Grand Union's priority is live performance, and over the last 25 years we have toured all over the UK and to many parts of the world.
Grand Union’s main preoccupation throughout 2014 is an ambitious international collaboration with artist-led companies in France and Portugal, supported by a substantial grant from the European Union Culture Fund. A programme of workshops and performances during the spring and summer culminates in a series of shows in the autumn produced by the partner companies. They all explore a common theme – migration – and include local performers; but each has its own title, reflecting local character and history.
- September 27th/28th: Alès, Espace La Fare Alais – Soie et Charbon (Silk and Coal)
- November 1st/2nd: London, Hackney Empire Theatre – Undream’d Shores
- February 19th/20th: Setúbal, Forum Luisa Todi, Mil e Uma Marés (A Thousand and One Tides)
Work mainly centred on East London’s historically varied and ever-growing migrant communities is leading up to what promises to be one of Grand Union’s best ever shows, in East London’s most glorious theatre - Undream’d Shores at the Hackney Empire Theatre. Preparation for the show has been taking place in another of the East End’s iconic venues, the wonderfully atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall. The full programme appears here.
Preparation is also continuing for the shows in France and Portugal.
Grand Union’s Summer School, fulfilling a long-held dream of the Company, was a huge success. In partnership with the music services of Essex and Cambridgeshire and our own Youth Orchestra, it took place in the picturesque setting of Oundle School, near Peterborough, Monday to Wednesday August 11th to 13th.
Young musicians aged 12-21 who play non-Western instruments and/or wish to learn more about music from other parts of the world had the opportunity to work with Grand Union’s core musicians who are experts in most traditions worldwide. Full details can be found here, and regular updates on the GUYO website. A full report is in preparation.
Highlights of 2013
Trading Roots performances:
- Colchester, Arts Centre
- Cambridge, West Road Concert Hall
- London, Rich Mix Arts Centre
- Southampton, Turner Sims Concert Hall
- Setúbal, Music Festival
- Lisbon, Museu do Oriente
- London, Wilton’s Music Hall
- Alès, Fête de la Musique
- Birmingham, mac Arena
- Leeds, City Varieties Music Hall
- Liverpool, Capstone Theatre
Music Untamed - Hackney Empire Theatre
On the Edge – four-day world jazz festival, Wilton’s Music Hall
Grand Union Orchestra 2012
- Liberation and Remembrance – Hackney Empire (London Jazz Festival)
- The Golden Highway – Hackney Empire (London 2012 Festival)
- What the River Sings – Trinity Buoy Wharf (BBC Music Nation Festival)
- 11.11.11 – Hackney Empire (Remembrance Day event)
- Battle of Cable Street – Wilton’s Music Hall (75th anniversary commemoration)
- If Paradise – Queen Elizabeth Hall (also CD launch based on Radio 3 broadcast)
- Four-day World Jazz Festival
- Wilton’s Music Hall
- Portugal (Setúbal)
- All About Jazz profile
- If Paradise at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
- 11.11.11 at the Hackney Empire
- If Paradise CD
For full details of our available shows, the latest line-up of the Grand Union Orchestra and our current Learning and Participation programme, go to press and bookings.