TimeOut says: DON’T MISS OUT on Jazz Jamaica All Stars’ LOVE MOTOWN!


To book tickets, click on the image to go straight to the Southbank Centre online booking page! Don’t Stop In The Name Of Love, just get your skates on and book now for this joyous musical extravaganza!TimeOut Love Motown Preview

Sat 12 July: BBC Radio 3 to broadcast Jazz Jamaica’s Glasgow Jazz Fest gig

Jazz Line-upIf you couldn’t make it to our show in Glasgow at the end of June, tune in to BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line-Up at 6.00pm on Saturday 12 July. We had a great time at the Glasgow Jazz Festival and it was great to catch up with our friends north of the border.

Don’t panic if you can’t tune in on the 12th, as the recording will remain on the BBC iPlayer for seven more days afterwards. Enjoy!

Arts Council renews and increases NPO investment in Tomorrow’s Warriors


Fantastic that Arts Council England has renewed and increased the funding for my organisation, Tomorrow’s Warriors for the period 2015-18. A great endorsement of our work over the past 23 years. Congratulations to all members of the team!

Originally posted on Tomorrow's Warriors:

Arts Council NPO logo

Last week Tomorrow’s Warriors received confirmation that Arts Council England will continue and increase its investment in our organisation over the next three years as part of its prestigious National Portfolio. According to Arts Council England:

The 2015-18 National Portfolio shows our commitment to organisations that produce work of outstanding quality; that will attract wider audiences; and that will make a valuable contribution to the cultural lives of young people.

Tomorrow’s Warriors Chief Executive, Janine Irons MBE FRSA commented:

Janine Irons - CEO of Tomorrow's WarriorsNaturally, we are delighted with the news. Renewal of our status as a National Portfolio Organisation and continued funding is recognition that, over the past 23 years, Tomorrow’s Warriors has built up an excellent track record in delivering high quality services in the UK’s music and cultural sector. We are grateful to Arts Council England for acknowledging this with an 18.3% uplift in our funding.

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Nation’s Favourite Motown Song

ITV Nation's Favourite Motown Song

Did you see the Nation’s Favourite Motown Song on ITV on Sunday night? It was great! I’d forgotten how expansive the catalogue actually is and, in particular, how many great intros they created (with some equally great bass lines!).

Seriously, the Motown Hit Factory had some of the most extraordinary songwriting talent in their midst. That their music endures – cross-generation across generations – is testament to their supreme craftsmanship (no pun intended). I’ve seen adult audiences singing and dancing along to Jazz Jamaica’s version of Mary Wells’ My Guy, whilst my youngest daughter and her friends were Dancing In The Street (or rather in our living room!) and hitting up the Motown catalogue at her birthday party just a few weeks ago.

So I think regardless of age, the Motown catalogue continues to hold a fascination for those who just appreciate great music.

If you missed the ITV programme, you can catch it on the ITV Player until 2 August. And, of course, you can catch Jazz Jamaica All Stars live Motown extravaganza, Love Motown! for one night only at Royal Festival Hall, London on Friday 19 July with our friends from Urban Soul Orchestra, Beverley Skeete, Noel McKoy and the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab choir.

There’ll be Dancing In The Street…and so much more!

Jazz Jamaica Motorcity RootsRemember the Motorcity Roots album by the 10-piece version of Jazz Jamaica? Well, for our new Love Motown! project  - Saturday 19 July at Royal Festival Hall, London – we’re upscaling the band to more than three times this size with 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxophones; plus 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos from Urban Soul Orchestra; and then our regular 1 upright bass (yours truly!), 1 grand piano and organ, 1 guitar, 1 percussion, 1 drum kit, 3 backing vocalists, 2 lead vocalists, a conductor..and, to top it all off, we’ll then add a 200-voice choir!!!

Here are a few of the original Jazz Jamaica tracks. Have a listen but try to imagine them with the supersized line-up! It’s going to be a seriously big sound that will blow the roof off the Royal Festival Hall.

Of course, this is for Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love so come ready to sing and dance with your loved one, or your friends – you choose! But there’ll be plenty of love vibes floating around the hall once the band starts playing.

BOOK NOW for the live extravaganza on Saturday 19 July at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall.  


28 June – GLASGOW Jazz Festival/BBC Radio 3 for Jazz Jamaica + Myrna Hague

Glasgow Jazz Festival LogoGreat rehearsal earlier this week with my fellow Jazz Jamaicans and we’re looking forward to a fantastic gig with our special guest, Myrna Hague - Jamaica’s First Lady of Jazz, original Studio One vocalist and pioneer of Lovers Rock. Check out her Studio One hit, What About Me (below). Chuuuuuune! Come hear Myrna sing this, and more, live and direct with us at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow on Saturday 28 June at 10.30pm.

BBC Radio 3 (90-93 FM) will be recording the show for broadcast in July on Jazz Line-Up. Watch this space for details of the broadcast…

Like ‘Catch A Fire’? Then you’re gonna ‘LOVE MOTOWN!’


Big news! I’m bringing Jazz Jamaica All Stars back to the Royal Festival Hall, London this summer for another great gig: Love Motown! 

We’re revisiting the Motown project I did as an album project with the 10-piece Jazz Jamaica back in 2005 (Motorcity Roots, Dune Records DUNECD012), but super-sizing the band like we did last time we were at the RFH. We’re also coming with some new arrangements by master music arranger, Jason ‘Yardie’ Yarde - who did the music for Catch A Fire.

Southbank - Festival of LoveWhen we did Motorcity Roots originally, the economics of it meant we could only record it with our regular line-up and some guest vocalists (Omar, Juliet Roberts, Mary Pearce, Zara McFarlane, Wesley Lucas, and bringing gravitas to the proceedings, the great Sir [now Lord] Bill Morris). Although it was a good album (and still is), I’d always heard it in my head as Jazz Jamaica All Stars with all the trimmings. So, when Southbank Centre invited me to create something for their Festival Of Love, I jumped at the chance to revive this project and realise that big phat sound I’d heard in my head all those years ago.

So, we’re upscaling the band to 32-piece, augmenting the regular band with big band horns, ‘Dem Three‘ (remember our brilliant backing vocalists from Catch A Fire?), strings section from Urban Soul Orchestra, 200 voices from the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab Choir, and adding two of the most soulful voices in the UK: the wonderful Beverley Skeete and Noel McKoy.

It’s been a while coming, but I know it’s going to be a great show. BOOK NOW to get best seats (not that you’ll be sitting down for long once the music starts!)