Second Wave header
Home Workshops Wave Shows Wave Artists Wave Projects
space
EVENTS

SHOWS

2015
Shadow Games
......................................
2009
Michael's Story Dec
Swagga August
......................................
2008
It's My Life
Unprovoked
Placebo

......................................
2007 & 2006
What Does It Take?

......................................
2005
Harlem Stomp
......................................
2004
Urban Arts Fest
......................................
2003
Urban Tales
......................................
2002
Harmony in Harlem
......................................

Harmony in Harlem

"Everything is driven by the blues. A lot of emotion and a lot of stories. I found the root to the music and it's even deeper than the blues...It has been a major inspiration."
ABDUL SHYLLON, ASSOCIATE ARTIST


Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong

ticket
Savoy Street
Harmony in Harlem 2002



"Come with me to the darkness where I go,
Night coming tenderly
Across the Harlem rooftops."
LANGSTON HUGHES: HARLEM EXTRACTS


Set in 1932, Harmony in Harlem coincides with the end of Prohibition and the early years of the 1930s Depression. At this moment, Harlem had already become the first modern creative city, and jazz music was set to redefine popular American culture forever.

Harmony in Harlem was created over 12 months with the extensive collaboration of Shingai Shoniwa and Dan Smith, and the creative contribution of Dionne Mitchell, Abdul Shyllon and Jennifer Mitchell, all young Associate Artists at Second Wave.

As part of the
Arts and the Learning City Initiative at Goldsmiths College, during three residentials, we explored storyline, characters, music and dance, created original music and songs, and developed the dance story and choreography. Many other young people were also involved in these residentials at Goldsmiths and in a series of subsequent music, drama and dance workshops. All contributed to the shape, style and content of this original piece of musical theatre.


This creative process began with the idea of exploring how African American artists shaped an era. The Harlem Renaissance of the 20s and 30s is mainly associated with the visual arts and literature by Black artists, novelists and poets. Harmony in Harlem celebrates this and the work of the great blues and jazz artists of the period.

In devising this work of musical theatre, we were inspired by the lives of these artists and their stories are at the heart of the play. We were impressed by the depth of knowledge and dedication they demonstrated in realising jazz as a new musical art form. We were also struck by these artists' humour, resourcefulness and generosity of spirit in supporting younger artists.

Young Artists in a Changing World

The innovative collaboration between two local centres of learning – Second Wave and Goldsmiths College – was part of the Arts and the Learning City initiative, aimed at widening participation by building an inclusive arts and learning environment in London to encourage the highest levels of educational attainment for London's diverse communities. Second Wave's workshop programme
Young Artists in a Changing World offered young people the opportunity to explore the music, dance and culture of Harlem in the 20s and 30s and the relevance of blues and jazz to subsequent music in America and worldwide. It aimed to broaden and deepen their understanding of this major phase of musical and cultural breakthrough. Young people were involved as creators of their own original material and encouraged to develop their own musical styles whilst learning from earlier jazz and blues influences.

Young Artists
 
ART LINKS


Harmony in Harlem
Download the cast & credits list here.
(Adobe Acrobat Reader required, which can be downloaded free here)


Shingai Shoniwa
Shingai Shoniwa as Beulah

"These artists took risks, seizing every opportunity. They set a standard for music and their rebellious spirit woke people up, inspiring change and hope."
SHINGAI SHONIWA, ASSOCIATE ARTIST

Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters

"Researching the story gave me a deeper insight into the music, its background and history. R'n'B wouldn't exist without these people...their magic and staying power...they wanted all the world had to give them, all it had to offer."

DIONNE MITCHELL, ASSOCIATE ARTIST

tickets
SITE MAP space RECRUITMENTspaceACCESSspaceEMAIL US
Second Wave Youth Arts,
1st Floor, The Mission,
1 Creek Road,
Deptford,
London SE8 3BT
020 8694 2444
Registered charity No.1023836
funders logos
space





Copyright © 2015 Second Wave Youth Arts. All Rights Reserved.