The Grand Union Youth Orchestra runs monthly masterclasses/workshops for its members as well as open introductory workshops during school holidays and half-terms for new recruits. It is recommended that you attend an introductory workshop before attending our monthly sessions.

This flyer summarises the programme for the first half of 2018. Workshops begin in February, performances are being arranged for spring/summer (see GUYO performances page, and the Summer School is late July/early August.
Contact Nadia Nervo on 0208 981 1551 or to find out more.

Older and/or more experienced GUYO members may also be interested in the workshops (and performances) at the Vortex Jazz Club on the first Friday and Saturday of each month, offering a similar opportunity to meet and work with distinguished global musicians - detail on our Events page.

(supported by Ronnie Scott's Charitable Foundation)

Sunday March 4th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Masterclass led by Columbian percussionist Emeris Solis
Born on the Pacific Coast of Columbia, Emeris is a much sought-after exponent of the colourful songs and rhythms of that region, including currulao and bunde. Also a charismatic teacher, his workshop was one of the highlights of last year’s Summer School, and GUYO members look forward to welcoming him back. Find out more about Emeris from his website here.

Sunday April 8th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Masterclass led by gu zheng virtuoso Zhu Xiao Meng.
Born and brought up in Shanghai, Zhu is one of the world's finest exponents of the Chinese harp. She has appeared in many Grand Union projects over the years, and her repertoire ranges from ancient dramatic showpieces to poignant folk music from far-flung regions.

Sunday May 6th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Masterclass led by Carnatic violinist Jyotsna Srikanth.

Jyotsna hails from Bangalore. Trained as an Indian classical musician, she is an extraordinary improviser, and her workshop will give an insight into the ragas of the South Indian tradition.

Sunday May 20th, 12.00pm - 7.30pm  'Big Band in a Day'
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, 47 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4HY
Working with Grand Union musicians to produce unusual to support the main band that night, led by Tony Haynes and Claude Deppa. Participation free, but booking essential  tel: 020 7439 0747

Sunday June 3rd, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Masterclass led by steel pan virtuoso Daniel Louis.
Born in Hackney, Daniel's family comes from St Lucia. He is therefore both heir to the Caribbean steel band tradition, and expert in other British Black music styles - and a great jazz player.

Sunday July 1st, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Rehearsal preparing material for What the River Brings at St John on Bethnal Green, Sunday July 14th (see performance page for details).

Monday July 30th to Thursday August 2nd - Summer School
Writtle University College, Lordship Road, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3RR
Fifth annual GUO residential Summer School, provisional details here

The Summer School sessions and monthly GUYO masterclasses/workshops are generally led by different musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra, They focus on various styles and techniques of world music and jazz including Indian classical ragas, African songs and chants, township music, call and response techniques, Latin-American rhythms, Eastern European and gypsy music (to name but a few!) - and improvisation is always a key ingredient.

GUYO also gives regular performances. As a taster, here are two video clips from the most recent event, Rhythms and Revolution at Rich Mix:

GUYO musicians celebrate the Yoruba orissa Eleggua with West African 12/8 drumming; and pay tribute to the late Hugh Masakela in Abdullah Ibrahim’s tune Mandela.


For details of upcoming GUYO events, visit our Youth Orchestra Performance page or our general Events page.

Stay In Touch