Haringey-based cross-arts collaboration to pay homage to trailblazing black Briton

Composer and musician, Juwon Ogungbe, is working in collaboration with artists and young people from across Haringey to present two performances celebrating the life and work of Ignatius Sancho (1729 -1780), an abolitionist icon and the first black composer ever to have his music published in Britain.

Ignatius Inspires will bring more than two hundred young people from youth music and school groups together to devise and perform the cross-arts piece under Ogungbe’s leadership in collaboration with Caroline Muraldo (dance), Nana Asaase (performance poetry) and Waiyin Lee (piano).

Combining new compositions, dance pieces and spoken word poetry with recitals of Sancho’s songs, the piece will also feature music by John Gay (in arrangements by Benjamin Britten) and Ogungbe.

The season of creative work will be documented and archived on a new website designed by Marva Lord of Griots Arts at www.afrocentriccreatives.com.

Juwon Ogungbe said:

‘I first came into contact with Ignatius Sancho’s music when I was invited by the British Library and BBC Radio London to sing his songs at an event that commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of Slave Trade Act in 2007. I’ve enjoyed singing these songs ever since and when I was offered an opportunity to work at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Sancho’s life and work felt like a fitting source of inspiration for lots of new creative work with established and young emerging artists.’

Ignatius Inspires runs from 16-17 November 2017 at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. For more information and to buy tickets, please click here.

Header photo: Juwon Ogungbe

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