Unless you’ve had your eyes and ears shut, you have probably noticed how busy the ladies of Nérija have been these past weeks, with appearances at a number of summer festivals, including Latitude and Brainchild and the Manchester Jazz Festival. Nérija is the all-female band that evolved out of the Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Collective a couple of years ago. Since then, these talented young women have acted as a beacon, blazing a trail for others like them to follow.
We were thrilled to present Nérija at this year’s Love Supreme Festival as part of the Verdict Jazz Club (‘A Club Supreme’!) bandstand programme on 4 July where they gave a very fine account of themselves. Due to circumstances beyond their control, they needed to replace regular drummer, Lizy Exell with the excellent Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Orchestra drummer, Patrick Boyle so, technically, it wasn’t all-female on this occasion, but what the heck! Collectively, the band played brilliantly and made a lot of new friends as a result.
We asked Nérija’s tenor saxophonist, Nubya Garcia to give us her thoughts on taking part in the Festival:
So what can we say! Firstly, what an incredible opportunity it was to be invited to play at Love Supreme Festival 2015. It was absolutely brilliant to be able to wander around the festival and see so many inspiring sets, including The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman, Partisans and Ambrose Akinmusire. Our set was scheduled just before Chaka Khan (no pressure!) and it was amazing to look out in the audience and see so many friendly faces including Justin Brown, Ambrose Akinmusire and his band who came to check out our set. Ambrose remembered us from the exclusive masterclass he delivered for Tomorrow’s Warriors last year! We finished our last song right in the middle of a beautiful sunset, and urged everyone to run over to see Chaka Khan before we packed up and ran over ourselves! The next day we took full advantage of the backstage area, meeting with Marcus Gilmore, Taylor McFerrin, Haitus Kaiyote, Hugh Masekela and Terence Blanchard to name a few! It was a great weekend filled with incredible music, and hopefully there will be many more ahead of us. Big thanks to Tomorrow’s Warriors and Verdict Jazz Club for this amazing opportunity!