We’ve launched our annual #IAmWarrrior appeal to raise £100,000, which will be matched with funds from a range of trusts and foundations, to keep our Young Artist Development Programme free and running for the next generation of UK Jazz musicians.
We rely on the generous help of donations to keep on making jazz accessible across cultural divides and barriers, keeping the scene rich, diverse and growing from the grass roots upwards, with a particular focus on Black musicians and young women.
Free access to our programme has proved crucial in nurturing the nascent talent and early careers of so many of the most exciting UK artists currently tearing up the international jazz scene. Our alumni include Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Cassie Kinoshi and Nérija, Femi Koleoso and Ezra Collective, Binker Golding, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons of Kemet, Eska, Denys Baptiste, Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane, Camilla George, Cherise, Nathaniel Facey and Empirical, Peter Edwards, Jason Yarde, Robert Mitchell, Byron Wallen…the list goes on.
Gary Crosby OBE, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Tomorrow’s Warriors said: “I know there are young people from a similar background to me who, if given the opportunities, can create great art. It is about equity and access for exceptional talent, regardless of background, the world needs to hear their music. Black lives have always mattered at Tomorrow’s Warriors and we celebrate and support black music culture and the rich cultural heritage of jazz.We are launching #IAMWARRIOR our annual appeal to continue making a difference to the lives of the next generation of under-represented young people coming through our programme, through COVID and beyond.”
Janine Irons MBE, Co-founder and CEO of Tomorrow’s Warriors added “The pandemic has presented a number of challenges that we absolutely must overcome. Throughout lockdown we have provided much needed continuity to our young people via virtual learning sessions, keeping them supported and in continual development of their skills. But the we lost 112 confirmed live gigs between March-September 2020 alone, wiping out 100% of a vital income stream needed to keep our engines running and to continue providing the unique and extensive support to young jazz musicians who are so under-represented in the scene. We want to continue providing the necessary support to young people, then hit the ground running and resume our hugely trusted and respected Learning and Events Programme when it is safe to do so, but we need your support to survive this crisis.”
Since inception in 1991 we’ve reached over 10,000 young people aged 11-25. Thanks to the hundreds of donations made to our #IAmWarrior appeal in 2018-2019, we were able to secure £100,000 match funding from Arts Council England. Your generous gifts helped us to keep our core programme running and free for a year, providing over 2,000 learning and performance opportunities to a dedicated cohort of more than 140 young musicians. Of this group, 61% were Black, Asian and other minority ethnic heritage and 42% were female. We also presented 129 concerts and other public performances showcasing our young musicians in professional venues around the country, providing invaluable performance experience, quality paid employment and a direct line to new audiences for our emerging artists.
All donations will allow us to keep the UK jazz scene dynamic and fresh and grow our remarkable community of artists and audiences, even in the face of massive challenges to the cultural economy.