Ansar Ahmed Ullah:
Tabla Ustad Yousuf Ali Khan, featuring sarod virtuoso Shahadat Hossein Khan from Bangladesh, and singer Dr Shyamal Kanti Chowdhury with musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra performed on Sunday 7 July at the Rich Mix centre on Bethnal Green Road, East London.
Ustad Shahadat Hossein Khan played a number of raags on his sarod while Shyamal Kanti Chowdhury sang Tagore songs to patriotic songs. Ustad Shahadat Hossein Khan and Dr Shyamal Kanti Chowdhury was accompanied by Grand Union Orchestra’s Australian musician Louise Elliot on flute & saxophone, Carlos Fuentes from Chile on percussion, Gerry Hunt on bass, Tony Hayes on piano and Yousuf Ali Khan on tabla, who directed the special event.
Based in East London, Grand Union has been bringing musical events titled ‘Bengal to Bethnal Green’ for more than two decades – working with local artists, projects with young people and the Bengali community, enchanting audiences. The flagship programme ‘Bengal to Bethnal Green’ has been running monthly on Sunday afternoons at Rich Mix for over five years.
It has featured popular local Bengali artists in collaboration with Grand Union musicians from other musical traditions worldwide and is directed by internationally celebrated tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan.
The music is based on Bengali songs, both in traditional form and combined with other musical cultures and contemporary styles, reflecting the wide variety of music in London’s East End today.