Urban Soul Orchestra

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The Independent describes Urban Soul Orchestra as a "contemporary string ensemble with a repertoire of funky arrangements".[1] Their discography includes artists ranging from classical music, jazz, funk, soul, and contemporary music.


In 2000, The Times described the 'Urban Soul Orchestra' as a "collective of session musicians which numbers anything from four to 40 players, and is run by violinist and arranger Stephen Hussey."[2]

Stephen Hussey was born in London in 1967 and is of "mixed Zimbabwean and English heritage".[2] He studied the violin and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[2][3]

Hussey began his professional career with the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), arranging and co-arranging the strings for artists such as Soul II Soul, Gabrielle and Maxi Priest. Hussey went on to become a string arranger in his own right, forming Urban Soul Orchestra, and collaborating with an extensive range of international artists and composers.

The Urban Soul Orchestra has performed or recorded with: Leona Lewis, Groove Armada, Jay-Z, Keane, Il Divo, Oasis,[2]The Script, Grace Jones, Mika, Maxi Priest, and Nitin Sawhney.[3][4] Urban Soul Orchestra has orchestrated many tracks that have been used as TV and film underscore including Nightmares on Wax ‘Les Nuits’, Octave One ‘Blackwater’ (BBC idents) and Black Connection ‘Give Me Rhythm’ (Titles for C4’s ‘Clubbervision’)[4][5] In 2011 Urban Soul Orchestra's Stephen Hussey conducted the score for BBC1's Human Planet series, composed by Nitin Sawhney.

In 2009, Urban Soul Orchestra performed at the Cannes Film Festival, which Oscar winner Penélope Cruz hosted.[1] Also in 2009 they performed at the Basel Art Fair and WOMAD. They also debuted their USO Big Band set, featuring live band, orchestra and vocalists, at the Oval Hall of the National Museum of Catalan Art in Barcelona.

In 2010-2015 performances included the Monaco Grand Prix, Venice Biennale, Wimbledon Ball (for six consecutive years), Queen's Club Ball, Pride of Britain Awards (2011 - 2013), the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, BBC Children In Need, The Jonathan Ross Show and Top Of The Pops New Year Day special supporting Jess Glynne and Radio 1's Live Lounge with Ella Eyre. At the latter event they debuted their "Best of British" set which went on to be performed extensively, including at major sponsor events around the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of London 2012.

USO were part of the 50th year of Jamaican Independence celebrations in 2012, performing with the Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Brinsley Forde as part of the Catch A Fire project - a tribute to Bob Marley's iconic album, Catch A Fire. The tour visited cities including Nottingham, Southampton, Birmingham, London (QE II Hall, Southbank Centre) Leeds, Leicester and Edinburgh. A special reunion performance was staged at the Royal Festival Hall on July 13, 2013. The sold out show was nominated for a 2013 MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act.

In 2012-13 USO were featured in many publications including Tatler the Sunday Times and OK! Magazine. In 2014 USO played on Annie Lennox's Album Nostalgia and performed with her on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and The Jo Whiley Show.

In 2016 Urban Soul Orchestra were announced as the "World's Most Prestigious Event Supplier" in the Prestigious Star Awards. [6]


See Urban Soul Orchestra discography


  1. ^ a b "Party Of The Week: You Cannes be my best friend now". (May 22, 2009). The Independent
  2. ^ a b c d "String-driven things". (June 16, 2000). The Times
  3. ^ a b "Stephen Hussey". Musicians Answering Service. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Urban Soul Orchestra". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  5. ^ http://www.musikaze.com/es/musica/management/artista.php?cod=913&cat=155&site=OKAPIPRODUCCIONES&&band=1493
  6. ^ http://prestigiousstarawards.com/nomination-results/#event-supplier

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