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Mango Spice

An early years music making project inspired by Caribbean rhythm.

25th July 2009 - 17th August 2009

The Turner Sims Concert Hall at the University of  Southampton ran a series of drop-in dance and music workshops based on 44 Jamaican songs and ring dances called Mango Spice.  These sessions were led by world-renowned jazz musicians, Tomorrow’s Warriors. Young children and their parents from the Sure Start Centre in Swaythling tried their hand at some Caribbean rhythms, learnt about the role of the instruments and learned some singing simple melodies and dance movements.

This project was the first time that the Turner Sims, an internationally recognised concert hall, and professional jazz musicians Tomorrow’s Warriors have ventured into early years work. Partnering up with a Sure Start Centre from an area of social and economic deprivation in Southampton, they offered music, song and dance workshops. This project enabled professional development for artists, cultural providers, early years workers and parents, in devising and delivering fun, creative activities for young children.

Sure Start Development Officer Meena Vashisht said: ‘Children & parents have been having a great time at the Mango Spice workshops held alongside Come and Play sessions at Sure Start Swaythling. They have been learning Jamaican folk songs and finding out about different cultures in a familiar environment. At the end of session they have opportunity to ask questions and can feel & touch the instruments. The artist and the musician are brilliant and the workshops are proving to be very popular.’