Grand Union Orchestra is delighted to announce the return of the much loved Bengal to Bethnal Green series this Spring 2023 at Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA, 19-Feb -14 May 2023 – celebrating our collaborations with Bengali artists and their powerful contribution to music in the UK, for many decades.
The series of four concerts from February – May 2023 will bring together the Bengali diaspora with other local East End communities, in a joyous and transporting series of afternoons, with music and song led by Yousuf Ali Khan. The first concert on 19 February features one of the UK’s foremost Bengali singers Laboni Barua renowned for her versatile vocal performances in Dhaka and the UK.
Bengal to Bethnal Green is directed by Grand Union’s tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan, who has been a long term collaborator with Tony Haynes, working with Grand Union Orchestra for nearly 30 years. Yousuf comes from the same famous dynasty of musicians as Ali Akhbar Khan, and began playing tabla at the age of five, later studying in Kolkata. He came to England in 1980 to help set up South Asian music teaching, developing also his international career as a performer and accompanist of choice for South Asian artists visiting the UK.
The series of concerts will also see young British-born Bengali musicians from East London share the stage with core Grand Union professional musicians performing alongside their mentors in the main ensemble.
The last of the series of concerts on May 14th will be a special memorial concert in honour of the late maestro sarod player Shahadat Hossain Khan a regular guest performer with Grand Union Orchestra whose tragic passing from COVID-19 at the age of 62 in November 2020 was a great loss to our community and the Bengali diaspora.
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