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In March, we had an absolutely fantastic weekend in Norway when we marked International Women’s Day 2014. We presented Tomorrow’s Warriors trumpet alumna, Laura Jurd, the young women of our flagship ensemble, Nérija and new kid on the block…Junior Warriors vocalist, Cara Crosby as part of the Jente Jazz concert in Voss – a picturesque town about 100km from Bergen.

Hosted at the Osasalen in Voss by our partners, Voss Jazzskule, the concert brought together some of the most exciting new and emerging female artists in a finely tuned showcase of extraordinary young talent. The following day, Nérija performed a short set at the Tre Brør Café in Voss to a hugely appreciative audience before heading back to Blighty.

Nérija featured Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Rosie Turton (trombone), Cassie Kinoshi (alto sax), Nubya Garcia (tenor sax), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Inga Eichler (double bass) and Lizy Exell (drums).

It was wonderful to meet up again with tenor saxophonist Elisabeth Lid Trøen, bassist/vocalist Signe Førre, and Linda Lavik (piano/vocal), and to make the acquaintance of more young Norwegian musicians including pianists Nora Steganes and Ingrid SteinkopfOda Steinkopf (bass), Marta Lindvik (hardanger fiddle). A seriously gifted bunch of musicians if ever we saw one!

Sheila Maurice-Grey comments on Nérija’s international debut:

As soon as we arrived at Osasalen we went straight into rehearsals with the Norwegian girls, including the wonderful saxophonist, Elizabeth Lid Trøen. Instantly there was a great energy and genuine excitement for the upcoming gig later that evening.

We were presented with some truly outstanding original compositions from the Nordic Warriors, with each piece displaying immense sophistication. As well as the collaborative pieces, Nérija got to perform two original compositions by Inga Eichler and Cassie Kinoshi, alongside Curtis Fuller’s ‘Arabia’. To top off the Saturday evening, we had a lovely surprise from emerging vocalist, Cara Crosby who sang ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ with maturity and sophistication way beyond her 13 years (her first ever performance with a band!).

The whole experience was truly inspirational from the wonderful musicians and their amazing music to the breathtaking scenery, fresh air and world famous ‘Voss’ water straight out of the taps.

It was a massive honour and great fun to represent Tomorrow’s Warriors on International Women’s Day and we look forward to doing it again next year!

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