Thursday, 12th Jan 2012
2012 marks ten years since the death of Joe Strummer; musical icon and frontman of highly influential band The Clash. Determined to put the artist's legacy to good use, Joe's friends and family created the charity 'Strummerville - The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music' to help aspiring musicians make themselves heard. The charity has already enjoyed huge success stories in the shape of Mumford & Sons who have gone to conquer America, and singer Anna Calvi who has been nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.
Long term friend and Fred Perry collaborator Don Letts has been in close support of the cause; creating a film about the project and acting as a continual supporter. Don sums up the importance of the project as: "In a cultural climate that feels like punk never happened the likes of Strummer are truly missed. Who speaks for you now?" Damien Hirst is also a trustee, donating several pieces of work to raise funds for the cause.
The foundation has taken a broad approach to it's mission, supplying everything from £1 studio sessions to support for former pirate radio station Rinse FM. Rinse is now a not-for-profit Community Radio station who have been helped by the foundation to set up the 'Rinse Academy' at their studios in East London. Here their fiercely grass-roots broadcasting ethos is used to engage under-represented communities and in particular, 15-24 year olds.