On Monday 13 May, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance hosted an evening of live music to celebrate Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder Gary Crosby OBE receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Trinity.

Trinity Laban and Tomorrow’s Warriors have had a close relationship for many years, and many musicians who began at Warriors went on to study at Trinity.

Gary’s Q&A with Martin Speake, photo credits Tas Kyprianou

In his Q&A with British saxophonist and teacher at Trinity Martin Speake, Gary commented about his relationship with Trinity:

“I knew Simon Purcell [former Head of Jazz] from his Guildhall days, I used to play with him quite a lot. When he came to Trinity Laban it switched something on. I would have loved to have studied here. Trinity Laban has always had an open policy. I love the ethos.

For the evening there was a specially curated programme of live music featuring an all-star line-up of joint alumni of Tomorrow’s Warriors and Trinity. Led by two-time MOBO Award winner Moses Boyd (drums) and Jazz FM award winner Peter Edwards (piano), they were joined by Jazz FM’s Vocalist of the Year Cherise Adams-Burnett, Kokoroko’s Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Axel Kaner-Lidstrom (trumpet), Camilla George (saxophone), Alam Nathoo (saxophone) and Rosie Turton (trombone). Young Warrior Menelik Claffey also stepped in last minute to cover Daniel Casimir on the double bass.

All-star line-up of joint alumni performing for Gary, photo credits Tas Kyprianou

They performed a number of jazz standards that Gary used to encourage them to learn for Warriors’ jams, including Thelonious Monk’s Blue Monk, John Coltrane’s Equinox and Duke Ellington’s Caravan.

A highlight of the evening was the improvised “bass battle”, a common feature of Tomorrow’s Warriors jams. Gary and five other young double bass players took turns soloing over a blues form, frantically swapping the bass between them as they exchanged fours and even twos at the end.

Gary said of the evening: “Tonight feels funky, informal and authentic.”

One thought on “Evening Celebrating Gary Crosby’s Honorary Fellowship at Trinity Laban

  1. Well done Gary and very much deserved. I only wish I had been then to witness it myself to to hear what I know would have been wonderful music.

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