2021 CultureMix Arts Review

Reading Reggae Collective Lea and Alpheus sing image by SmugShots

In 2021 the CultureMix Arts & Music Centre opened in Reading creating a new home for Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra and The Reading Reggae Collective as two members of the tutor team move on.

Distant Mix continues to digitally bring together our artists and collaborators this time to celebrate the one year anniversary of Bill Withers’ passing for release on 30 March 2021.

The 21 talented singers and players recorded in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and gardens to Don Chandler’s arrangement of the three track medley. More

See the 2021 CultureMix Arts activities captured in under 3 minutes

The new CultureMix Arts & Music Centre opened in Reading offering authentic Caribbean experiences including steel band workshops with RASPO, and the Reading Reggae Collective led by Don Chandler.

The Collective welcomed new singers and players like Reality Shock record label founder Kris Kemist on rhythm guitar, vocalists Indra and Errol Kingsley, Derick Andrews on guitar and Jamah on drums.

The ten piece outfit practiced weekly at open rehearsals and for a finale performance with guest MC Alpheus for The History of Reggae Show at the Purple Turtle in December. More

Experience playing in a steel band at workshops with RASPO

The launch of Steel Band workshop courses at the new Centre proved to be very popular with children, young people and adults who experience the joy of learning to play in a steel band at weekly workshops with RASPO. More

Mary joined RG2Radio, an online community station, for 3 Sides of the Story sharing her life journey and favourite music in a two hour interview with MC Napthali. More

As the pandemic restrictions eased RASPO ensemble and orchestra performed live at a range of events including Norden Farm’s Kite Festival in Maidenhead; Waterfest in the Abbey Ruins; EAT Reading Festival; at the Oracle riverside; for Reading pan pioneer Percy McLeod’s funeral; and at private parties, weddings and corporate events with an online performance for Reading Virtual Carnival. More

RASPO at Reading Water Festival - Aynsley Paul Jamah Nathifa and Mary image by CultureMix Arts CultureMix-Arts-team-Xmas-lunch-Dec2021-crop

In September Lea Kidd joined the school tutor team as Jamah and Aynsley Lynam move on to the next stage of their life journey. CultureMix Arts wishes them both well and is enormously thankful for their highly valued contribution as tutors, musicians and dynamic presenters on CultureMix Arts TV. More

The talented brothers, who first joined steel band workshops in their early teens, continue their involvement as musicians with RASPO and Reading Reggae Collective representing the opportunities available for young people to learn, develop and grow into the best they can be for a positive future.

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Dedicated to pan pioneer Percy McLeod who introduced steel pans to Reading schools in the 1970’s and ’80’s, and to pan musician and Star Rhapsody member Kevin ‘Scooby’ Vaughan. May they rest in peace.