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 - …
There’ll be Dancing In The Street…and so much more!
Remember 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 …
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28 June – GLASGOW Jazz Festival/BBC Radio 3 for Jazz Jamaica + Myrna Hague
Great 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 …
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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 …
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When Bootleg = Good News
After a great gig last weekend at Jazz Cafe - the place where my group, Jazz Jamaica was born - as part of the London International Ska Festival, I'm heading off to Leicester with my quartet on Saturday, 26 April to mark 50 Years of John Coltrane's superb recording: A Love Supreme. We'll be performing as part …
Keisher Downie features with Jazz Jamaica in London Ska Festival – 19 April
April is fast approaching and I'm really looking forward to working again with vocalist, Keisher Downie. She's only done a couple of Jazz Jamaica gigs with us so far (including our Royal Festival Hall Catch A Fire show last year), so you may not have seen her with us yet, but she's a wonderful singer whose voice …
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Jazz Jamaica to play London International Ska Festival 2014
Happy to be part of the London International Ska Festival on Saturday 19 April with Jazz Jamaica. Will be great fun getting back to the venue where Jazz Jamaica was born...The Jazz Café, Camden. It's all Jon Dabner's fault...THANK YOU, JON for giving me that break!
REVIEW: Gary Crosby’s Groundation at Arena Theatre
We had FANTASTIC gig at The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton on Friday. It was a real trek getting there and back through 80mph wind gust and sheets of rain, but it was well worth the effort. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to get there. A wonderful, appreciative audience. And thanks very much also to Alison and her great production team at The Arena for looking after us so well. We’re looking forward to seeing you again very soon!
Gary Crosby’s Groundation at the Arena Theatre (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)
Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton UK
Review and photograph by John Watson
Bassist Gary Crosby has long been a key figure on the scene, and he has the knack of creating some exceptional musical surprises.
As the boss of Dune Music, as artistic director of Tomorrow’s Warriors and as leader of the Jazz Jamaica All Stars and his bands Nu Troop and Guava, Gary established himself as a key figure on the scene, working with major established artists and also providing a platform for a great deal of exciting new talent.
His current band – Groundation – marks another milestone in the bassist’s career, featuring him with three acclaimed young players: alto saxophonist Nathaniel Facey (of Empirical), guitarist Shirley Tetteh, and drummer Moses Boyd. On Friday the musicians battled their way from London through the storms and reached the Arena Theatre…
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RIP Mat Fox
Mat was a true Warrior, a real, honest to goodness, grass roots worker. Using his role as a teacher in South London schools, and as leader of his wonderful Kinetika Bloco project that he founded in 2000, he championed diversity and was an ambassador for gender equality. Together we opened a pathway for a number of our current and former Tomorrow’s Warriors to further their musical careers.
Mat will be greatly missed by so many of the young people and their parents, and those of us who knew him as a friend and fellow soldier, working in the field to bring about a positive change in young people’s lives.
All of us at Tomorrow’s Warriors send our love and warmest…
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Getting ready for some Groundation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MfuAwASc5A After working in Denys Baptiste's 14-piece band on his powerful Now Is The Time...Let Freedom Ring! project, I'm taking some time out to work with my own comparatively small band, Groundation with the wonderful Nathaniel Facey (alto sax), Shirley Tetteh (guitar) and Moses Boyd (drums). I love this band! Everyone has a chance to express …