Ghetto Classics

 
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Stories, Not Statistics: Fact-Checking the Impact of Nairobi’s Ghetto Classics

02-01-2023

I had to come to terms with the idea that some stories would have to be taken at face value, and then figure out how to present them so that readers would understand they were based on what I was told, not on what I could actually verify. Although many stats didn’t exist, just being at a rehearsal on a given Sunday could make even the biggest cynics question their critiques.

Ghetto Classics Dance, in Nairobi, Kenya

02-02-2022

On the crowded roads of Korogocho, with its 300,000 inhabitants on 1.5 sq. km, its tin homes with no running water and open sewage, and its backdrop of Dandora (an immense, ever-growing, and constantly burning mountain of garbage), one can scarcely imagine encountering a center filled with live arts. But that is the home of Ghetto Classics, where every corner, every room vibrates with music—from Chopin to Tanzanian composer Adam Salim.

The Ambassadors’ 2020 Online Musical Pen Pal Project: Part 2

01-06-2021

Throughout the month of November, The World Ensemble Ambassadors organized a pen pal project among five programs scattered across the globe. The project involved musical improvisation activities, games on Zoom, and one-on-one communication between pen pals. It culminated in a creative activity in early December wherein each pen pal group that allowed each group of pen pals to create short videos summarizing their experiences with the project. Below, you can read two Ambassadors’ reflections on the project and view their final videos.

Ghetto Classics End-of-Year Concert + Video

12-31-2018

Ghetto Classics in Kenya held a special concert on 18th November at St. John’s Community Centre in Korogocho. Students had the opportunity to showcase all of the work they had done this year. In lieu of ticket sales, attendees were encouraged to bring school supplies and clothes.

New Ghetto Classics Music Video features SAWA Life

09-30-2018

Students from Ghetto Classics in Nairobi have created a new music video that you can view below. For this video, students partnered with SAWA, an organization that partners with local Kenyan women to make beaded decorations for technology like headphones (which can be seen in the film). 

From Korogocho to Kogelo: Ghetto Classics Performs for Barack Obama

09-02-2018

At 5am on the 15th of July 2018, 17 members of Ghetto Classics set off from Korogocho destined for Kogelo, in Siaya County, in the Western part of Kenya. Ghetto Classics had been invited to perform with the Kenyan singing sensation Eric Wainaina at the opening ceremony of the Sauti Kuu Foundation – Sports and Recreation Centre.

Around the Sistema World with Hannah, Part Four: Kenya

08-14-2018

My second trip to Kenya was definitely one for the books: packed with dozens of class visits, several hundred students, and two of the most inspiring organizations that East Africa has to offer. Over the course of three weeks, I had the opportunity to work with two different Sistema-inspired organizations. The first half of my trip was spent with El Sistema Kenya.

Ghetto Classics to perform at Brave festival in Poland

07-02-2018

This July, students from Ghetto Classics in Kenya will be performing at the Brave Festival in Poland, conducted by Radzimir Dębski (JIMEK), the world-famous Polish conductor. 

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