Tomorrow’s Warriors

Tomorrow’s Warriors announces #IAMWARRIOR Appeal to raise £100k to keep award winning Talent Development Programme £Free

Join The Movement - Support The Next Jazz Generation

London, 1st November 2023 Pioneering talent development organisation and charity Tomorrow’s Warriors has launched its appeal #IAMWARRIOR, with the aim to ‘Support The Next Jazz Generation’ and raise £100k in much needed funds to help sustain its £Free to access Young Artist Development Programme and Emerging Artist Programme. The award-winning organisation has launched the appeal with an emotive fundraising film featuring founders Dr Gary Crosby OBE and Janine Irons OBE, alumni and current Warriors musicians here and invites supporters to donate at

Tomorrow’s Warriors relies on the generous support of funding and donations to continue to deliver its vital learning programmes that provide music education to the next generation of jazz musicians, with a focus on young women and those from diverse and low income backgrounds.

Free access to Tomorrow’s Warriors’ award-winning artistic programme has proved crucial in nurturing the nascent talent and early careers of so many artists currently tearing up the international jazz scene. Many of today’s jazz stars have themselves benefited from participation in TW’s Young & Emerging Artist Development Programmes and have gone on to launch successful careers as professional jazz musicians, artists such as  Femi Koleoso and the Mercury Prize winning Ezra Collective, also Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Cassie Kinoshi, Binker Golding, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons of Kemet, ESKA, Denys Baptiste, Soweto Kinch, Mark Crown, Sultan Stevenson, Camilla George, Blue Lab Beats, Dave Okumu, Ben Burrell, Zara McFarlane, Romarna Campbell, Mark Kavuma, CHERISE, Nathaniel Facey and Empirical, Peter Edwards, Maddy Coombs, Donovan Haffner, Jason Yarde, Robert Mitchell, Byron Wallen…the list goes on.

The past 10 years or so have been truly remarkable for UK jazz. The media have proclaimed a ‘jazz explosion’, with increasing numbers of young people turning to jazz in a big way. The astonishing win this year by Tomorrow’s Warriors alumni Ezra Collective saw them make history by becoming the first jazz act ever to win the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, becoming the tenth Warriors alums to be nominated for the much-sought-after Prize.

In recent years, the UK education sector has faced significant funding cuts, resulting in the reduction or elimination of music programmes in schools across the country. As a result, learning to play an instrument has become a privilege available primarily to those who can afford it. This growing disparity threatens to stifle the creativity and potential of countless talented young musicians who simply cannot afford to pursue their passion. Across cultural divides and barriers, Tomorrow’s Warriors needs to continue to make its programmes accessible and free of charge, not just to support young jazz musicians and increase access and  inclusion, but to support the talent pipeline from the very grassroots into professional careers in the music industry, thereby helping to sustain the jazz scene as a whole.

Gilles Peterson, DJ, label owner and broadcaster said “Tomorrow’s Warriors occupies a unique and vital space in our cultural landscape. Their work in helping positively shape future generations is of critical importance especially in light of the tribulations we currently face. Please keep supporting – each one teach one!” 

Cerys Matthews, artist and broadcaster, said “Each One Teach One’ has gone global! – Tomorrow’s Warriors alumni are now gracing main stages across continents – and inspiring the next generation of players. Tomorrow’s Warriors remain the musical  heart of the British jazz scene and supporting their #IAMWARRIOR Appeal will help directly in providing free music lessons and a community to all budding musicians who knock on their door.”

Janine Irons OBE, co-founder & CEO of Tomorrow’s Warriors said “In what is our 32nd year, we return with our #IAMWARRIOR appeal and invite all our supporters to help us keep doing what we do, making a difference to the next generation of talent and keeping the scene fresh, diverse and exciting. Tomorrow’s Warriors gives young musicians a place and a space to thrive and realise their creative ambitions. Indeed, it provided the conditions for the Mercury Prize winning Ezra Collective to emerge! But we can’t continue to deliver our programmes free of charge to exceptional young talent without your help. Music has the incredible power to transcend boundaries, unite communities, and inspire change. Yet, as we celebrate the beauty of music, we must also acknowledge a stark reality: the very real creative divide that keeps aspiring musicians from diverse backgrounds, and those facing economic hardship, from being able to access a career in music.  Music education is a right not a privilege and programmes like ours need consistent support. The UK Jazz ecosystem and talent pipeline relies on Tomorrow’s Warriors to keep feeding it from the grassroots upwards, so please support so we can stay true to our purpose.”

The launch follows last Friday night’s triumphant annual celebration I AM WARRIOR at Tomorrow’s Warriors’ spiritual home at London’s Jazz Café, which featured new jazz collaborations and performances of specially commissioned pieces composed by award-winning alumni, including acclaimed keys player and Ezra Collective member Joe Armon-Jones, bassist Daniel Casimir, saxophonists Maddy Coombs and Donovan Haffner and drummer Rod Youngs. Each of the Warriors alumni performed with the next generation of exciting young, jazz talent who make up the Soon Come Ensemble, with musical director Binker Golding at the helm. The commissions have been made possible thanks to generous funding from PPL.

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  • About Tomorrow’s Warriors: Tomorrow’s Warriors is a pioneering talent development agency, creative producer, learning and training provider, charity and consultancy specialising in jazz. Founded in 1991 by Queen’s Medal for Music recipient Dr Gary Crosby OBE and Janine Irons OBE. With a dedicated resident space at The Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall to host its Young Artist Development Programme aimed at talent aged 11-25 years old, comprising of learning and participation, artist development and professional performances. The Emerging Artist Programme delivers mentoring, performance opportunities, training, traineeships, talks, masterclasses, and bursaries to support artists into professional careers, many securing paid, often high-profile, opportunities across a broad spectrum of the industry.  Since inception, in 1991, Tomorrow’s Warriors has reached over 10,000 young people aged 11-25 through its unique Talent Development Programme, providing each musician with between 1,000-5,000 hours of free jazz training and development.   Tomorrow’s Warriors is proud to be a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner. Tomorrow’s Warriors is pivotal in elevating UK jazz, valued by its alumni and respected by funding partners for the impact delivered through its pipeline for outstanding, diverse talent. Tomorrow’s Warriors is a not-for-profit company and a Registered Charity No 1153613.
Tomorrow’s Warriors

Pioneering talent development organisation, creative producer, learning provider and charity specialising in jazz.