Thornton Heath Afrobeat Orchestra (THABO) is the project of South London Jazz Musicians and Educators Edward Cubitt, and Mark Stitson.
The concept was prototyped in Summer of 2022, with Ed joined by Samba Percussionist Edgar Deu. They developed and delivered contemporary performance workshops for local young people using Ed's 'Music is Easy' method. These workshops highlighted the diverse cultural heritage of Thornton Heath and Pan-African Music, enabling young musicians to easily learn, compose original music, and lead performances.
Music is Easy is a music learning method Ed developed over 8 years of teaching, building on Kenny Werner's 'Effortless Mastery' method and recent advances in cognitive neuroscience and Flow-state. It is suitable for all learners, and complements a conventional written-music approach to music, allowing learners to engage with sophisticated musical concepts through the framework of easy games. Music learning is not hard, or stressful. It is fun, and easy, if you approach it the right way.
You can learn Music is Easy method without any instruction, just by buying and following Core Book 1 - available on the Store tab above or by clicking here. More information, resources and learning support are available through our Discord by becoming a Patreon Supporter.
After two successful pilots in 2022, THABO is adding co-leader Mark Stitson, a jazz guitarist and educator with extensive experience in Montessori settings, and Choir Lead, French Horn and Tabla player, Composer Raoul Neumann.
THABO will have 16 weeks of rehearsals where participants will use Ed's 'Music is Easy' with the guidance of this amazing team of Musicians to explore, study and recreate significant African Diaspora music pieces, and compose new music in a variety of styles including Afrobeat, Reggae, Blues, Jazz and Samba.
The project aims to explore cultural heritage, foster community connections, and create a shared contemporary cultural experience. THABO will collaborate with local musicians and artists to generate new artistic works and establish long-term partnerships, offering a platform for musicians to engage with new audiences and inspiring young Orchestra members to learn from previous generations.
If that sounds groovy to you, we want to hear from you. Get in touch, come to one of our events, and join our Discord server by clicking here.
If you are looking to get your hands on some Merch, such as the artwork on this page and our Art page, click here to support us on Patreon. Merch is available exclusively to Patreon supporters, and wearing it will get you a discounted entry to our workshops and Jams in South London - so hopefully we'll see you there in a hat :)