Dr Sara McGuinness specializes in practice-based research, performance, and sound recording, with a focus on Congolese and Cuban music.
She has been a professional musician working on the UK salsa scene for more than 20 years and entered the world of UK-based Congolese musicians in 2005, soon becoming adopted as the main keyboard player amongst them. This placed her in a unique position to bring together Latin and Congolese musicians to form a band as part of her practice-based research into the dynamic relationship between the two musics.
Sara teaches Performance and Recording at London College of Music, University of West London and the School of Oriental and African Studies, and travels regularly to the Sahara desert in southwest Algeria to deliver sound recording training to the people of Western Sahara displaced into refugee camps there.
Sandblast Arts: working with the Saharawi refugee camps-find out more here.
She has also taught in the National Conservatoire in Bamako, Mali, runs a Cuban Big Band here in the UK and teaches an annual music courses in Cuba.
Through her extensive work with musicians around the world, Sara actively explores the inextricable links between music, culture and identity. She travels both as a musician and a teacher, promoting the empowerment of musicians through technology and skills.
She is currently writing a book based on her PhD research project.