'Civic Award Winners 2016 for outstanding contribution to Arts and Entertainment'
Since then GFMA has developed the educational side of this work, providing workshops in schools, the Natural History Museum, the Horniman Museum and other organisations through storytelling, puppet shows, children’s theatre, carnivals, parades, capoeira, drumming, dance, drama, poetry, juggling, events for festivals, Book Week, Black History Month and many other occasions, along with training sessions for teachers.
Global Fusion Music & Arts was formed from the world music band, ‘The Fusion Factory’, by the founding members: Suhk Saini, Kaz Kasozi, Louisa Le Marchand and Gill Swan. The band has been described as a ‘United Nations of Musicians’ and included artists from: London, Scotland, Uganda, Portugal, Nigeria, Israel and India. Their album ‘Opiate Rhythms’ was released in March 2001 and this was followed by a UK tour and an appearance as support band to Papa Wemba at the prestigious venue, Zenith, in Paris.
On March 15th 2001, the non-profit organisation, Global Fusion Music & Arts (GFMA) was set up as a response to the popularity of World Music Nights that had been organised by The Fusion Factory in the Wine Cellar in Woolwich. The formation of GFMA provided an opportunity and structure through which the music of artists from different cultures and countries could be showcased and promoted.
In the last decade, GFMA has worked on several projects with young unemployed people, training them to make films through writing the scripts, acting, filming, editing, composing the music and presenting the films to the community.
"I received great feedback from teachers and children. Global Fusion Music & Arts provided a stimulating and exciting experience."
Pinkwell Primary School, Hillingdon.
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There have been many CDs produced by Kaz Kasozi and DVDs produced by Louisa Le Marchand at GFMA during the last decade. CDs have included the original Fusion Factory CD: Opiate Rhythms, a commemorative GFMA Vol 1 CD released in 2002, showcasing the work of many of the artists who have performed at the World Music Nights. In 2013 GFMA produced an Algerian RAI album from Farid Adjazairi and Jazzmoss, featuring original compositions by Louisa Le Marchand and Kaz Kasozi and some of the top names in British Jazz, Art Theman, Jim Mullen, Trevor Tomkins and Henry Lowther, in 2008. Jazzmoss, followed the release of their album with a very successful UK tour during the same year. In 2011 GFMA released a new album by Ugandan artist Milly Namukasa ‘Musawo Wange’, in 2013 GFMA recorded a new album with Botswana musician Aubrei Wok, ‘Money’. We are currently recording an album by Guinea kora player Mosi Conde.
The GFMA team has project managed festivals for the Horniman Museum, regularly, including the 2004 Fusion Festival and the Africa 05 Festival. The Africa 05 Festival was a very large project that saw GFMA working in six schools over several months it culminated in a large festival with two stages and led on to follow- up work in schools and at the museum during Black History Month. In Woolwich, in 2004, with very little funding, the Riverside World Music Festival took place, organised and project managed by GFMA. This included a World Music stage and a Folk stage (run by Irish folk singer, Mike Porter) and a wide variety of stalls selling exotic goods from around the world. This festival took place in the beautiful setting of Riverside Park near to the Woolwich Ferry.
In 2009 -2011 GFMA organised more festivals at the Horniman Museum, Greenwich Jazz 2009 and events for 2010, as well as community events for Charlton Triangle Homes in 2009 and 2010. These included the production of DVD’s A History of Charlton and A History of Jazz (on YouTube it gained more than 60,000 hits), which was produced with some invaluable help from the Greenwich Heritage Centre and featured a voiceover by the celebrated drummer Trevor Tompkins. There have been too many other projects to mention some of which can viewed on https://www.youtube.com/user/gfmatv.
In 2011 Global Fusion Music & Arts had a fantastic success with many events. These included Ghana Independence Day (6th March), International Women’s Day 100 Years event (8th March), GFMA 10th Anniversary (15th April), a traditional Ugandan music night at the Horniman Museum, a summer programme with Charlton Triangle Home, an Ugandan album launch with Milly Namuksa, a Ghanaian fund raising fashion show in Black History Month, an Afrobeat Jazz night and Poetry in November as part of Greenwich Jazz. We have also been involved in various school projects and workshops.
Our work in 2012 included a Ugandan Art Exhibition and IWD with Julie Felix. St George’s Day with Gordon Giltrap, Africa Day, Refugee Day, IDP, Black History Month events, Greenwich Jazz events and a Wassail event in December. In 2013 it included events for Fairtrade Fortnight, International Women’s Day, St George’s Day with legendary Martin Carthy, Africa Day, Refugee Day, International Day of Peace, Acoustic Africa Night, Black History Month, Greenwich Jazz, Poetry and Jazz night with anther legend Jim Mullen, a Wassail Night with the great Wiz Jones, as well as local festivals, free workshops and work in schools. This work in the community continues in 2014 and has included a Cypriot art exhibition, Fair-trade fortnight event, International Women’s Day and Easter events.
In 2006 after many years of hard and dedicated work as a musician and the first chair of GFMA, Sukh Saini sadly died of cancer at the young age of 36. He has been greatly missed and GFMA tries very hard to always incorporate his original ideas and the positive ethos he helped to create, when planning and working on new projects. GFMA now have six hardworking trustees and achieved charitable status July 4th 2013. GFMA continue to work from their base in Charlton with the chairman and brother of Sukh - Amardip Saini and the invaluable, generous input and hard work of its members and trustees. We would like to thank all of our members, friends, supporters and sponsors, including Greenwich Council, Charlton Triangle Homes, Charlton House, Peter King, Firepower, the Heritage Centre, The Horniman Museum and The Castle Tavern. We would also like to thank Amma’s Fare Woolwich, for their continuing interest, involvement and encouragement over the last decade. We look forward to many more successful projects and events in the future.
To find out more about Global Fusion Music & Arts:
Tel: 020 8858 9497
GFMA now provide free weekly workshops in Tai Chi, Drumming, African Dance, Singing, monthly writers group and World Cinema Nights.