HERE IS OUR LATEST NEWS:
Recent success… UFO won “best steelband on the road” at Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday 27th August 2023!!
Next gig… Sunday 24th September 2023 at Ealing Hal Marathon – we are playing for the runners at the halfway point, 9am – 12pm at St Stephen’s Church Water Station.
Urban Fox Orchestra Steelband, aka UFO, has our panyard in the centre of Ealing in West London, but we play all over London and UK and our main event is Notting Hill Carnival. Our aim is to have fun playing pan and sharing the joy of the beautiful steelpan instrument. Led by a film actor, a visual artist, a virtuoso musical arranger and all our players and volunteers, we offer participants of all ages and abilities the transformative experience of having music, performance and teamwork in our lives all through the year. Even starting as complete beginners, UFO participants are soon performing confidently and enjoying every minute of the music, the teamwork and the fun.
UFO has fast become known as an innovative steelband. We deliver amazing workshops in the workplace and in education. Our musical arrangements are exciting yet suit all abilities, our staging vibrant and compelling, and we are the only steelband we know of that teaches the instrument to visually impaired and hearing impaired players, mentored by one of our virtuoso players and founding members who is blind.
UFO is part of the charity ‘Fox Carnival‘. Fox ran 20 years of award winning carnival-arts projects that engaged thousands of young people and put their artworks centre stage at UK’s main street Festival like Notting Hill Carnival and The Mayor’s Thames Festival, and resulted in artworks by young people being displayed at The V&A and Tate Modern. Since moving into steelpan we have continued to create new innovations in staging, banner design and the relationship between music and art – View our Gallery here.
UFO is always a favourite with audiences at Notting Hill Carnival and The London New Year’s Day Parade. We’ve represented UK in the UAE Cultural Festival in Dubai, toured several times in Tunisia, and – thanks to occasional project support from the Arts Council of England and RBKC Arts – have created nearly 10 years of exciting workshop and performing projects, playing The Royal Festival Hall to 10 Downing Street, to street gigs for local audiences outside our panyard.
One of UFOs latest project “Community at Carnival” was supported by the Arts Council of England and created specifically for children in schools local to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It gave 300 children from bereaved and traumatised primary school classes the chance to be involved in a high-level drawing project, and to have their artwork wrap a 45ft articulated lorry. The project graced the streets of four UK festivals, and continues to be one of the highlights of Notting Hill Carnival – we will not change the truck’s illustrative canvas wrapping until there is Justice for Grenfell. Go to our blogs section to read about more recent projects.
The UFO team are always creating new ways to share the accessible joy of steelpan with new audiences, and to introduce music making to people who never thought they could learn a new instrument. It works, and it makes people smile and that could be you… join us!