Tomorrow’s Warriors announced today that its illustrious multi award-winning alumna and tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia will perform alongside the shapeshifting Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) for an exploration of Stan Getz’s Focus. An exciting concert marking over 60 years of the seminal jazz masterpiece from a true great, Focus will take place at Royal Festival Hall, the Southbank Centre on 15th September, with tickets on sale for Members 26th April at 10am, and General Sale on 27th April at 10am.
This performance is part of Nicholas Daley presents Woven Rhythms at the Southbank Centre, with the innovative British fashion designer curating and interlinking the cultures of jazz, reggae and electronic music.
The show will be a rare opportunity to see Garcia on stage with NCO, which debuts its 32-piece string orchestra for this special performance of Focus. Getz was already a heavyweight on the jazz scene with a 25-year career to his name when he approached acclaimed arranger and composer Eddie Sauter for what would become a ground-breaking collaboration. Sauter recognised Getz’s gift of improv and composed a suite of music for a string orchestra and rhythm section that left space for Getz to fill. The recording captured orchestration that had a rhythmic drive and harmonic sophistication unmatched at the time, with Getz delivering a stream of melodic invention that’s adventurous, yet grounded in the golden era of jazz.
Focus forms part of NCO’s Third Stream repertoire situated at the confluence of jazz and classical music that has potential to appeal to audiences of both genres. In the first half of the concert, NCO will present the world premiere of two new works for string orchestra, commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors from Black British composers, Oleta Haffner and NCO’s Peter Edwards. The commissions are funded as part of Tomorrow’s Warriors role as PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner.
Explaining why this concert means so much to her and why she is well suited to Third Stream repertoire Nubya Garcia said:
“Tomorrow’s Warriors has been an important part of my music education and professional journey for such a long time, and to now have the opportunity to present the ‘Focus’ show together, performing with Nu Civilisation Orchestra at the prestigious Southbank Centre is not only an honour and a joy, but also brings our journey to a full circle moment. I grew up in orchestras playing violin, viola and classical music. Long before I picked up a saxophone, I was a classical music student. I’ve always been fascinated by string arrangements and have listened to many, many albums with the intention to write for strings one day, so having the opportunity to improvise over Peter’s arrangement of ‘Focus’ represents a step in the right direction. I’m so excited and looking forward to performing with the NCO!”
Gary Crosby OBE, Founder and Artistic Director of Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors, said:
“This is going to be a magical evening with our new generation trailblazer Nubya Garcia performing a headline show with NCO, with Peter Edwards at the helm. Getz and Sauter’s Focus is truly elegant ‘Third Stream’ music, which many consider to be the greatest achievement in jazz orchestration, producing the near-perfect balance between jazz and classical music. Nubya’s part will be wholly improvised to capture the spontaneity and musical essence that Sauter’s compositions sought to bring from Getz. I’m also curious and excited to see the route Oleta, a classical music creator, and Peter, a jazz composer, will take with their new pieces as they navigate the Third Stream.”
Nubya Garcia is a multi award-winning saxophonist who has headlined mainstages both in the UK and internationally, including a 2021 Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury 2022. Her debut album, Source was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize.
Award-winning pianist, composer and musical director Peter Edwards returns to arrange and lead the diverse, innovative and shapeshifting orchestra for Focus. This follows NCO’s recent performance of Aladdin Sane Live at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 April 2023, and expands its catalogue of concerts reimagining iconic repertoire, including Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Joni Mitchell’s Hejira and Mingus and Duke Ellington’s The Queen’s Suite, performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall, as part of Southbank Centre’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year.