Tomorrow’s Warriors

Tomorrow’s Warriors launches 30th anniversary with major return to live music

Ambitious live events programme features emerging & professional Warrior musicians

London, 29th April 2021

  • Cheltenham Jazz Festival – 1st and 2nd May with Xvngo and Maddy Coombs, more info here
  • Tomorrow’s Warriors Presents: Live At the Albany – Three fortnightly digital showcases from 9th May & monthly physical gigs from 20th June, more info here & viewing links here
  • Nu Civilisation Orchestra presents Parallel – A Tribute to Joe Harriott – London Unwrapped at Kings Place, 4th July, ticket link
  • Jazz Jamaica Allstars – The Trojan Story – Summer Reunion at Royal Festival Hall, 18th July, ticket link


Pioneering and respected talent development organisation, creative producer, music educator and charity Tomorrow’s Warriors announced today that it will launch its 30th anniversary celebrations on International Jazz Day on 30th April. The organisation will make a triumphant return to live music from May onwards, featuring an ambitious programme of live events in partnership with a range of prestigious organisations.

Starting with Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the Albany, Kings Place and Royal Festival Hall, the shows will feature a stunning line-up of emerging and professional Warrior artists, from Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, to Maddy Coombs, Xvngo, Romarna Campbell and Loucin, with more dates for concerts, gigs and tours being added, all supported by Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund and PRS Foundation.

Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and Artistic Director Gary Crosby OBE said “What a journey it’s been the past 30 years. What was a leap of faith, has become a force for good and I couldn’t be more proud of our Warriors past and present. The past year has been a huge challenge for Tomorrow’s Warriors, we survived and now we are ready to thrive again, as we return to doing what we do best, live music! I’m really looking forward to playing with Jazz Jamaica All Stars and our tribute to Joe Harriot will be something truly special, also our new Albany series is going to showcase the best of our next generation coming through. Watch this space for an announcement soon of a musical celebration of 50 years of Marvin Gaye’s classic album What’s Going On, and new #IAMWARRIOR commissions. Our 30th anniversary year has so much more in store.”

Tomorrow’s Warriors, co-founder and CEO Janine Irons MBE added “It’s a great day not only to announce some of our 30th anniversary activities, but also the resumption of our highly anticipated live events programme. It has been wonderful seeing multiple generations of Warriors musicians grow and develop over the years. The artistic journey that our Learning Programme provides supports our musicians into sustainable careers, acting as a beacon for successive generations. The journey simply didn’t exist 30 years ago and we are so grateful to our friends, funders and supporters, without whom none of this would be possible. With extra special thanks to Arts Council’s Cultural Recovery Fund, PRS Foundation and our partners at Southbank Centre, the Albany and Kings Place. We will soon also announce the Tomorrow’s Warriors podcast, storytelling and contextualising our legacy into the future, and much more.”

Cheltenham Jazz Festival:

Tomorrow’s Warriors presents two digital showcases as part of Cheltenham Jazz Festival, featuring the brightest new talent and future stars of the UK jazz scene.

Saturday 1st May 4.30pm-5.00pm, Xvngo – With a growing reputation as a composer and bandleader, Xvngo is the ‘jazz drill’ project of pioneering saxophonist Deji Ijishakin.

Sunday 2nd May 4.30pm–5.00pm, Maddy Coombs. Already making an impact as a lyrical tenor sax player

Tomorrow’s Warriors Presents: Live at the Albany:

After a successful digital showcase in March featuring Xvngo and Maddy Coombs, Tomorrow’s Warriors returns to Deptford from May to present a series of three fortnightly streamed performances, followed by monthly physical gigs from June 20th, featuring the next generation of hotly tipped artists, in partnership with the Albany. The digital showcases will be completely £Free and available to view on Vimeo and Facebook here.

Sunday 9th May 7:30pm-8.00pm, Romarna Campbell – Drummer, composer and producer from Birmingham with hip hop and jazz influences. Romarna studied at Berklee College of Music and performed internationally with Courtney Pine, Billy Childs, Soweto Kinch, as well as leading her own projects. With a recent release of a 25th Birthday project, she is in the studio working on her debut EP. Tune in on to see Romarna leading her trio, with a short chat to explain her process.

Sunday 23rd May  7.30pm-8.00pm, Loucin – London-based vocalist and songwriter with influences rooted in jazz, neo-soul and RnB.  She is lead vocalist for Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Frontline, backing vocalist for Poppy Adjuda and part of The ‘Living’ Choir for Cherise’s EP. Loucin has performed at festivals and venues across the world. Her original project has seen Loucin reflect on issues like marginalisation, identity and oppression, with a debut EP due later this year. Tune in to see Loucin and her band, plus an interview about her influences.

Sunday 6th June– Digital showcase to be announced

20th June – Monthly series of physical gigs, lineup to be announced

Gavin Barlow, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Albany said “We’re thrilled to be working with Tomorrow’s Warriors to celebrate and present local musical talent. After a long hiatus from live music at the Albany due to the pandemic, we’re looking forward to throwing open our virtual doors and recreating the atmosphere of a live gig online, and eventually in person, with these exciting artists.”

Nu Civilisation Orchestra – Parallel – A Tribute to Joe Harriott

As part of London Unwrapped at King’s Place, Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) presents a sonic and visual tribute to Joe Harriott on 4th July, the legendary free-form Jamaican jazz genius who settled in London in 1952 and went on to explore the sounds of the city and the musicians he met there to create his own characteristic style of jazz.

For this specially commissioned performance supported by Arts Council England, an 11-piece Nu Civilisation Orchestra will focus on the music of Harriott’s Abstract era and his distinctive and demanding method of group improvisation, which emphasized a dialogue between musicians rather than individual solos, challenging instrumentalists to re-orientate their playing and create an ever-shifting soundscape.

Nu Civilisation Orchestra will feature musical director, Peter Edwards on piano and Nathaniel Facey on alto saxophone. Visual effects will be provided by video artist Caterina Rodrigues, working in parallel with the musicians to add an immersive, multi-dimensional improvised tribute to Harriott’s music.

There will also be a ‘Nu Civilisation Talks’ pre-show featuring Tomorrow’s Warrior co-founder and Artistic Director Gary Crosby OBE, who will be joined by Harriott specialist Daniel Garel and Alto Saxophonist, Nathaniel Facey.

Peter Edwards, leader of Nu Civilisation Orchestra said “It’s exciting to lead the NCO to present the music in tribute to the jazz genius Joe Harriot, as part of London Unwrapped at King’s Place, and we plan to play it fast and furious in keeping with Harriot’s style. Harriott compared his music to abstract painting was highly influenced by the artwork of Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. For this arrangement of Joe Harriott’s music, I have added more instrumental colours to complement his rich and varied compositional and improvisational textures. Whilst listening to his music I thought of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ in which each piece has a story or particular mood.”

Helen Wallace, Executive & Artistic Director, Kings Place, added London Unwrapped is a celebration of the seismic contribution immigrants have made to London’s music story. It was so important to us to include a project from Tomorrow’s Warriors, a ground-breaking, life-changing, history-making London institution which has done so much to nurture the next generation of jazz artists. Nu Civilisation Orchestra will focus on the unique creative practices of Joe Harriott, the legendary Jamaican jazz pioneer, who came to London and invented a whole new music, partly drawn from the diversity of musical voices he encountered in the city.”

Tomorrow’s Warriors presents: Jazz Jamaica Allstars – The Trojan Story

As a key part of Southbank Centre’s newly announced ‘Summer Reunion’ programme of live events, in a spectacular concert, Gary Crosby and guests Brinsley Forde (Aswad), Noel McKoy and rising vocal stars Dem Three celebrate legendary label Trojan Records.

The event features many of the best-loved anthems from the label, including Desmond Dekker’s hit ‘Israelites’, Tony Tribe’s classic ‘Red Red Wine’ and Harry J All Stars’ ‘Liquidator’, specially arranged by Ben Burrell. The line-up includes saxophonists Denys Baptiste and Camilla George, and instrumentalists drawn from the Tomorrow’s Warriors stable. They are joined by members of jazz string ensemble Tomorrow’s Warriors StringTing and stars-in-the-making Dem Three (Cherise Adams-Burnett, Kianja Harvey-Elliott and Cara Crosby-Irons).

Bengi Ünsal, Head of Contemporary Music, Southbank Centre, said “Since 1968, Trojan Records has been a huge cultural force here in London and for the UK, representing the great and the good of the Jamaican music scene. It’s no surprise that our residents Tomorrow’s Warriors, one of London’s most daring organisations, step out for their first major appearance in over a year with an unmissable celebration of this unstoppable label. We’re proud to be collaborating with them on this project and can’t wait to see them bring it to the Royal Festival Hall for our reopening this summer”. 



Notes to Editors:

About Tomorrow’s Warriors:  Tomorrow’s Warriors was founded in 1991 by Queen’s Medal for Music recipient Gary Crosby OBE and Janine Irons MBE. Tomorrow’s Warriors helps aspiring young artists, with a focus on black and female musicians and those from challenging socio economic backgrounds discover their magic and achieve creative ambitions. With a dedicated space to host its Learning Programme at Southbank Centre, Tomorrow’s Warriors is proud to be a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner. Through its development, outreach and recruitment, the organisation has directly impacted over 10,000 young people aged 11-25 outside of traditional formal education. Its pioneering Young Artist Development Programme primarily supports the early careers of young artists from BAME backgrounds, female musicians and those facing socio-economic barriers to pursuing a career in the music industry. Across nearly 30 years, Tomorrow’s Warriors has provided a crucial development platform for many of the artists now tearing up the international jazz scene – Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Cassie Kinoshi and Nérija, Femi Koleoso and Ezra Collective, Binker Golding, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons Of Kemet, Cherise, Eska, Denys Baptiste, Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and many more. 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 Trust is a Registered Charity No 1153613

About London Unwrapped at Kings Place: London Unwrapped: Sounds of a Migrant City. London has been a melting pot since its earliest days, a place of refuge, a glittering cultural nexus, the most cosmopolitan of British cities. This year-long series aims to delve into four hundred years of music in the capital, with its dazzling display and troubling undercurrents, its openness, opportunities and barriers. The series highlights a music story that has always been galvanised, disrupted, shaped and inspired by outsiders and immigrant communities, and showcases the diversity of creativity in the city today.

About the Southbank Centre’s Summer Reunion: From 19 May – 30 August, the Southbank Centre presents Summer Reunion, a four-month season of art, culture and entertainment providing opportunities for people to reconnect and reunite across the site following the venue’s year-long closure. On 30 April the popular weekly street food market returns, alongside riverside pop-ups; the Hayward Gallery welcomes visitors back on 19 May for two major exhibitions with socially-distancing in place in line with government guidance; the Royal Festival Hall reopens on 28 May alongside the National Poetry Library; and the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room reopen later this summer. 15 consecutive weekends of free programming on the Riverside Stage Terrace platform diverse, home-grown talent, while free public art and poetry from the likes of Samson Kambalu, Ilke Gers and Linton Kwesi Johnson bring the outside spaces to life, alongside the popular Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden. The reopening of the Southbank Centre and Summer Reunion programme is made possible thanks to the repayable loan from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Full details on the programme can be found


Tomorrow’s Warriors

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