, and a scholar in music history. His compositions and speeches reflect his humanity and philosophical concerns and his quest for inner and international peace. His neo-romantic style, appreciated from Iran to Poland to Italy and beyondm transpires in his oeuvre and reflect the influence of the likes of Chopin.

Professor Pezhman Mosleh developed an original method for teaching young children. He uses this to teach children aged 2 to 6 years old. One of his student is the 4-year old Ava Sadeghipour, the Youngest Soloist / Vocalist in the World, who has already performed in the Biggest Concert Hall in Iran. His method has allowed, beyond Ava, young children to play and sing simultaneously in different concert halls in front of large audiences.