CONTACT US: (04) 802 5398

Who we are

JR stripes
Julian Raphael (B.Mus, M.Phil, PTCS) is a highly experienced community musician, music educator, composer and performer who works alongside children and grown-ups with a philosophy and teaching style that is influenced and informed by music-making of the world's cultures. He is director of Community Music Junction, which has been operating in Wellington for the past nine years, enabling both children and adults to sing together and learn a variety of musical instruments. He is a student and teacher of music from the Shona culture of Zimbabwe and is one of the very few New Zealand facilitators of African marimba and mbira. Julian also tours the country running choral and instrumental workshops for schools, teachers and various communities. He facilitates the ‘accessible concert’ programme for Chamber Music New Zealand in conjunction with Arts Access Aotearoa and is a passionate advocate of the Arts for All philosophy. As a vocal leader Julian leads the Wellington Community Choir and the Hutt Valley Community Choir and MaleVocale as well as a number of daytime ‘Sing for your Life’ groups where he enjoys accompanying songs on the piano to support and enrich the vocal experience.
Julian is a composer and arranger of music for voices and his recent works include An African Tale (2011), The Big Bang (2014) and Sing it to my Face (2014) a collaboration with Jo Randerson & Barbarian Productions. Our Songs a multi-choir work in collaboration with Hinemoana Baker will premiere at the 2015 CubaDupa Festival and in June this year Nota Bene will give the first NZ performance of his song cycle Untold Stories. Julian has been commissioned by the Wellington Community Choir to compose a song for their 10th birthday concert at the MFC. The song will also feature a number of other community choirs that are performing at the event.

Lala Simpson
Lala, from Madagascar,  considers herself lucky that she was born into a family and country where singing is present all the time. For most of her childhood she was part of a community folk dancing and singing group and later she was the lead vocalist in a local band. Since moving to New Zealand Lala continues to study music via a number of church and community choirs and instrumental ensembles. She is a member of the Song Leaders’ Network and currently works with the Wellington Community Children’s Choir, Wellington Young Voices, Karori West school choir. Lala teaches African dancing, the Children's Choir and is part of the Sing For Your Life song leading team at CMJ
044 Lala CMJ 11-10-13LR(copy)

150 Lala CMJ 11-10-13LR(copy)(copy)

Simon Elwell
Simon's love of African drumming, rhythm and song started five years ago upon meeting and experiencing the amazing rhythms of Africa through Mohamed Bangoura at the organic river festival back in 2007. Since then his passion for African percussion lead him to community music leader Julian Raphael who teaches African Rhythm, song and world music in Wellington and throughout  New Zealand. During his 6 years of community drumming with Julian, Simon also learnt inspiring and uplifting African rhythm and music face to face from several drumming Masters and percussionists including Mohamed Bangoura, King Marong, Chris Berry and has been influenced by the teachings of Mamedy Keita, Babara Bngoura and Fara Tolno.
Simon has been teaching and facilitating drumming groups in and around wellington for Community Music Junction since 2011, performs regularly with the percussion ensemble Nimba, leads the drumming for Lala's Thursday dance class and is currently studying the magical sound of the Mbira.


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(04) 802 5398 or 021 0767570

Visit us at Level 1, 4 Hopper St
(above BlairWright)
Te Aro, Wellington