Tony Haynes,who runs the Grand Union Orchestra, writes…
Sunday July 10th is the 75 th anniversary of the death of Jelly Roll Morton. This seemed worth celebrating, but how to avoid a literal, sentimental tribute? Jazz doesn’t stand still, it’s a music that constantly needs to reinvent itself. So instead, I’ve assembled over a dozen of the Grand Union Orchestra’s long-standing core musicians, and devised a programme from the GUO repertoire that effectively spans the globe over three days – a kind of journey from China and India, through Africa, South America and the Caribbean, and finishing up on the Mississippi Delta. This I hope will evoke someth ing of the sounds that inspired Morton, and capture his spirit as it lives on a hundred years later in East London, the New Orleans of the 21 st Century!
This is the stellar cast:
Zhu Xiao Meng (China) – gu zheng (Chinese harp)
Baluji Shrivastav (India) – sitar, dilruba
Yousuf Ali Khan (Bangladesh) – tabla, dholak
Claude Deppa (South Africa) – trumpet, African drums
Shanti Paul Jayasinha (Scotland/Sri Lanka) – trumpet, cello
Tony Kofi (Ghana) – alto and baritone saxophones
Louise Elliott (Australia) – tenor saxophone, flute
Harry Brown (England) – trombone
Daniel Louis (St Lucia) – steel pan
Gerry Hunt (England) – guitar, soprano saxophone
Andres Lafone (Uruguay) – bass guitar
Paul Clarvis (England) – drums
Maja Rivić (Croatia) – voice
Tony Haynes (England) piano/trombone, composer/arranger
We will play each night in various combinations on this programme:
We’re also launching a new community street band that weekend – Band Off The Wall. Inspired by the Hackney Peace Carnival Mural opposite Dalston station, all instruments and musical styles are welcome (details for sign-up below)
Friday July 8th: Bengal Tiger, Shanghai Dragon – based around the classical and folk music of China and South Asia, with virtuoso performmers and plenty of startling improvisation!
Saturday July 9th: From African Shores to the New World – the migration of music, and particularly Yoruba culture, from West Africa to Latin-America and the Caribbean as a result of the Slave Trade.
Sunday July 10th: The Diamond King and the Voodoo Queen – all this ends up on the Mississippi delta in brassy arrangements and songs celebrating Morton and other legendary jazz musicians.
LINKS: Full programme booklet
Grand Union website / email is firstname.lastname@example.org