Shows

Grand Union's priority is live performance, and touring its work as widely as possible. Some shows feature only musicians and singers from the Grand Union Orchestra, others may involve amateur or student performers. All are cross-cultural, colourful, dramatic and deal with contemporary issues.

SONG OF CONTAGION
Our current flagship project culminates in a week-long run of performances at Wilton's Music Hall, June 13th - 17th 2017. 
Full details here.

Current touring shows

UNDREAM'D SHORES - premiered at London's Hackney Empire, autumn 2014 - is about migration past and present. It provides opportunities for local participation, complemented by a range of outreach projects, and is still available throughout the UK. Full details here.

AFTER CABLE STREET is Grand Union's latest show, produced for London's Rich Mix in October 2016 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 'Battle', currently being worked up into a powerful one-hour stand-alone piece. Full details here.

Shows still in repertoire

IF PARADISE describes current turmoil in the Middle East and Central Asia, and is GUO's most recent CD, taken from a BBC Radio 3 broadcast. Full details here.

THE GOLDEN ROAD, THE UNFORGIVING SEA was commissioned for a BBC Radio 3 broadcast combining GUO with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Full details here.

THE RHYTHM OF TIDES is a collaboration between GUO and Portuguese and Portuguese African musicians, and perhaps GUO's most beguiling CD. Full details here.

ON LIBERATION STREET was commissioned for the 60th anniversary of WW2, and focuses on conflict on three continents in the generation between then and the 1970s. Full details here.

Smaller scale shows

TRADING ROOTS is a new initiative, answering the need for something smaller and flexible, but embodying the principles and practice of Undream'd Shores and other larger projects. It typically combines 10 to 18 performers drawn from a pool of about 24 core Grand Union musicians born and bred into many different major musical traditions worldwide. Besides stand-alone performances, it also provides ample scope for workshops, and often participants (adults or young people) can be included in the performance. It is also a useful vehicle for recruiting new performers to GUO.

There are also other projects like Trading Roots featuring different combinations of performers. One of the most unusual - and very popular - is  Bengal Tiger, Shanghai Dragon, which brings together virtuoso Chinese musicians like Zhu Xiao Meng (gu zheng) and Ruijun Hu (Chinese flutes) with Bengali (Yousuf Ali Khan - tabla/voice), Hindustani (Baluji Shrivastav - sitar/dilruba and Carnatic (Jyotsna Srikanth - violin) musicians.

Bengal to Bethnal Green is an ongoing series of performances running monthly at Rich Mix Arts Centre, led by GUO table maestro Yousuf Ali Khan. It features popular local Bengali artists supported by Grand Union musicians. The music is based on Bengali songs, both in traditional form and combined with other musical cultures and contemporary styles. Performances are listed on the Events page.

Other specialist combinations similarly spotlight  Turkish (Gunes Cerit - baglama/voice), Gypsy (Ionel Mandache - accordion), African (Mingo Rangel - guitar/voice), Caribbean (Daniel Louis - steel pan), South American (Carlos Fuentes - Latin percussion) and a myriad other varied artists.

More information can be found here, and there are many recordings can be found on our Music Page and Soundcloud Channel. Here is just one, Mexe Mexe - a delightful dance track with irresistible rhythm by Mozambican singer/guitarist Mingo Rangel with Maria Joao Silveira (voice) from Around the World in 80 Minutes.

If you like what you see, have a look at our upcoming live dates.

Latest News

Huge success of Song of Contagion!

Fantastic audience responses to the recent shows Wilton's Music Hall

New BBC interview

Director Tony Haynes talks to Jimoke Fashola about this week's premiere of Song of Contagion. Skip to 02.52.04 to listen.

Song of Contagion promo video released

Featuring a taste of the music you will hear in our spectacular new show and interviews from the musicians involved

Booking opens for Song of Contagion!

Wilton's Music Hall, June 13th to 17th: tickets now on sale for our spectacular new show

Dates announced for 2017 Summer School

Our fourth annual Summer School runs from July 31st to August 3rd, Goldsmiths College, South London.

Exciting plans unveiled for 2017!

GUO's programme for the new year includes a brand new show at Wilton's Music Hall and a return to Portugal.

Remembering Cable Street

Video of The Beast is Back by Tony Haynes, recorded at the GUO commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street in October

High praise for GUO music education project

Read about Music Untamed at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, supported by the Mayor's Music Fund

Band Off The Wall

Inspired by the Peace Mural at Dalston Junction, Grand Union has launched a new street band for Hackney

GUO tracks are now available online...

Grand Union CDs and individual numbers can now be streamed from Spotify or bought from iTunes

Full-length DVD of Undream'd Shores

A DVD of the acclaimed Hackney Empire production is now available from the GUO online shop.

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