Meet our trainees

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Meet our trainees

Earlier in the year we announced an exciting opportunity for emerging practitioners to apply for a new traineeship scheme. We’re now delighted to introduce our five fantastic trainees: Tomás, James, Jote, Michael-Jon and Sam.

They’ll be working alongside our dedicated team of experienced artists and practitioners across a range of Brighter Sound projects. Our traineeships aim to support and develop musicians who are looking to build their skills as a creative practitioner in one of the many areas we cover – young and emerging musicians, programming creative events, project management, strategic development and music education. Find out more about our trainees and the Brighter Sound projects they’re working on…

Tomás Pocinho

I’m a 25 year-old drummer from Portugal, playing for a psychedelic grunge band, and an afrobeat function band. I also run a regular improvisation-game jam night at Sandbar.

I first got involved with Brighter Sound in November 2014 when I took part as an emerging musician in the Chaos To Order residency at the Manchester Central Library. In 2015, as part of the same project, we went to Blueprint Studios to record the piece that we had written for the residency. I also continued to get involved with Brighter Sound by joining the Picturehouse Choir and Jazz Foundations groups.

Now as part of the traineeship, I’m helping Tim Chatterton organise the Creative Music Programme Christmas events. I'm looking forward to learning more about all the different ways that Brighter Sound provides musical experiences for its surrounding community.


Tomas Pocinho

James Holt

I'm a singer/songwriter from Manchester, currently studying MA Music composition at the University of Salford. I play piano, guitar, cello and sing. I love composing and arranging in a range of different styles (from classical to jazz/rock/pop). I record, write and produce all of my own music and I’m inspired most by The Beatles, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Miles Davies, Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire and Bill Evans.

My song 'Whatever Happened to John?' was chosen by Brian Eno for the NOISE festival 2014 who said of the track: "Brisk, funny, exciting. Great drumming. This track feels fresh and exciting to listen to". This was a huge boost for me and inspired me to release my debut EP "In the Face of It All". I also got a chance to meet and talk to Brian when he invited me along to his John Peel lecture for BBC Music at the British Library. 

I'm looking forward to working alongside other great, established musicians and creatives to help young musicians in songwriting and performance. I'm also very excited to work with Brighter Sound on their numerous and varied projects and I’m keen to develop my own music teaching skills. 


James Holt

Visit my website and find me on Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.

Jote Oshan

I’ve enjoyed an exciting and varied career as a session violinist for over 20 years and been lucky enough to have worked with some of the most innovative and inspiring artists our time. I’m now looking for ways to develop the skills I’ve gained as a musician, writer and performer to help engage and inspire people of all backgrounds and age groups to make music, in whatever shape or form.

I’m honoured to have been one of the people chosen to take a traineeship, and am really looking forward to learning from, and working with the amazing team of people at Brighter Sound. I salute you all for the wonderful work you do!


Jote Oshan

Michael-Jon Mizra

My own practice involves working with a variety of sound sources and content to create live audio-visual performances. I have worked on sound installations, mixed media composition and also freelance in the audio video sector.

I'm delighted to have been taken onto the Brighter Sound traineeship program as a music practitioner. I’m excited about developing the skills required to run a workshop and I’m looking forward to working with people from diverse backgrounds. Brighter Sound offers the space for growth, as a person and artist, as well as a multitude of training opportunities and a vast well of experience and knowledge. I’m looking forward to gaining the crucial skills needed to develop my artistic practice.

I'm hoping to achieve a synergy of skills through Brighter Sound, moving into technologically motivated work with diverse social groups, in a capacity to engage and develop others as much as myself.

Michael-Jon Mizra

Sam Lewis

I'm a professional musician, saxophonist and teacher, and I play in an Indian-Jazz fusion group called Rangeela.  This spring, I'll be co-leading a brand new ten week Indian Fusion course with Avital Raz for Brighter Sound's Creative Music Programme.

As well as a performing musician and tutor, I have a passion for learning about and helping people to grow within themselves.  The traineeship appeared to me as a perfect opportunity to gain experience working with different groups. I hope this will give me better insight into best methods I can use to connect with all types of people.  I believe music to be an extremely valuable and totally unique communication tool and social bridge and I am excited to learn more about how it is used in connecting people and encouraging their individual creative growth. 

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