Tomorrow’s Warriors were popping the corks again last night when founder and artistic director, Gary Crosby OBE was honoured with the Award for Jazz Education at the House Of Commons in the eighth PPL-sponsored Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The other nominees included Pete Churchill, Paula Gardiner and Abram Wilson.
Citing Gary’s nomination for the award, broadcaster and host Paul Gambaccini said:
“Gary has been making his mark as a jazz educator and bass player since 1991 when he formed the group ‘Tomorrow’s warriors’ as a platform for young musicians who want to pursue a career in jazz. The ethos is to encourage young people from all backgrounds but there is a positive move to encourage people of the African diaspora. Many women have come through the Warrior’s training bands and have now secured places at leading music colleges. Gary Crosby through his organisation and outstanding teaching has achieved in 20 years what many would think would take a lifetime in regards to ethnic minorities and gender imbalances.”
Crosby was unable to be at the Awards himself as he was attending his daughter’s school dance showcase in Camden and so Tomorrow’s Warriors Communications Director, Adam Sieff collected the award on his behalf. On receiving the news, Crosby responded:
“I believe it takes a community to develop a jazz musician and so, in this respect, I’m just one of many who contribute to the success of the young people I work with. Educating jazz musicians is our collective responsibility – individual music leaders, schools and colleges, youth orchestras and jam sessions, promoters and funders and, most importantly, audiences and other musicians.
“I’m very happy and deeply honoured to be given this award, but slightly embarrassed as I consider Pete Churchill to be one of the country’s finest educators. I hope this won’t stop him hiring me in the future as I always learn so much from him!”
This prestigious award comes just days after Crosby’s young protégés beat off all-comers to win the Yamaha Jazz Experience ‘Jazz Ensemble Improvisation’ competition at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
The next major event in the calendar is Saturday 14 July when Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Jazz Orchestra appears in the Essentially Ellington Big Band programme as part of the Jazz At Lincoln Center residency at Barbican Centre, London. And watch this space for news of the forthcoming tour of the Yamaha competition winners!