Our teachers are professional and talented in their fields
With years of experience as a musician, dancer, actor, producer and composer, Hassan Kayemba from Kampala, Uganda, graduated with a degree in Music Dance and Drama. Since then, Hassan has formed Bitone – Center for Disadvantaged Children, a children’s performing arts charity working with and empowering disadvantaged children, many of whom are orphans, inspiring them to nurture their talents through music and dance. By providing basic food and shelter, a nurturing environment, an academic education combined with a unique and strong performance program of traditional Ugandan dance, music, and theatre, Bitone children’s lives can again become meaningful and joyful.
Hassan is indeed a man of the stage, a multi instrumentalist blessed with a soothing but yet powerful voice. His experience, love and passion for his art is indeed a blessing wherever he goes as he inspires his students. Whilst here in the UK, he continues with his passion of sharing African music, dance and drumming skills with children in our workshops. Hassan’s artistic engagement with us can be seen in some of our videos.
Freddy Macha is a Tanzanian born writer and musician who was a reporter for the national Swahili daily paper, Uhuru, and popular weekly columnist for Sunday News until 1984. In 1981 he received a BBC Poetry Prize and was short-listed for a Commonwealth Short Story award in 1996. His first collection of Swahili stories were published in 1984 and immediately reprinted due to a great demand. After a European tour in 1984 with Sayari, the Tanzanian music-poetry band, he lived in Germany and went to Brazil where he played with Os Galas band in Rio until 1992. Between 1998 and 2001 Freddy promoted World Music Nights in London where he has been resident since 1996.
Freddy still writes regularly in the media, while leading workshops, performing solo or with his Kitoto band. Freddy’s CD Constipation was described as “spot-on, funny, passionate, bizarre…” by London’s N16 magazine and “a different kettle of fish” by Sable Lit-Magazine, Winter 2002.
His creativity swings you through music, poetry, stories, articles, dance and drama, forming multiple sensations, images, rhythms, ideas and moods. Freddy composes his own music and lyrics, arranges and leads own band. He also arranges and sings other composers’ songs and popular material. Freddy is a trained vocalist who teaches vocals privately and in his workshops. Range: falsetto to tenor. Improvisational style: Jazz, Latin and traditional African and sound effects, i.e. different types of voices/accents.
GERRARD MARTIN : dancer/choreographer
TGerrard Martin was born in Northampton, and studied at DeMontfort University (BA Hons in English Literature and Performing Arts), and at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. He has performed in The Lion King (West End) and in Robert North’s The Snowman (Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Birmingham Rep) among many other musicals and pantomimes.
He toured nationally with Phoenix Dance Company, as well as dancing with Ballet Black, Union Dance Company, Aletta Collins Dance Company and Sakoba Dance Theatre. Most recently (2007), he performed in Zero Culture’s Find Me Amongst The Black (choreographed by Darshan Singh Bhuller) at mac Birmingham and Purcell Room London, and on national tour, including Birmingham Rep Theatre and Oval House London, in Sampad/Tara Arts’ Motherland (choreographed by Bawren Tavaziva and Santosh Nair).
Apart from modelling and film engagements, Gerrard has also danced for the National Theatre (Mappa Mundi), English National Opera (The Faery Queen), The Royal Opera (Don Giovanni) and with many commercial artists or bands, including Lionel Ritchie, Misteeq, Jamelia, Eternal, Shola Ama and Shaggy.
Gerrard also choreographs his own work, with support from Arts Council England East Midlands; most recently a dance, text and film collaboration, Rage… and Breathe. He also joined Saju Hari and Sin-Man Yué to create, devise and choreograph a young people’s dance production Animal Cavalcade: The Tarka Awards, at Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe (April-May 2007).
Gerrard is an Associate Artist at UK Foundation for Dance.