Skip to content

About us

Talent is distributed evenly, opportunities are not! Black Lives in Music addresses the current inequality of opportunity for black people aspiring to be artists or professionals in the Jazz and Classical music industry. Black Lives in Music believes in real equality for Black people to learn musical instruments at grassroots level and to allow them to pursue and realise their musical ambitions.

Black Lives in Music is made up of a number of partners who are all working towards the same goal: to dismantle structural racism in our industry. We aim to support the industry in providing better professional opportunities. We also want to achieve equality for Black professionals at all levels and in all areas of the UK Jazz and Classical industry. Representation matters, we need to take action together and create a level playing field for everyone to have an equal chance to succeed.

Black Lives in Music stands for equal opportunities – for Black people to be able to work successfully in the UK music industry without being the subject of discrimination.

There's work to do!

Meet The Team

Charisse Beaumont

Charisse Beaumont

Chief Executive

Charisse Beaumont has over 13 years of experience in brand creation and delivering market innovation. A former Company Director of Preacher Boy Entertainment, an independent award-winning artist management and record company, Charisse has worked with corporate businesses, media organisations, artists and charities, providing first-hand extensive advisory and consulting services to artists, managers, labels and students to develop and manage their career in entertainment. Charisse has a strong knowledge of the UK’s urban music scene and has worked closely with award-winning and Grammy-nominated music artists across the UK and US from the beginning of their career.

Roger Wilson

Roger Wilson

Director of Operations

Roger Wilson has many years of experience on both sides of the stage as musician, educator, tour manager and administrator. Conservatoire trained, he has worked extensively in the commercial, jazz and classical sector with a wide range of artists from Lesley Garett and Bryn Terfel to James Brown and Quincey Jones. He has also played in some of London’s most successful music theatre productions.  As an instrumental teacher and lecturer, Roger has worked throughout the UK music education sector at all levels. In recent years, he has been dedicated in his support for the professional development of aspiring young jazz musicians.

Cecilia Aronsson

Cecilia Aronsson

Executive Assistant and Social Media Coordinator

Cecilia Aronsson is a proactive Executive Assistant with a BA (Hons) in Commercial Music from University of Westminster. Aronsson has spent over a decade working in office support within the Music, Media and Creative industries in London, leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) being a former employer. With a strong passion for music and commitment to equality and diversity, Cecilia is the perfect fit to join the Black Lives in Music team to achieve change in the UK Music Industry.

Mahaliah Edwards

Mahaliah Edwards

BLiM Diversity Practitioner / Relationship Manager

Mahaliah is a violinist, experienced educator and community musician. Mahaliah has built a varied portfolio career, leading workshops and also working as an advocate for music education and social change, working with AYM, Sistema European Youth Orchestra and Ifa Yoruba Contemporary Arts Trust. In 2017 she was awarded the Be Inspired Youth Award by the Association of Jamaican Nationals. Mahaliah is an alumni trustee for AYM and a board member for ISM.  She sits on the Team Teach PGCEi advisory board for Music Masters, London.

Annika Forde

Annika Forde

Marketing and Communications Manager

Annika is currently completing her Master's in International Development with a specialisation in International Political Economy at the University of Kent: Brussels School of International Studies. Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Annika has held many leadership roles during her academic career and held several positions working professionally in marketing, communication, and development for international non-governmental organisations. Having studied music for several years, she has a passion for a wide variety of music genres and is a strong advocate for equality, education, and youth development globally.

Dr Uchenna Ngwe

Dr Uchenna Ngwe

Senior Researcher

Dr Uchenna Ngwe is a London-based oboist and researcher. Her academic explorations into creative practice investigate the lives and work of historical Black classical musicians in Britain from the perspective of a performer-curator-activist. She is founder of plainsightSOUND, a research project highlighting the under-recognised work of historical Black classical musicians in British classical music and is a lecturer at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Royal Academy of Music and the Institute for Contemporary Music Performance. In addition to being a musician and educator, Uchenna is a contributor and presenter on BBC Radio 3 and artistic director of Decus Ensemble, a flexible, mixed-instrumental group dedicated to performing lesser-known, under-explored works for classical chamber ensemble. She is also co-founder of Shared Narratives, an annual online conference and network for researchers of colour in the performing arts.