Future Sound 2020

Future Sound 2020: inspiring the next generation of jazz musicians.

📷 Remy Archer

Our Future Sound 2020 programme began this month, a unique and award-winning collaboration that aims to help develop and inspire the next generation of young jazz musicians.

Mercury-nominated band SEED Ensemble are working with young people at Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney and innovative jazz venue Church of Sound.

Seven members of SEED, led by Cassie Kinoshi, are delivering more than 30 hours of music workshops to 20 students aged 12-18 years who have shown musical talent and potential, but might not otherwise have had an opportunity to engage with the arts outside of school.

The programme kicked off with a mini performance by the band for the Future Sound participants, and will include a whole school lunchtime gig – providing all 1100 students with access to brilliant music and positive young, professional role models. It will end with the band and students playing newly composed music together in a special, free performance on 13th March at Church of Sound, for up to 300 parents, friends, and the local community.  Plus it will be followed by a professional ticketed SEED gig at the same venue on 3rd April.  

Our first ever Future Sound project back in 2018, led by Kokoroko, left a lasting impression on the young participants, workshop leaders and school teachers alike. 

Mossbourne’s Head of Music, Sophie Sayers, said: “The workshops where the students have been working directly with the musicians were a really special and unique opportunity that in a school setting you just can’t get. Kokoroko brought a real energy to their work and put in the effort to make personal connections with our students.  Future Sound provided the students with direct engagement with professional jazz musicians who are young and similar to them. Several of our students have now expressed interest in pursuing music further when they leave school, which is really exciting. The gig was also a highlight. It blew expectations out of the water and I think a lot of depth of musicality was unearthed, which perhaps some students didn’t even realise they had. It was a very special evening.”

Our evaluation found positive change for the young people in a wide range of skills: 

  • 100% of the students enjoyed playing an instrument or singing more
  • 95% showed increased confidence
  • 90% improved their creativity
  • 90% improved their ability to play as a group
  • 85% improved their ability to write their own music
  • 83% improved their skills of performing in front of other people

Some of the students commented: 

“It makes me feel more confident. I am usually someone who sticks with the melody and doesn’t mess with anything else, but as I started playing with them it showed that it’s all right to make mistakes because then you can build off it, or like your band members can help you with it and help you develop it even more.”


“I think the thing I enjoyed the most was playing with professional musicians. I feel like that really broadened my horizons and let me understand how music is behind all the closed doors… knowing that every idea you come up with is important… I can develop myself overall and I’m not limited.”

Similarly, the band members benefited from the opportunity to make new music, perform it to a wider audience and develop their musical and educational practice.  Plus it reinforced their belief in the value of bringing up the next generation of musicians – as one of the band members said, “Each one, teach one.”

Kokoroko’s Sheila Maurice-Grey, added: “We can come in and show that the possibilities are endless if they really put their mind to it, whatever they do. A lot of these guys have so much potential to be amazing musicians.  As workshop leaders we were very relatable – we met them on their level.The students respected us, professional musicians who can walk the walk. There was a very supportive communal vibe, particularly with the final performance.”

We hope that Future Sound 2020 with SEED Ensemble continues this tradition of inspiration, for young people in Hackney and beyond. 

Huge thanks to The Arts Council of England, PRS Foundation, The Childhood Trust and everyone who donated to our Big Give Christmas appeal for funding Future Sound 2020.

Help us reach even more young people with projects like this in the future by becoming an Abram Wilson Foundation Trailblazer. By donating each month you’ll help us change young lives through music – plus you’ll receive exclusive offers and priority invitations to our gigs, showcasing the best of London’s up-and-coming jazz talent. 

Tickets for SEED’s Church of Sound gig are available here. Our Trailblazers get on the guest list for free!