​Grand Union's priority is live performance, and since 1982 we have toured regularly - and continue to tour - throughout the whole of the UK and to many parts of Europe and the rest of the world.

(For Grand Union Youth Orchestra events, see also GUYO performances and GUYO workshops pages, and Projects for other activities, including opportunities for participation)

                   AUTUMN 2016 - REMEMBERING CABLE STREET   

October 4th marks the 80th anniversary of the notorious 'Battle of Cable Street'. Since Grand Union has always been based in East London, and took a leading role in the 70th and 75th events, we have devised an ambitious and comprehensive programme to commemorate this landmark occasion, culminating in two spectacular shows:

Saturday October 8th 7.30, St John on Bethnal Green Church, London E2 9PA Tickets £8 / £5 concessions, including free refreshment. 
Cable Street Remembered - very much a local event, featuring East London Community Band (performing Lee Westwood's Barricades) and CoMA London’s Allcomers Orchestra (Stephen Montague's Chorale for the Cauldrons of Hell) together with the Grand Union Youth Orchestra and World Choir, Numbi (Somali) Arts, Bengali artists, Chinese choir and other local groups.

Sunday October 9th 7.30, Rich Mix, Shoreditch E1 6LA
 Box Office: 020 7613 7498      Tickets £8 / £5 concessions 

After Cable Street - bringing the story up to date, with music by Tony Haynes written specially for the occasion, reflecting on what the 'Battle' means for East London today, with its now hugely diverse population.
Featuring the full Grand Union Orchestra, World Choir and Youth Orchestra, musicians appearing include Claude Deppa (South Africa - trumpet), Tony Kofi (Ghana - alto saxophone), Louise Elliott (Australia - tenor sax/flute), Yousuf Ali Khan (Bangladesh - tabla), Jacqueline Lwanzo (Congo - voice), Noga Ritter (Israel - voice), Andres Lafone (Uruguay - bass guitar), Lilia Iontcheva (Bulgaria - percussion).

A full description of our Remembering Cable Street week-long anniversary programme can be found here, the flyer for the shows here, and more historical background on our Projects page.


The climax of a busy spring/summer programme for the Orchestra and smaller groups was Jelly Roll Soul, a three-day festival of performances and workshops at London's Vortex Jazz Club. Taking as its starting point the legacy of jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton, who died 75 years ago that weekend, it celebrated the melting pot that is East London today, reminiscent of new Orleans a century ago; it also launched a new street band for Dalston, Band Off The Wall.

The undoubted highlight of the winter was the remarkable success of Undream'd Shores in the Great Hall, Leeds University, the first regional production of the show after its premiere at the Hackney Empire in November 2014. It featured the University Music School's 60-strong orchestra and 40-strong choir together with sitars, santoors, dilrubas, tabla and dhol from SAA-uk's Academy of Indian Music. A video of extracts from the performances are currently being edited; here are excerpts from the original:
See songs from Undream'd Shores and highlights from the show

An account of Grand Union's other achievements during 2015 can be found here. Following a very busy and successful first half of the year - including Mil e Uma Mares in Portugal (video here), our highly original take on the BBC Ten Pieces in Cambridge, and the culmination of our EU-funded project in The Isle is Full of Noises (a ground-breaking two-week festival in East London) - Grand Union finished the summer with its annual residential Summer School.

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