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Kinetika Bloco Comes of Age and Shares the Keys to their Success

We are Kinetika Bloco

For those of you who don't know us, Kinetika Bloco is an exuberant performance group of young musicians on brass, woodwind, drums and steel pans, plus dynamic dancers in colourful costumes. We draw on influences from around the world: the Caribbean, Brazil, Africa, Funk and New Orleans jazz. We help young people in South London aged 9 to 25 enrich their lives with creative activity, working with over 500 young people each year through our summer schools, workshops and after-school projects. We create music and dance with our young people that is performed throughout the year from places such as the streets of Notting Hill Carnival to the stage of the Royal Albert Hall for Ronnie Scotts 60th Anniversary Gala at the Royal Albert Hall.   

TURNING 21 AND SHARING THE KEYS TO OUR SUCCESS: This year we turn 21 and as we have officially reached adulthood, we wanted to share the keys to our success in our new Kinetika Bloco Toolkit. We hope it will help inspire and provide valuable insights for groups looking to replicate some of our successes. From 2014-2018 we were part of Youth Music's Exchanging Notes partnership looking at the differences between "formal" and "non formal" music education and how we could develop best practise, learn from each other and essentially provide the best opportunities for young people. Throughout this 4-year project we had the opportunity to explore our process and methods, working out what were the essential keys that make Kinetika Bloco work and why they were so important to our success.

We boiled it down to 5 key areas that are integral to who we are and have created a short video on each one combined into our new Kinetika Bloco Toolkit. Through interviews with our team and exciting performance clips we explore our: Ethos, Creative Process, Repertoire, Diversity & Inclusion and Performances. These methods and values underpin the strong foundation and success we have had in developing so many amazing young people over the years, including many of the young artists now taking the UK jazz scene by storm including Ruben Fox, Mark Kavuma, Theon Cross, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Femi Koleoso, Dominic Canning, Ife Ogunjobi and Kaidi Akinnibi.

WHY ARE WE SHARING THEM NOW: Exchanging Notes finished in 2018 so it has been a couple of years since we finished this Toolkit and to be honest 2019 was a hugely busy year for us. We were going to release them as part of our 20th Birthday in 2020, but as those celebrations were wiped out by Coronavirus, we decided to focus on our 21st coming of age party! And although it definitely isn't party time yet, we feel that during this time of national reflection, this is actually the best time to hopefully share some insight that may help inspire, encourage or impact the culture of other arts organisations out there. We believe that if you set the right culture underpinned by great values you will be able to help the greatest number of young people. We hope that through the lessons we have learnt we can help people who are starting or developing organisations to think these things through. In a time when unity, openness, cultural understanding and youth engagement is needed more than ever we want to help others on their journey so the young people in the UK have the best possible opportunities available to them.

HOW TO VIEW THE VIDEOS: Join us on YouTube live each day of the week of 25th January at 4.30pm for 10 minutes of sunshine as we premiere each video and answer Q&A’s live on the chat. They will then be available on YouTube permanently for anyone to view or share.

Monday 25th January 4.30pm – Our Ethos

Tuesday 26th January 4.30pm – Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday 27th January 4.30pm – Our Creative Process

Thursday 28th January 4.30pm – Our Repertoire

Friday 29th January 4.30pm – Our Performances