Zhu Xiao Meng (gu zheng – Chinese harp),
Ruijun Hu (dizi, xiao – Chinese flutes)
Featuring gu zheng (Chinese harp) virtuoso Zhu Xiao Meng and Ruijun Hu on dizi and xiao (Chinese flutes), the third in a series of monthly Friday night performances with outstanding improvising musicians from around the world supported by a 5-piece Grand Union ‘house band’. Hear them in action here on the ballad-like Picking Betel Palm and an uptempo version of The Song of Four Seasons.
Grand Union has created a ground-breaking programme of monthly Friday night performances, exchanging and combining different musical traditions, featuring internationally-celebrated artists supported by GUO core musicians. These are followed by open workshops on Saturday mornings for local musicians to meet and work with them, exploring how their tradition can link to jazz and improvisation, finishing with a short public performance.
Other Grand Union musicians include: Louise Elliott (tenor saxophone, flute), Gerry Hunt (guitar, soprano sax, violin); Andres Lafone (bass guitar); Paul Clarvis (percussion); composer/director Tony Haynes (piano, trombone); and special guest Kevin Robinson.
Friday July 6th GRAND UNION ORCHESTRA – TRADING ROOTS
Gu zheng (Chinese harp) virtuoso Zhu Xiao Meng and Ruijun Hu on dizi and xiao (Chinese flutes), the third in a series of monthly Friday night performances with outstanding improvising musicians from around the world.
Saturday July 7th GRAND UNION ORCHESTRA – OPEN WORKSHOP
Practical hands-on workshop exploring techniques of Chinese traditional, folk and ancient court music, for reasonably able musicians of all ages, led by Zhu Xiao Meng as part of Grand Union’s Trading Roots residency.
Time: 11am – 2pm (open public performance 1.30pm) Participation free, bring an instrument
This programme aims to bring together and demonstrate the wide range of music and musicians flourishing in East London today. Most of the musicians involved in Trading Roots are first generation migrants, with unique skills in music from around the world to share and pass on to others; hence the title, suggesting also voyages of discovery. This is an important part of Grand Union’s mission, and to put this principle into practice we have set up the Second Generation Orchestra. Each of these gigs therefore will feature also a guest young musician.
London Jazz News features the project in a preview/interview by Duncan Heining: http://www.londonjazznews.com/2018/04/preview-grand-union-orchestrs-what.html
…and here is a taster of what to expect from this exciting, eclectic combination…
Friday May 4th, 8.00pm – Carnatic violinist Jyotsna Srikanth and North Indian classical singer Mahamaya Shil, with Yousuf Ali Khan (Bangladesh) on tabla
Saturday 5th, 11am–2pm: open workshop in Indian classical music
Friday June 1st, 8.00pm – steel pan virtuoso Daniel Louis (St Lucia) and South African trumpeter Claude Deppa
Saturday 2nd, 11am–2pm: open workshop in Caribbean and township music
Friday July 6th, 8.00pm–Zhu Xiao Meng (gu zheng – Chinese harp) and Ruijun Hu (dizi, xiao – Chinese flutes)
Saturday 7th, 11am–2pm: open workshop in Chinese traditional and court music
Friday August 3rd, 8.00pm – series finale featuring musicians from What the River Brings and the GUO Summer School with Ricardo Axé (Brazil)
Saturday 4th, 11am–2pm: open workshop in South American music