£25k windfall for Oldham youth music project

Date published: 25 April 2018

A youth music project has received national funding to help it continue to grow its work around Oldham.

Jubacana is a young people-led music and performance outfit, which takes inspiration from the rhythms of Brazil, Africa and South-Asia, but with a UK twist.

And now thanks to a £25,000 grant from Youth Music, the project will be able to involve even more young people.

Plans are already afoot to put on a number of performances in Oldham and beyond and to work with international artists and even to make a professional recording of their unique global sound.

Established in Manchester in 2014, Jubacana made the move to Oldham last year.

The group has already played at high profile events including RHS Tatton Flower Show, Manchester Day, Liverpool and Manchester Pride, Festival Oldham and the Celebrate Festival.

Holly Prest, who grew up in Greenfield, is director of Jubacana.

She said: "I took part in out of school music activities all through my teenage years and it has made me who I am.

"I made friends for life from communities I otherwise wouldn't have mixed with, grew in confidence and eventually learned the leadership skills to run projects of my own.

"Jubacana is about sharing and taking pleasure in dancing and making music as a group.

"It is also very much about giving every member memorable experiences and life skills.

"This grant will enable us to expand our reach throughout Oldham, mentoring young musicians and future leaders to help give them the best possible chance in life.

"We are seeking young people with no experience to learn brand new skills, as well as those with experience of South Asian percussion instrument playing."

Shariq Ali Ashraf (18) is an A Level student from Chadderton and has been performing with the the group for two years.

He said: "Jubacana is different to everything else I've ever done.

"It gives me loads of creative freedom and has introduced me to lots of new musical styles - both through the music we play together and sharing music with new friends I have made.

"I would recommend it to everyone.

"You don't need to be able to play an instrument, just to have a love of music and to want to do something different."

From this month, the group will be running taster workshops in schools and youth groups around Oldham.

There will be a summer school in August and a collaboration is already planned with a young people's percussion group from Glasgow and another from Brazil.

A programme of guest tutors has been put together, to bring additional skills and experience to the group.

Young people aged from eight-18 are invited to join Jubacana.

No experience is necessary and you don't have to have your own instrument.

The group is also looking for singers, songwriters, other instrumentalists and dancers of every kind.

They meet every Friday 6-7.30pm at The Old Museum, Greaves Street, Oldham, OL1 1DN.

Contact for more information or visit their dedicared Facebook page.