The Alf Williams Memorial Award
Alf’s commitment to jazz music and to inspiring generations of young musicians makes him a true Warrior, and we are so honoured to create this award to celebrate and continue his legacy.
He had a lifelong love of jazz and successful professional gigging career in London and South Wales, forming his own groups Jafro and DnA, and playing tenor sax with the Welsh Jazz orchestra and piano with Newport City Big Band. He bought his first alto sax from earnings from a paper round and taught himself to read music and play, as he could not afford lessons. He joined the band of the Welsh Guards Regiment, then went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Alf started teaching woodwind and became one of the first black peripatetic teachers in South Wales, working in primary and secondary schools in Newport for almost thirty years. During his teaching career, Alf also ran a number of successful youth bands and big bands for Gwent county council.
The Alf Williams Memorial Award has been established by Alf’s family to champion future aspiring young jazz artists on Tomorrow’s Warriors Emerging Artist Programme.
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, Alf Williams’ daughter