Events

​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 Youth Orchestra events, see also GUYO performances and GUYO workshops pages, and Projects for other activities.
For more on opportunities for participation, see the pages for Grand Union Voices and Band Off The Wall;

SPRING/SUMMER PROGRAMME

MAY

Wednesday 22nd, 7.00pm – musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra
Trinity Buoy Wharf, Orchard Place, London E14 0JW
Admission £12.50, more details and online booking here

An All-Star 10-piece Grand Union Band specially assembled to launch an exciting new series of jazz events in the atmospheric setting of Trinity Buoy Wharf – bringing the spirit of New Orleans 100 years ago, but with a strong Asian flavour, to East London’s own Mississippi delta, the confluence of the River Lea and the Thames!

Bank Holiday Monday 27th, 3.15pm – Band off the Wall
All Points East Festival, Victoria Park, Grove Rd, London E3 5TB
Grand Union’s Dalston Community street band comes off the iconic Peace Mural, and makes its first appearance at East London’s most prestigious festival.

JUNE

Sunday 23rd, 3.00pm and 5.30pm – Jazz on a Summer’s Day
Trinity Buoy Wharf, Orchard Place, London E14 0JW
All day admission £20 / £15 concessions
The All-Star 10-piece Grand Union Band returns with surprise guests to headline a brand new festival on two stages in the atmospheric setting of Trinity Buoy Wharf, celebrating the astonishing range of music and musicians flourishing in London’s East End today.

Bringing the spirit of New Orleans 100 years ago to East London’s own Mississippi delta, the confluence of the River Lea and the Thames! Book here

Thursday 27th, 7.00pm – A World Music Odyssey
Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, London E5 0LY
Collaboration with Hackney Music Service, featuring Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra, the Training Orchestra and other local ensembles, in a programme prepared and led by GUO musicians from Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, South Africa, West Africa and the Caribbean.

JULY

Sunday 7th, 4.00pm - Bengal to Bethnal Green
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Admission free
A special edition of these immensely popular free events, directed by tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan, featuring sarod virtuoso Shahadat Hossein Khan, visiting from Bangladesh, and singer Shyamal Chowdhury with musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra. Flyer here

Saturday 20th, 4.30 to 7.30pm - Sounding Bethnal Green Summer Gala
St John on Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA
Admission free
A day of workshops and performances led by Grand Union musicians, highlighting the wondrous cultural mix of community groups and musicians flourishing in the East End today – inspired by the immensely successful inaugural fortnightly programme earlier this year (see below).

Mon 29th - Thurs August 1st, Annual Residential Summer School               
Writtle University College, Lordship Rd, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3RR
Admission free
Finishes with a public performance at 4.30 on Thursday 1st of work created during the Summer School. For full information, go to the Summer School page

THE YEAR SO FAR...

Sounding Bethnal Green Is a development of Trading Roots, re-imagined for a series of events on the first and third Friday of each month at St John's Church, to bring to the attention of local residents the extraordinary variety of people and cultures on their doorstep. Combining performance, interview, discussion and practical workshop, and led by professional artists from China, South Asia, Latin America and Africa, they highlight the remarkable demographic of the neighbourhood and its history through music and musicians flourishing locally. Flyer here

FEBRUARY

Friday 1st: Sounding Bethnal Green, St John's 
Focusing on the South African diaspora, led by trumpeter Claude Deppa and singer/percussionist Marcina Arnold.

Sunday 3rd: Bengal to Bethnal Green, Rich Mix
The first in the 2019 series, featuring singer Nandita Mukherjee. Flyer here

Friday 15th: Sounding Bethnal Green, St John's
Chinese classical and folk music with Shanghai-born gu zheng (Chinese harp) virtuoso Zhu Xiao Meng

Friday 22nd: Bengal, Bhangra and the Blues , Poplar Union
Celebrating International Mother Language Day in a programme devised by tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan, joined by young musicians from workshops organised in collaboration with Spotlight and Poplar Union. Full details here.

Saturday 23rd: What Colour is Jazz?, Chat's Palace, Hackney
Fundraising event for Headway East London, bringing together Grand Union musicians, MOBO-nominated Camilla George and DJ Lex Blondin.

MARCH

Friday 1st: Sounding Bethnal Green, St John's 
Music and musicians from Bangladesh and Southern India, led by Yousuf Ali Khan.

Sunday 3rd: Bengal to Bethnal Green, Rich Mix
The second in the series, featuring singer Zannat Quasari. Flyer here.

Friday 15th: Sounding Bethnal Green
Focusing on the music of Somalia with internationally acclaimed oud player Mohamed Maalo Nuur.

Wednesday 20th: The Rhythm of Rivers, Royal Albert Hall
Commissioned for over 1000 musicians and singers by Merton Music Foundation

Monday 25th-Friday 29th: Trading Roots, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk schools
Six Grand Union musicians touring performances and workshops of music from around the world.

APRIL

Friday 5th, 7.00 - 9.00pm: Sounding Bethnal Green
St John on Bethnal Green
Led by Bulgarian percussionist Lilia Iontcheva, focusing on the songs and dance rhythms of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Sunday 7th, 4.00pm - Bengal to Bethnal Green, Rich Mix
The last in the current series of immensely popular free events, directed by tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan, bringing together local Bengali artists with musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra, featuring singer Suzana Ansari. Flyer here

...AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST AUTUMN:

Throughout the autumn, to complement the Hackney Museum's exhibition Black British Music in Hackney, Grand Union arranged a complementary programme of workshops and performances. It commemorated 500 years of black music, from its origins in Africa, its transportation to Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean through the slave trade up to the arrival of the Empire Windrush and beyond. This theme ran through all our events listed below, and workshops and performances with young musicians.

Sunday December 9th, 8.00 pm - Uncharted Crossings
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT
Brand new show, featuring the full Grand Union Orchestra and singers, the climax of the programme, celebrating not only Black British Music in Hackney, but the music of the whole of the African-descended diaspora.  Flyer here Full details here

Sunday December 2nd, 7.00pm - Trading Roots
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
GUYO's traditional Winter Concert followed the theme of the legacy of Black music in East London, featuring the music or Africa and the Caribbean, explored in the Summer School and autumn workshops.

Sunday November 18th, 3.00 pm & 4.30 pm - The Isle is Full of Noises
Family Concerts - Wimbledon International Music Festival
Musicians, music and instruments from around the world, including GUO stars Zhu Xiao Meng, gu zheng (Chinese harp), tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan (Bangladesh), Claude Deppa (trumpet, African drums), Daniel Louis (steel pan) and Carlos Fuentes (South American folk instruments)

       

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