Our one-year programme dedicated to heritage reggae label Trojan Records launches during Black History Month

We’re excited to announce the launch of The Reggae Ticket, an innovative, grass roots music and culture outreach programme produced by Tomorrow’s Warriors. Supported by Arts Council EnglandThe Reggae Ticket will take to the road across seven UK cities alongside Gary Crosby’s popular heritage reggae tour, The Trojan Story performed by his 22-piece Jazz Jamaica All Stars.

Launched during October’s Black History Month, The Reggae Ticket builds on The Trojan Story to give young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to engage with the music, culture and heritage of the iconic Trojan Records label, as well as wtih musical talent including established artists and musicians from the local community.

We’ve leveraged the specialist skills and resources within our national network of creative partners to create a uniquely innovative, high quality music programme to engage the next generation. The first date will be at Birmingham Town Hall on Friday 25th October 2019, followed by stops in Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Gateshead and Edinburgh, culminating in a grand finale at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 17th October 2020.

The Reggae Ticket is set to be our most ambitious project yet and aims to reach even more young people than last year’s The Jazz Ticket, when we worked with 700+ young musicians across 54 schools in eight cities.

The Reggae Ticket has been designed to engage people of secondary school age upwards through a bespoke learning and participation programme in each city. It includes a series of inspirational sessions, workshops, mentoring sessions, musical development and performance opportunities for local community choirs and orchestras supported by members of Jazz Jamaica and the Tomorrow’s Warriors Music Leader Faculty. Through The Reggae Ticket Discovery Project we are training young people in ‘oral history’ techniques, enabling them to create content that will feature in The Trojan Story Exhibition curated by our good friend, Mykaell Riley (Black Music Research Unit, University of Westminster) and with support from BMG who now control the Trojan catalogue and brand. The exhibition will include archive materials and artefacts from the recorded history of black culture in the UK and the ‘oral history’ interviews with musicians and fans will be donated to the national archives.

Gary Crosby OBE said “It’s great to take The Reggae Ticket across the UK and heighten awareness of the Trojan catalogue among the next generation and new audiences as both a musical form and a cultural phenomenon. We’ve tried to focus our efforts in communities at a cultural and socio-economic disadvantage and thank Arts Council England for their crucial support. I’m looking forward to sharing and celebrating the rich heritage of reggae in British culture, and providing a platform on which to hand down an oral history from elders to the younger generation, which is of vital importance if black culture is to survive and leave a legacy. Through our decades of work in the community, Tomorrow’s Warriors has built an incredible network of creative partners across the UK and it will be our honour to collaborate to create something really unique across each of the seven cities. We hope that, through The Reggae Ticket, we will continue to inspire and enrich the next generation and local communities alike.”

Claire Mera-Nelson, Director, Music and London, Arts Council England, added: “Arts Council England is delighted to support Tomorrow’s Warriors’ The Reggae Ticket project, and the opportunity it provides to celebrate and build public knowledge of Trojan Records’ huge contribution to the UK music industry, especially amongst younger audiences. Just as Trojan’s contribution was to encourage unity and inclusivity through music, we’re proud that through this project, Gary Crosby, this year’s recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music, and the wider Tomorrow’s Warriors team will continue to provide inspirational opportunities for diverse musical talent across the country during their exciting seven-city tour.”

Birmingham audiences will see Jazz Jamaica All Stars joined by the newly-formed THSH Reggae Choir and intergenerational Notebenders Big Band. Expect a spectacular live concert celebrating the music and artists of the legendary Trojan label with special guests Brinsley Forde (Aswad), Noel McKoy and rising vocal stars, Dem Three plus superb music arrangements by Ben Burrell (Small Island, A Taste of Honey) and Jason Yarde to get you up on your feet dancing! Hope to see you on one of our tour dates over the coming year!

The Trojan Story dates:

October 25th 2019 – Birmingham THSH

January 17th 2020 – Bristol St Georges

March 28th 2020 – Liverpool Philharmonic

June 27th 2020 – Sage Gateshead

October 17th 2020 – London Royal Festival Hall

Manchester date tbc – RNCM

Edinburgh date and venue tbc

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