A musical celebration of black British music will take place in Shoreditch next month.
The cross-cultural Grand Union Orchestra show about the Windrush Generation, Uncharted Crossings, will be performed at Shoreditch Town Hall on December 9. The piece is part of the Black British Music exhibition at Hackney Museum.
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, which carried hundreds of people from the Caribbean to help rebuild Britain after the war.
Hackney Museum have been hosting the Roots, Rhythms & Records exhibition this autumn, celebrating African and Caribbean music in Hackney. It commemorates 500 years of black music, from its African origins to its transportation to the Caribbean and migration to Hackney.
Uncharted Crossings brings together African and Caribbean music, and is the culmination of the music workshop programme of Hackney Museum’s music exhibition.
Tony Hayes, the Artistic Director of the Grand Union Orchestra, said: “I realised that they, and the majority of people in the West Indies, were originally descended from African ancestors; so, in a way, it could also be seen as another chapter in the long history of migration from Africa.” Hayes has described the composition of the music in greater detail on his blog.
The orchestra’s musicians come from a variety of backgrounds: Claude Deppa (trumpet, congas), is from South Africa, Tony Kofi (saxophone) from Ghana, and singer Jumoké Fashola from Nigeria. There are two Caribbean Britons, Harry Brown (trombone) and Andy Grappy (tuba).
The Grand Union Orchestra is known for acknowledging the importance of cross-cultural music in the UK.