|Grand Union Orchestra. Photo courtesy of GUO|
Tony Haynes of Grand Union Orchestra writes:
Jazz has the unique capacity to be a music of protest, of opposition, of resistance, and that is the role it plays in the Grand Union Orchestra’s latest show.
On October 4th 1936, Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists – the Blackshirts – attempted to parade through the streets of Stepney and Whitechapel, at that time largely Jewish. In spite of massive police support, however, the local people united to prevent the provocative march going through. This has gone down in history as the Battle of Cable Street.
There is a clear parallel here for our own times, of course, with the current rise in racial and religious intolrance. I have written some new music to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle – and to celebrate the glorious, joyous variety of musical cultures flourishing in East London today.
As usual with Grand Union – alongside the roster of charismatic singers worldwide and artists like tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan and percussionist Lilia iontcheva – the 20-strong Orchestra includes some great jazz soloists, including Tony Kofi, Chris Biscoe, Louise Elliott, Claude Deppa and Shanti Paul Jayasinha.