We are proud to announce a brand new annual award, given in memory of Alf Williams, a musician with a lifelong love of jazz. The Alf Williams Memorial Award has been donated by his family and will be an annual award that champions an aspiring young jazz artist on our Emerging Artists Programme.

We are thrilled to announce that the first recipient of the Alf Williams Memorial Award is Allexa Nava, a 19-year-old saxophonist and composer, originally from Peru, who has been part of Tomorrow’s Warriors since coming to London in 2018.  Allexa played piano before joining a school band and discovering the saxophone. She has also taken up the flute and clarinet and has dreams to become a band leader. With the award, Allexa will gain mentorship from award-winning musician Denys Baptiste, who is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading saxophonists and composers. Working with Denys will give Allexa an extraordinary experience of learning from the best and the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to become a professional touring artist.  She will also benefit from other training and career development opportunities as part of this award.

“I never thought I would receive anything like this. Thank you for the opportunity and thanks for helping me and allowing me to grow as a musician. I can’t wait to take on this enriching challenge.” 

Allexa Nava, Tomorrow’s Warriors Emerging Artist

As a family we wanted Alf’s musical legacy to go on.  He was passionate about jazz and also music education for all young people and not just those from wealthier homes. We learned about TW on social media and loved the vibe and ethos of the organisation. Alf moved to London as a young man, his dream was to make his living playing music, but unfortunately he ran out of money… which meant he had to return to his home in South Wales. I think it would have been easier for him if he’d had a support network like TW behind him.  As a family we see the work that TW are doing to mentor and nurture talented young jazz musicians and we wanted to help. We feel so proud to be watching this new generation of talent emerge – and that the Alf Williams Memorial Award, will help someone who needs support, to get a foot on the ladder. This is the impact that we hope the award will have. 

Dr Susan Davis, daughter of Alf Williams

“It is our great honour to be invited by Susan and her family to help them establish the Alf Williams Memorial Award. When she told us about Alf, it was immediately apparent that, had he been a teenager today, he would most certainly have been a Tomorrow’s Warrior. So we are very happy to provide a home for this wonderful memorial award, and thrilled that the first recipient should be a talented young saxophonist who actually plays the same set of instruments as Alf – saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano. So very fitting!”

Janine Irons MBE, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Tomorrow’s Warriors

If you are interested to explore ways to remember a loved one or to establish a special award, why not take a look at our dedicated webpage and then get in touch?

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