Unit31 is a grassroots music venue and creative community-based in east London. Our aim has always been to encourage musicians and artists to share their talent and contribute to London’s art and music culture. Over the years we’ve created an intimate and welcoming space to host events that reflect London’s cultural diversity and modern musical tastes of jazz, hip hop and neo soul. 


‘Unit31: Unfolded’ is an exhibition marking the end of a 5-year era at Unit31. The exhibition is a celebration of the people who have congregated at our space over the years by sharing their stories through original artwork, photography, installations and a schedule of evening events. We want this exhibition and series of events to show the value of grassroots music culture and inspire others to cultivate new communities by hearing our story. We also want the project to give insight into the people of our community; who they are, what they do, their memories and their contributions to Unit31. 


The 10-day exhibition features different artworks based on interviews and photographs with our community members. A painted map of London covering a wall in our space will be dotted with photos of our members and short profiles about them. We want to illustrate the diversity of our community, not only where they live but the different backgrounds and musical tastes that all meet under our roof. Through multi-sensory installations we will convey how our grassroots community grew predominantly through word of mouth, and tell the story of Unit31 using their memories and words as inspiration. Across the dates of the exhibition, we will also have a series of evening events to showcase our monthly program of music.


‘Unit31: Unfolded’ is proudly in partnership with Dice and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Creatives involved in the exhibition – (Full biographies):


  • Karolina Wielocha (Concept creator and Photographer) conceptualised the project and is curating the whole exhibition as well as exhibiting her photographs of Unit31 and it’s community members. 


Karolina is a photographer and graduate of cultural studies. She has also worked in the music and event industry for a few years.. Karolina has been working as both a creative and booking manager in event agencies. She has been developing Unit 31’s monthly program and helped organize and oversee more than 50 music events, exhibitions and screenings since joining in February 2018. She also has extensive experience as a music photographer. Her portfolio includes work for labels like Universal, Sony and Ninja Tune. Her style can be described as photo-journalistic. She most enjoys capturing fleeting moments and people’s portraits.


  • Jayson Vaz (Visual Identification) is leading the visuals of the project through his digital design work.     


Jay is the founder and director of Leeds/London based creative group, The Mannequin Collective. In his early years, Jay was exposed to “amazing jazz and soul music” which has influenced and informed his career. This has seen him producing music, DJing and creating visual artwork for musicians as well as gigs, tours and festivals. Jay predominantly works within the music industry, working with labels, brands and jazz artists such as, Dimensions Festival, Kali Uchis, Kamaal Williams, Oscar Jerome, Bradley Zero, Jorja Smith, Rhythm Section, Seb Wildblood, SONY and We Out Here Festival. Jay’s portfolio is packed full of exciting and vibrant work, which is all the more impressive considering his age. 



  • Wumzum (Artist) is painting the map of London in our space to show where our community members reside. This will be a central feature of the exhibition.


Wumi is an illustrator, muralist and animator raised in east London. His style is heavily comic/graffiti influenced with a strong urban and afrocentric aesthetic. A lot of it uses these visual comic languages to communicate the stories of the communities he interacts with. He is the founder of the creative storytelling collective Beddow ‘n’ Battini. They focus on collaboration with artists and writers. His murals have travelled around the world, from Nigeria to Russia, Berlin to Tokyo. It’s a mission of his to paint in every country he visits, leaving his mark as well as creating in relation to the community. He has had artwork shown at Whitechapel Gallery and Somerset House, flying the flag for Pan Africanism and major corporates like Santander. 




  • Anna Oldham-Cooper (Artist) is creating installations featuring in the exhibition. 


Anna is a freelance art director and maker and her work has featured in commercials, editorials, films and as installations in gallery spaces. Her work has also been part of charity and educational projects within schools, galleries and community centres. Recent work has included projects for Glimpse and  Help Refugees. Anna has a first class degree in Costume and Performance Design and a Diploma in Bench Joinery. 



  • Aleksandra Talacha (Animator) is creating animations to be used through our online activity. 



In the age of digital revolution, Aleksandra feels challenged to transform editorial content into interesting social solutions. She is currently working as a graphic designer at MTV International. Day to day work involves creating motion graphics, animations and videos for all social channels and web, in a fast-paced, youth environment.


  • Eoghan O’Keeffe (Artist) is creating interactive installations featuring in the exhibition.


Eoghan O’Keeffe (_[oʊən oʊkif]_ phonetically) works freelance with code to make engaging interactive experiences and projects that might be described as art. He experiments across tech, science, maths, and art (while under-qualified in all) – to develop real-time graphics, installations, games, apps, and web projects – aiming to explore the rich creative potential of striking interactive experiences.



  • Samuel Michnik (Unit31 Co-founder and Music Curator) is curating the music for our exhibition opening events, as well as ‘Salt Peanuts’ and ‘Portrait Jazz’


  Sam moved to London in 2014 to start his music career as a drummer. He moved into a warehouse space today known as Unit31. In 2015 he started a series of improvised live sessions heavily based around jazz/hip hop (which became our flagship event, Salt Peanuts) and the organic growth and enthusiasm motivated him to take to the next level. During the period of 5 years, Sam turned the rough warehouse space into a venue by doing some major building improvements and shaping its original vibe. Sam is also cofounder and part of the house band for Portrait Jazz. As a music director he has organised many of the events at Unit31 and started the collaboration with Touching Bass collective. Alongside his involvement with Unit31, Sam has had notable success a drummer, recently touring across Europe and Asia. He he’s worked with Tom Mish, Alfa Mist, Ego Ella May, Amy True, Jay Phelps, Natalie Oliveri, Conor Ablert, Olivia Dean and many others. At the same time also utilized his craft skills, building a career as an art director and set builder working on projects for the BBC, Academy Film, Gramma Film and artists such as Slow Thai, Little Silmz, Dizzee Rascal, Amun and Juls.


  • Raffy Bushman (Music Director) – is curating the music for our ‘Chamber Music’ and ‘Portrait Jazz’ events.


Raffy is the director of music at Unit31. He has helped to shape our eclectic programming with his broad tastes and lifelong dedication to music. As a pianist he runs the band for several of our events including Salt Peanuts and Portrait Jazz. As a cellist he is a sectional player and curator for our newest regular event Unit31: Chamber Music. He has performed all over the UK and Europe with artists such a Dizraeli, Nubiyan Twist, Ego Ella May, Louis VI, Amy True, Bryony Jarman Pinto. In recent years Raffy has grown as a composer. Inspired by a project in which he worked with seminal grime crew Ruff Sqwad, arranging their music for an orchestra, he decided to setup his own orchestra project, Nushape Orchestra. Having seen some footage which he filmed with this project, the national theatre commissioned him to write a piece to support their most recent show, small island. The piece was called ‘All Kinds of Limbo’ and was installed as a virtual reality piece in the theatre’s Wolfson Gallery while Small Island was showing. 




  • Karol Jurga (Unit31 Co-founder and Director of photography) is responsible for video coverage across the project. 


Director of Photography based in London with more than 12 years experience in shooting films. His career started as a video journalist in Reuters covering stories for international broadcasters like BBC and Al Jazeera. He got into Lodz Filmschool where he completed MA degree from art of cinematography under supervision of best Polish filmmakers, developed passion towards celluloid and found ultimate goal in narrative storytelling. After graduation he moved to London and became Director of Photography and editor in-house Sony Music, working for artists like: Rag n Bone Man, MØ, Nao or Zara Larsson. After leaving Sony and starting his freelance carrier he broadened his work to commercial and fashion films working for brands like i-D, Dazed, Playstation, Balenciaga, Nike, Christian Dior – occasionally directing, editing and composing music. His festival recognition includes Golden Frog nomination for best cinematography on 20th Camerimage Festival, best film award on 2015 Stanley Film Festival in Estes Park, Colorado for his short Inherent Noise, and the winner on 2013 Festival International de cine documental de Mexico – among many other festival selections.




  • Julian Prentis (Project Manager) is managing and facilitating the delivery of the whole project.



Julian is a graphic designer and artworker based in London. His visulas focus primarily around his engagement with music, working closely with independent artists, record labels and music management companies. He is also a well seasoned DJ and music producer, performing at international festivals and many music events. He has recently become more involved with Unit31 as a project manager, overseeing the management and delivery of ‘Unit31: Unfolded’.





For the opening of ‘Unit31: Unfolded’ we are excited to welcome the multi-instrumentalist and hugely talented producer Werkha. His productions demonstrate an infectious energy, curiosity, and enthusiasm for exploring the ways in which sound can traverse time and space, taking in transatlantic jazz and soul, diasporic West African percussion, trembling Chinese guzhengs, rolling Lancashire hillsides and vibrating urban tenements. 

We are also joined for a DJ set by jazz inflected producer, K15. K15 comes as part of the new wave of London artists along with Henry Wu, Floating Points and FunkinEven, who borrow elements from jazz and soul and use their creative talent to transform them into something contemporary and exciting.

Also DJing on the night we have Leeds based musician and producer Wonky Logic. An upcoming force on the left-field hip-hop scene, Wonky Logic blends soulful electronics with crunk beats. Owing as much to sample-culture as to his background as a jazz pianist, Wonky Logic sculpts his compositions with expansive space-age synths underpinned by clever bass work and off-kilter drums. 




On Day no.2 of our exhibition opening we have a special debut from Unit31’s Director of Music Raffy Bushman, who will be performing his highly anticipated EP ‘First Man’. Raffy has played an invaluable part in curating and broadening Unit31’s monthly program of music and has used his talents as a composer to embark on exciting cross genre projects such as his Nushape Orchestra and ‘All Kinds Of Limbo’ written for the National Theatre. 


We also welcome a live set from Brother’s Testament, a groove based jazz fusion band from London. Their sound amalgamates powerful grooves and stirring melodies whilst also being rooted in the jazz tradition. Brother’s Testament perform from the heart and emphasise and embrace improvisation so that the set manifests organically on stage differently each time.


DJing on the night we have Maxwell Owin. As a producer, his credits are seemingly endless. He’s at the electronic and spiritual heart of so many of London’s brilliant jazz and improvisation based projects – from mixing Where Pathways Meet, to doing the mastering on the We Out Here film, to collaborating with Joe Armon-Jones in their outstanding record ‘IDIOM’.


Cut Malina will also be on DJ duties, bringing his eclectic selections of hip hop and scratch skills to the table. He has been a regular face at Unit31 over the years and always puts together a unique combination of beats. 





We are very excited to welcome Sheldon Agwu, David Mrakpor, Abel Addington, Gabriele Pribetti and Daniel Deej John for a special night of improvised music, connecting the dots between Jazz, Soul, Broken beat, Hip Hop, Grime, Rap and beyond. 


The band have a wealth of experience between them, playing for some of the most exciting musicians/projects including Roy Ayers, Jordan Rakei, Alfa Mist, Blue lab beats, Liam Payne, Ben Jones, Roco Palladino and much more. We think of them all as close Unit31 family members as they have all contributed so much to our community over the years, playing in countless jam sessions and music events here. 




At every edition of Portrait Jazz, the evening begins with a performance of a classic jazz album in its entirety from our house band. This is then followed by an improvised jam, welcoming any musicians to join the band and play over various bebop/hard bop standards.

For the 24th edition of Portrait Jazz we would like to explore Art Blakey’s ‘Free For All’. It was recorded for Blue Note Records in February 1964, and released the following year. It was originally titled “Free Fall”.

The Allmusic review by Al Campbell awards the album 4 stars and states, “This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet… Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass. Shorter’s title track is one of the finest moments in the Jazz Messengers’ history.”



On this evening, we have some very special live acts and guests lined up. We have a performance from a sensational musician, composer and producer who has been described as one of the most unique artists in the world, bridging the gap between jazz and electronic music. His set will also feature a secret guest; one of his recent album collaborators and another rising star of the jazz world. 




Our flagship night began very casually as a space for musicians to meet and play together. These jam sessions quickly gained a reputation and are now formally known as the Salt Peanuts Cypher, a monthly night hosted by the Unit31 house band and open to rappers, vocalists and poets. This edition is particularly special because it will be the last one to take place in its current location, a place we’ve called home for 5- years. We will be relocating in the new year, but the time to say goodbye to this unique space has sadly arrived.


For this edition we will be inviting all of the special guests we’ve had over the years, and all of the musicians and performers who have been coming from our earliest days until now. The cypher will be hosted by the incomparable TY, who has embodied the spirit of Unit31 ever since joining our family.


We are also excited to welcome the incredible Mr Thing to Unit31. Known worldwide as a DJ & turntablist, Mr Thing is a name synonymous with Hip-Hop that always brings a smile to the faces of fans and promoters alike as they remember genius performances of impeccable skill. First touching the tables in 1987 he has been non-stop perfecting his art since and is now one of the worlds best. Touring the world with an understanding of records and music that is second to none, he always creates flawless and exciting sets mixing some of the rarest records with some of the best loved records ever heard with an apparently effortless ease honed after years of practice.




A monthly event exploring some of the greatest classical music ever written for chamber ensemble. Classical music is often seen as elitist, expensive and inaccessible. We would like to show our audience that, wherever or whenever it comes from, good music is good music and will always transcend its stuffy traditions. This music has value and should stay relevant. All that we ask it that you come down and enjoy it. 

For the 7th edition of Unit31 Chamber Music we would like to play Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D minor “Souvenir de Florence”. It is scored for 2 violins, 2 violas, and 2 cellos and was composed in the summer of 1890. Tchaikovsky dedicated the work to the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society in response to his becoming an Honorary Member. The work, in the traditional four-movement form, was titled “Souvenir de Florence” because the composer sketched one of the work’s principal themes while visiting Florence, Italy, where he composed The Queen of Spades. The work was revised between December 1891 and January 1892, before being premiered in 1892. For this performance we are once again very proud to be joined by the Brompton Quartet.