TRINITY LABAN and Tomorrow’s Warriors have joined forces to redress the balance in representation at grassroots level in the UK jazz scene by reaching out to young musicians from diverse backgrounds and introducing them to playing jazz.
There has never been a more exciting time to play jazz in this country, yet it is still an artform that curious young people still don’t know how to get into
Gary Crosby OBE
The Jazz Hang has been designed to nurture the next generation of musicians and continue to bring about positive change in representation in the wider music industry.
Leading music educators Trinity Laban and Tomorrow’s Warriors enjoy a longstanding and deeply entwined connection which has proven crucial in supporting and developing some of the most exciting UK artists currently tearing up the international jazz scene.
One of Europe’s leading conservatoires for jazz, Trinity Laban has been the higher education study destination for many of the young musicians developed by Tomorrow’s Warriors’ extraordinarily successful Learning and Artist Development programmes that focus on young, black and female talent.
These artists – including MOBO winner Moses Boyd, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Joe Armon-Jones and Nubya Garcia – are disrupting the genre’s elitist stereotype and revitalising the scene.
The new, collaborative Jazz Hang is the latest evolution in this successful partnership, enabling both organisations to deliver their joint ambitions of building genuine progression routes for young people from underrepresented groups that inspire continued engagement with music-making.
The project is supported by generous funding from Sir William Boreman’s Foundation.
With a particular focus on Black and young female musicians aged 11-16, the partnership project centres around a weekly Sunday residency programme of informal and practical jazz learning hosted at Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music.
The weekly sessions will be delivered by Tomorrow’s Warriors’ music leaders. In addition, termly masterclasses also involving Trinity Laban Jazz tutors will be open to the wider community.
The project will also provide professional development opportunities for Tomorrow’s Warriors and Trinity Laban jazz students, who will operate as workshop assistants.
Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and Artistic Director, Gary Crosby OBE comments: “As a Trinity Laban Honorary Fellow, it’s been wonderful to see the incredible talent that has come through both our education programmes over the past 15 years.
“There has never been a more exciting time to play jazz in this country, yet it is still an artform that curious young people still don’t know how to get into.
“Through the informal learning we aim to provide at the Jazz Hang, we hope to attract the next generation of Nubyas and Moseses, growing the rich diversity of the scene, and crucially, increasing representation.”
Tomorrow’s Warriors co-founder and CEO, Janine Irons MBE said: “At Tomorrow’s Warriors, we believe that access to the arts and music education should be available to all, regardless of background.
“Our pioneering Young Artist Development Programme primarily supports the early careers of young artists with a focus on the black community, female musicians and those facing socio-economic barriers and, over the past 29 years, has reached over 10,000 young people.
“So it’s fantastic to continue our long relationship with Trinity Laban for this new partnership to engage the hard to reach young, diverse talent and really move the needle for change.”
Hans Koller, Head of Jazz at Trinity Laban, added: “This work is an exciting evolution in Trinity Laban’s 15-year relationship with Tomorrow’s Warriors, building on our shared reputation as innovators.
“Jazz has always been a music of defiance, of critical thinking, of overcoming barriers.
“That’s very important to us here at Trinity Laban and it’s an ethos we share with Tomorrow’s Warriors. It is important for us to build on tradition but be relevant and contemporary.
“Together we continue to lay the foundations for a dynamic and diverse UK jazz scene and build a rich community of artists.”
Andrew Mellows, Sir William Boreman’s Foundation, Director of Philanthropy, said: “Sir William Boreman’s Foundation is delighted to support the partnership between Trinity Laban and Tomorrow’s Warriors, which will provide exciting and practical jazz learning opportunities for children and young people from Greenwich and Lewisham, particularly those from under-represented groups, to encourage them at an early stage of their musical education.”
Ahead of the residency launching in January 2021, interested young musicians from across South East London are invited to take part in taster sessions this December.
The Jazz Hang taster sessions have been created to develop skills in young people who are excited by jazz and want to learn how to play, it will feature taster sessions delivered by Tomorrow’s Warriors’ own Music Leaders, who teach the acclaimed Learning Programme at the Southbank Centre.
The informal half-day workshops provide a taste of what jazz learning is like, and the opportunity to experience some great live jazz and meet other young musicians.
Learn more at www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/jazz-hang