Crowds flock to music spectacular Under the Stars

28 August 2012 in Mayor and Events
The soundtrack to Newham’s Olympic summer continued over the Bank Holiday weekend with almost 32,500 people flocking to the Under Stars extravaganza of free live music.
Even dismal weather during some of the performances couldn’t put a damper on the music over four nights, some of which had featured in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales, said: “Newham has kept the London 2012 party going. We weren’t going to let the rain spoil our fun. Under the Stars has continued the wonderful atmosphere we have seen at our live sites during the Olympics and will see again during the Paralypmics.”

The extravaganza provided by Newham Council at East Ham's Central Park showcased some of Britain's finest musicians, with dancing, flags, wellington boots and umbrellas accompanying the sounds of jazz, Asian music and soul legends and spectacular fireworks to the sound of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on Sunday.

Sunday also featured a new composition by Newham schoolchildren from the council’s Every Child a Musician programme working with the Royal Philharmonic.

Saturday saw the cream of the UK's soul scene with Soul II Soul led by Grammy award-winner Jazzie B, whose hit Back to Life featured in the Games opening ceremony. They were joined by soul stars Omar and 80s sensation Junior Giscombe.

Eastern Beats wowed the crowd on Friday when BBC Asian Network's Tommy Sandhu and Noreen Khan hosted an incredible evening of performances by Alaap, Mona Singh, H-Dhami, Shide Boss, the Sapnay School of Dance and others.

On Thursday broadcaster and pianist Julian Joseph kicked off Under the Stars with his All Star Big Band that brought together 20 of the UK's finest jazz stars including Steve Williamson, Pete King and Jean Toussaint with special sets by Carleen Anderson and Soweto Kinch.

Mayor Sir Robin added: “This year's amazing line-up included something for everyone, including a fantastic performance from young people on our Every Child a Musician programme. Under the Stars has once again proved a good spirited event where residents sang and danced the night away together. Best of all it was completely free!”

Sunday also saw lucky residents Shirley Rumbold and Agnieszka Witek each secure a pair of tickets to the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games after their names were drawn from a ballot.

Live action from the Paralympic Games will again be shown on giant screens at Stratford Park and Central Park plus children's activities, performances from the best of Newham talent and sports activities at weekends.

All events are free and take place daily in Stratford Park between 11am and 11pm.  Central Park will only show coverage during the opening and closing ceremonies and at weekends.