Jubacana Summer School 2020

In August 2020 we decided to do an online summer school as we couldn’t get together in real life. Our summer school is one of the key dates in the year and we wanted to figure out a way of delivering a week’s worth of content online before the school year started again. It’s been a very difficult period for mass music making groups like ours, as well as having extra restrictions in place. Oldham at one point being the highest level of infection rate in the UK and part of the first wave of tougher local lockdowns. We are still learning and adapting and we are still in the middle of stricter measures and an ever evolving situation.

For our online summer school, we delivered a series of workshops via Zoom over the week including working with guest artists (Katumba), writing for percussion & melody, song writing, Portuguese language, dance, choreography, African dance, guitar & piano workshops, and more!

The guest artist element is a fundamental part of our previous summer schools (we usually play particular focus of working with people internationally in recent years). This year we worked with artists Ritchie Tunstall and Juliana Landim who run an organisation called Katumba based in Liverpool. They received emergency Arts Council funding and really developed the tech side of delivery and created an online programme called ‘Life After Lockdown’. They were keen to roll out their learning working with young people and it was the perfect opportunity to have an interactive drumming workshop for us. Ritchie also recorded our debut EP: Floating Dragons.

It was also a great opportunity to develop our young leaders programme with older Jubacana members delivering music workshops online, and developing their teaching practice. We work with our older youth team in developing workshop and teaching skills and provide real life work opportunities in music.

These videos show a little taster of our week. One is a summary of the entire week’s activity and the other one is the composition we came up with (which was produced by Shariq, one of our older youth team), which we’ll hopefully adapt when we can meet in real life. If you’d like to have a chat about any of the things we’ve been offering our young folks during these strange times, please get in touch, we are more than happy to share our experiences:


“Life After Lockdown” by Katumba [ ]

“Jubassic Park” by Jubacana
Percussion & Melody: Jubacana
Audio edit & production: Shariq Ali Ashraf
Video edit: Dan Jones

Thanks to our supporters: Youth Music & Oldham Arts Development.

Youth Music Awards 2019

Earlier this year, Holly was nominated for a Youth Music award for ‘Inspirational Music Leader’ by our very own Freya for her work developing young people not only in Jubacana but also as Artistic Director of Global Grooves, based in Tameside, and she made the shortlist!

Holly and Dan went to the awards last week, which were held at the amazing Battersea Arts Centre, in London. It was a beautiful night and it was a great opportunity to hear about all the wonderful work that goes on around the UK, supported by Youth Music.

A big congratulations to Neil Card (from Tang Hall Smart CIC) who won Holly’s category.

Holly says: “Thank you Freya for nominating me for an Inspiring Music Leader award at the first ever Youth Music awards! I never got to see your video, but I feel the connection kiddo. In the end I didn’t win my category with anything physical to hold in my hands, but it really didn’t matter.

I am so endlessly proud and so blessed to have met some of the most incredible people along my journey through the Youth Music projects I have been involved in over the years, namely Jubacana, Future Leaders with Global Grooves and the The Vale Music Ensemble back in the day with Bangdrum CIC.

So very proud of Sam, Brendan and Josh from Jack Drum Arts for scooping the Social Action award, so deserved. It’s been wonderful to see them grow so much over the years we’ve spent banging drums and having late night chats at Castleshaw Centre. Jack Drum Arts you rule! Respect.

Absolutely blessed. Thanks everyone for your support and for the love, energy and time we share through these life changing projects. I’ve learned so much!”

Freya (who helps run Jubacana and was involved in the Future Leaders project from Global Grooves) nominated Holly earlier this year for the award:

“Holly is an inspiration to many that she has met at various points over the years, especially within the Future Leaders Programme. I think we’re incredibly lucky as participants to have witnessed her sheer skill in the instruments and styles that she plays; heard her stories of dedication to practice and learning since when she was a similar age to us; felt the energy, passion that radiates from within; and, as I’m sure others would agree, have felt overwhelming support and caring from her for our own individual journeys, in all of their forms, despite the network reaching over 100 young people nationally and internationally now!

“I feel inspired with the passion and energy that she shines and it’s true to say that I’ve grown incredible amounts as an individual in the time that we have known each other. I feel I’ve been influenced hugely – both from advice and guidance, as well as observing an individual that I look up to – in my artistic and creative development. I am incredibly grateful for her being so willing to let me take (many!) leaves from her rich book of experience and expertise. There are few individuals in the world who would put so much into ensuring that the positive impact of music is shared with others.”

Youth Music celebrates 20 years this year, here’s the video they premiered on the night:

Well done Holly!

Youth music have funded our work since 2017 and we are embarking on our second round of funding to develop a young mentors programme and a 5-7s class.

Special Jubacana Funding Announcement


We are thrilled to announce that we have received funding from Youth Music to develop Jubacana over the next 2 years, a huge thanks to everyone involved in helping us get to this exciting point!

Highlights of this upcoming project will include:

– A new 5-7 year-olds class starting in spring 2020.
– A new mentoring and training programme for our young artists and team.
– Guest artist workshops and masterclasses.
– Open evenings, taster sessions, and outreach workshops around the UK.
– Summer school events in 2020 and 2021
– One-to-one instrumental lessons for all Jubacana members.
– Recruitment of volunteers and trainees to join our Jubacana team.
– Local and national performances.
– The search for our first ever Patron…

Much more detail about all of the above will follow soon, look out for updates!

We are so very proud of the incredible things our Jubacana members are achieving.

If you know anyone aged 8-18 who would like to get involved, you can sign up here:

Music Shaped Me | From Youth Music

We were delighted to be a part of the #musicshapedme campaign from our funders, Youth Music. If you missed it on our Instagram, here’s Freya & Abz talking about Jubacana after our performance at Manchester International Festival:



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We are so excited to announce you can now pre-order our debut EP on our Bandcamp page!
You can pre-order the digital copy or the physical edition (physical includes a free digital download).

Hear a sneak preview of the title track below, and you can pre-order here

Due for release 30th July 2019.

Jubacana – Vamos Tocar Short Documentary

In August 2018 we took 9 young people to The Encontro Street Band Festival 2018 in Glasgow to collaborate with youth groups from all over the UK and Brazil. It was a first meeting of its kind. The documentary also features the Jubacana Summer School with Special Guests Banda Alana from São Paulo, Brazil. Jubacana are a youth music and dance project based in Oldham, Manchester.

Special thanks to:

Banda Alana
British Council Scotland
Encontro Street Band Festival Festival 2018
Global Grooves ‘Future Leaders’ programme
Juba do Leão
Kerrching – Oldham Youth Council
Merchant City Festival
Oi Musica
Oldham Arts Development / Oldham Council
SambaYaBamba Youth Street Band
Unesco City of Music
Young Start
Youth Music
Youth Music Initiative

All of the amazing people who make great projects happen!

Film by John Grey
Translation by Holly Prest, Marc Starr

Jubacana Receives Youth Music Funding!

We are thrilled to announce that we have received a grant from the National Foundation for Youth Music! Our project is now supported by Youth Music and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone that helped us gain this funding, the support, advice, time and love towards our project has been incredible. Thank you for the great support from parents/carers and of course, our young members, the Jubacanians! Here’s to making more amazing music!

– Team Jubacana (Holly, Dan, Simone, Emma & Freya)

Read our press release below:

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 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 8-18 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 from 6pm – 7.30pm at The Old Museum, Greaves Street, Oldham, OL1 1DN.

Contact for more information or visit their Facebook page at

About Youth Music:

Music-making is life-changing. Every year, Youth Music provides more than 75,000 young people with the opportunity to make music, helping them to overcome the challenges they face in their lives. Our music projects support young people to develop their creative and social skills, make positive contributions to their community and improve their wellbeing.

We know that many young people still need our help. Join us in our mission to give every child the chance to make music. Visit

Jubacana Receives Kerrching Funding

We are delighted to announce that we have been selected to receive grant from the Kerrching – Youth Opportunity Fund! The Kerrching – Youth Opportunity Fund is a pot of money that is specifically for young people.  The fund aims to provide opportunities for young people that will improve their lives and wellbeing.  It is managed by young people from Oldham Youth Council who make the decisions about the allocation of funds.

This funding will allow us to develop important links with the local community and other likeminded organisations to take our project to the next level and engage many more young people in the Oldham area. Jubacana began in Oldham in January 2017 and has gone from strength-to-strength, this important funding will allow us to develop our roots in Oldham and lead up to some great performances in 2017 & 2018.

The Kerrching fund is fantastic because funds are allocated by young people from Oldham themselves who are members of the Youth Council. We look forward to doing great things with the funds and getting more young people in Oldham involved in diverse music making and arts leadership. We will be releasing more information about how the project develops from now until March 2018.

If you know any young person aged 8-18 who would like to get involved, email us as or sign up through the website.

Check out the great work Oldham Youth Council does here:

Jubacana Now In Oldham

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New for 2017, we are now based at The Old Museum in Oldham. It’s a great move for us and we are so excited to be bringing back a Carnival inspired youth drum and dance band to Oldham again. We have extended our offer, so now we welcome 8-18s. We’ll have 2 classes, a younger class 8-11s and an older class 12-18s. The sessions will be every Friday after school.

Full information can be found on the join jubacana page

We’re looking forward to making some exciting work and getting more and more young people involved in this inspiring and fun group.

Jubacana Awarded Lottery Funding!

We’re really excited to announce that we received an Awards For All grant from The Big Lottery Fund! We are thrilled that it will enable us to do community outreach with local schools, train and develop our young directors and allow us to reach out to more young people in Manchester! 2016 is going to be a great year for Jubacana.

So far we’ve had some great sessions after we’ve been back in January, including working on new arrangements, getting new members, and welcoming our fabulous new guest artist Yandass Ndlovu, to work on songwriting with us. Check out our rehearsal snippet below:

We are also lucky to have the support of Manchester music wonders that are Band on the Wall and Brighter Sound, The Aviva Community Fund and the One Manchester Community Fund.

Here’s to 2016 and to developing the next generation of creatives and artists, we’re lucky to spend every week with such amazing young people.

If you know any 11-18’s who would like to join the fun, please send them along!

Watch out Manchester!

p.s. thank you to Sara for coming along last week to take some photos of us: