London, 1st March 2023 Tomorrow’s Warriors announced today that Nu Civilisation Orchestra will lead Aladdin Sane Live – an ambitious concert reimagining Bowie’s masterpiece ‘Aladdin Sane’ on the album’s 50th anniversary year, as part of Southbank Centre’s Aladdin Sane: 50 Years.
Coinciding with the release of the album fifty years ago, music artists will pay tribute to Aladdin Sane in the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 21 April. Hosted by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO), Mercury Prize nominee Anna Calvi, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, R&B singer Tawiah, Roxanne Tataei, who has collaborated with the likes of Nitin Sawhney and Shabaka Hutchings, and masked pop maverick Lynks will all perform Bowie’s album in full, which includes hits such as ‘The Jean Genie’, ‘Drive in Saturday’ and ‘Lady Grinning Soul’.
Award-winning pianist, composer and musical director Peter Edwards will once again arrange and lead the diverse, innovative and shapeshifting orchestra, following Nu Civilisation Orchestra’s recent triumphant tours celebrating 50 years of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’, Joni Mitchell’s Hejira and Mingus, and a special performance of Duke Ellington’s The Queen’s Suite, performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall, as part of Southbank Centre’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year.
Aladdin Sane: 50 Years will be a raft of events at Southbank Centre marking the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s iconic 1973 album, Aladdin Sane. Featuring a two-month long exhibition (6 April – 28 May) exploring the creation of the album’s iconic artwork, including the legendary lightning flash portrait by photographer Brian Duffy, as well as a stellar line-up of live music and talks inspired by the album.
Gary Crosby OBE, Founder and Artistic Director of Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors, said “We are honoured and thrilled to have Nu Civilisation Orchestra lead Aladdin Sane Live, for what is shaping up to be an exhilarating show, honouring Bowie’s rock n’ roll masterpiece. Nu Civilisation Orchestra is Tomorrow’s Warriors’ professional ensemble consisting of generations of diverse, Warrior musicians that have come through our free talent development programme. We are incredibly proud of NCO, going from strength to strength, playing on international stages and performing an exciting array of innovative repertoire.”
Peter Edwards, Nu Civilisation Orchestra MD added “I am incredibly excited to lead Nu Civilisation Orchestra in a performance of David Bowie’s most eclectic albums with a truly amazing roster of guest artists. It’s got it all, glam rock, doo wop, jazz…Aladdin Sane is a true masterpiece.”
The brainchild of Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and Artistic Director, Gary Crosby OBE, Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) is ever shifting in size and scale, from a quintet to a 24-piece orchestra, and everything in between. With a vision of bringing genre fluid, socially aware artistic expression to classic repertoire across jazz and popular music, NCO is committed to increasing diverse representation in the orchestra setting, while showcasing exciting, cutting edge and eclectic new arrangements and compositions from some of the most exciting young musicians in the UK today. Peter Edwards is the Musical Director and leader of NCO, which comprises several members, including Edwards himself, who have come through the award-winning Tomorrow’s Warriors Talent Development Programme, which has a focus on supporting musicians from the black community and girls into successful, professional careers in music.
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 Gary Crosby OBE and Janine Irons MBE, TW helps aspiring young artists from diverse backgrounds discover their magic and achieve creative ambitions. TW nurtures nascent talent and builds engaged, culturally diverse audiences. 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. 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, 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. In 2021, Tomorrow’s Warriors received the Jazz FM Impact Award and Music Producers Guild Inspiration Award, and Gary Crosby was honoured by the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) with an honorary doctorate entitled ‘Doctor of Music honoris causa’. Tomorrow’s Warriors is a not for profit company and a Registered Charity No 1153613. Give today to Tomorrow’s Warriors https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/13423
About Peter Edwards: Peter Edwards is the award-winning Musical Director for the acclaimed Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) – an orchestra established by Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and Artistic Director Gary Crosby OBE in 2008, originally to enable Peter to realise the recreation of Duke Ellington’s masterpiece, The Queen’s Suite. In 2008, Peter was a semi-finalist in the Nottingham Piano Competition and recipient of The Trinity College of Music Scholarship Award. He graduated with a Masters in Jazz from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London in 2009. Whilst at university studying, Gary Crosby offered him the opportunity to put together a large ensemble made up of Warriors and other like-minded musicians to play Duke Ellington’s music, the beginning of his Warriors journey. Peter has performed with Rhythmica, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Zara McFarlane, Nicola Emmanuelle, Gary Crosby OBE, Denys Baptiste and leads his own band, The Peter Edwards Trio. He has also played in several broadcasts for the BBC including Radio’s 3 In Tune and Radio 4’s Afternoon Play series. With Peter as Musical Director, the reputation and scale of NCO’s performances has seen him share the stage with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Duke Ellington’s A Tone Parallel to Harlem, lead an interpretation of Charles Mingus’ the Black Saint and The Sinner Lady with Clod Ensemble, Parallel a tribute to the legendary free-form Jamaican jazz genius, Joe Harriott and a BBC Proms debut in 2019 performing Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. In 2021, Peter orchestrated and arranged for NCO in an acclaimed celebration of Marvin Gaye’s seminal masterpiece, What’s Going On, five decades after its release with a six-date tour of the UK. In October 2022, Peter was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with Mercury Studios, as one of two recipients selected for the Jonas Gwangwa Music Composition Initiative, a one-year career development program for Black British musicians interested in composing music for film.