Sunday 9 December
Stalls: £16 (full price), £12 (concessions)
Community & Family
Music & Gigs
2hrs 30min (including an interval)
Soaring voices, roaring brass, fiery jazz solos, hypnotic drums…
When the Empire Windrush arrived in 1948 with hundreds of people from the Caribbean to help rebuild Britain after the war, was it yet another chapter in the long history of African migration, and how those migrants have been treated? Uncharted Crossings tells the back story of the Windrush generation, a story that began long in the past.
Over 500 years ago with the transatlantic slave trade, millions of Africans were transported to Brazil, Cuba, the West Indies and southern states of the USA. In horrific circumstances, they took with them their customs, their culture and their religions; remarkably these survived in the New World, and above all their music has developed into an extraordinary legacy.
This is a story the Grand Union Orchestra is well-equipped to bring to life. Its musicians and singers include many of African or Caribbean heritage, all fine exponents of West African drumming and chant, through Latin-American and Caribbean music to the blues and modern jazz.
Among them are South African Claude Deppa (trumpet, congas); jazz saxophone star Tony Kofi (Ghana); Francis Fuster (Sierra Leone), master of the talking drum; singer Jumoké Fashola; singer and African drummer Jonathan André; Caribbean Britons Harry Brown (trombone) and Andy Grappy (tuba); Jamaican-born Kevin Robinson (trumpet, flugelhorn); jazz virtuosi Chris Biscoe (soprano and alto saxes), Louise Elliott (flute, tenor sax) and Shanti Jaysinha (trumpet, cello); and an allstar international rhythm section of Carlos Fuentes (Latin percussion), Gerry Hunt (guitar), Andres Lafone (bass guitar) and Cristiano Castellitto (drums)
Music: Tony Haynes
Lyrics: Sara Clifford, Valerie Bloom, David Bradford, Jumoké Fashola
The complete line-up, further information and links to audio and video tracks can be found here.
Tony Haynes writes about his music for Uncharted Crossings here
'These guys know that what brings people together is something shared. It can be music. It may be through struggle. One thing’s sure: the Grand Union Orchestra’s music makes you feel alive, makes you think and makes you long for a better world. I can think of few other ensembles with its sheer range, versatility and sense of the dramatic.' – Duncan Heining, All About Jazz