All of us are consistently subjected to the divisive power of language. In a climate of rife intolerance, racism, rising nationalism, three years ago, in the wake of the EU referendum and loss of Jo Cox, Common and Kind was founded in 2016 with a simple yet powerful aspiration; to employ language - and music - to unite us.
A not-for-profit endeavour started by singer Michael Solomon Williams, Common and Kind is a joyously uplifting concert series held annually at the Union Chapel, and a spectacularly collaborative effort from a vast gamut of the city’s communities and international artists.
The not-for-profit project is a culmination of workshops with schools in Brent, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Haringey, working alongside the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants and Rainbows Across Borders (LGBT asylum seekers), who join forces with the London Humanist Choir and London International Gospel Choir for one spectacular night to form an extraordinary 400 person strong choir for humanity, with the aim of forging inclusivity and strengthening community spirit.
When 400 diverse voices rise together, they create a jubilant testament to the power of music, which participants and concert attendees share alike.
This year the choirs are joined by world leading solo artists from across the musical and performance spectrum, including West End star Cassidy Janson, UK jazz legends Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock, Bengali pop icon Saida Tani, violin virtuoso Thomas Gould, New York soul sensation J. Hoard, ENO Harewood artist Nadine Benjamin with the Beethoven Orchestra for Humanity and comedian and host of the BBC’s ‘The Mash Report’, Nish Kumar. The concert will be hosted by award-winning journalist and radio presenter Robin Lustig best known for helming programmes on BBC World Service and Radio Four.
In 2016 Common and Kind recorded the international collaborative charity single Human Kind featuring a thousand refugees, choirs and solo artists from across the world. They have since produced three unparalleled annual concerts, creating an artistic platform for those infrequently in the limelight for positive reasons, and encouraging audiences to see those seeking asylum as agents and artists. The partnership workshops between groups in preparation for each annual concert bring participants from across the social spectrum together, giving them a cultural voice. For the school children, workshops illuminate the ethos behind the words of positive role models from Martin Luther King to Jo Cox, again helping the children better understand the world around them, and through that understanding, find their own voices.
The collaborative spirit is not limited to those on stage. Common and Kind is truly an astonishing act of people power, having been crowdfunded and volunteer run for its first three years. Common and Kind 2019 has been awarded support from Arts Council England in recognition of its powerful significance and transformative impact.
Thursday June 27th 2019
8.00pm (Doors 7.00pm)
Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN
Tickets £20.00 // £14.00
What participants and audience members say:
“Truly inspiring and thrilling... an amazing achievement.” George Monbiot
“Every performance, every moment was perfect. The most uplifting and life-enhancing finale I’ve ever witnessed.” Chrissy Kinsella, Chief Executive, Mayor's Music Fund
“A true celebration of humanity.” Robin Lustig
“Pulled off the extraordinary” MD, London International Gospel Choir
“It was a phenomenal experience for all of us.” Choir member
“Thank you for such a wonderful event and build up. I am so grateful to you for supporting the inclusion of the LGBT asylum seekers and refugees [who ] took part and felt cared about and supported.” Rainbows Across Borders
“A staggering evening” “Mesmerising” Audience members