HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and Artistic Director, Gary Crosby OBE who has been announced as the recipient of The Queen’s Medal for Music 2018, making him the first-ever jazz musician to receive this prestigious award.
The award, established in 2005, is presented annually to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation.
Previously awarded to classical composers and musicians, this is also the first time the honour has been given to an individual of colour.
He accepted the award in person today at a special Audience with HM The Queen on Wednesday 10 July.
The award is in recognition not just of his prodigious musical talents as a double-bassist, band leader, music arranger, educator, and multi-award-winning personality, but for the inimitable impact he has had on the fabric of jazz creation in the UK and his generous devotion to supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and giving back to the community.
Chair of the award committee and Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir said: “Looking around the UK’s currently thriving jazz scene, the name of Gary Crosby is constantly cited as the person who has encouraged a whole generation to look again at jazz and become involved. Gary has achieved this over many hard-working years, as part of his own practice as a bass player and teacher. His career is an inspiration to musicians and educators in every area of music, and I am delighted to see him awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music in recognition of this.”
On receiving the award, Gary Crosby said: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive The Queen’s Medal for Music, and humbled to join such a distinguished group of Medal recipients. It’s wonderful to receive professional recognition, though I believe, more than anything, it recognises the transformative impact Tomorrow’s Warriors has had on the many young jazz musicians we’ve worked with over the years, and the contribution to making our industry and audiences more diverse and inclusive. It’s particularly special to receive this Medal in the year we celebrate the 10thanniversary of the Tomorrow’s Warriors residency at Southbank Centre, launched in 2009 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with our Nu Civilisation Orchestra performing ‘The Queen’s Suite’, written specially for Her Majesty by jazz music’s leading ‘royal’, the great Duke Ellington.”
Previous recipients of the award include:
- 2005 Sir Charles Mackerras
- 2006 Sir Bryn Terfel CBE
- 2007 Judith Weir CBE
- 2008 Kathryn Tickell OBE DL
- 2009 Sir Colin Davis CH CBE
- 2010 Dame Emma Kirkby DBE
- 2011 Nicholas Daniel
- 2012 National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
- 2013 Sir Thomas Allen CBE
- 2014 Simon Halsey CBE
- 2015 Oliver Knussen CBE
- 2016 Nicola Benedetti MBE
- 2017 Thea Musgrave CBE
Gary Crosby’s awards include an OBE for Services to Music, BBC Radio Jazz Award for Services to Jazz, a Parliamentary Jazz Award for Music Education, Special Parliamentary Jazz Award for Outstanding Contribution to Jazz and a BASCA Gold Badge Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry. He also has an honorary fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance and is a member of the Jamaica Jazz Hall of Fame for consistent contribution to Jamaican Music.
Long may Gary continue to provide outstanding leadership and mentorship for the hundreds of talented musicians within the Tomorrow’s Warriors family!
Please help Gary continue his amazing, transformative work with young people by donating to our #IAMWARRIOR Appeal to raise £100,000. We’re almost there, but need a little more help from our friends! THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT, and big congratulations once again to the inimitable Mr Crosby!