Revisiting John Coltrane’s A LOVE SUPREME – 10 July

I’m looking forward this week to working in Quartet format again on Friday 10 July at 5.30pm when we revisit John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. I’ll be joined by my long-time friends and sparring partners, Denys Baptiste and Rod Youngs, and rising star Joe Armon-Jones.  We’re doing it in a free space, The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London so lots of you can come see it! It’s an incredible piece of music that we never tire of playing. Here’s a link to my blog piece My Supreme Love Affair that I posted in January where I talk about my relationship with this great work.

Meantime, here are the details for the gig. When you’ve it, click on the flyer to be taken to the Southbank Centre website for more info. Hope to see you there!

IMAGE: Gary Crosby 4tet feat. Denys Baptiste

Celebrating 100 Goode Years: Happy Birthday Coleridge


Tomorrow’s Warriors have posted a slideshow of some of the wonderful images we used for my concert last week in the Purcell Room at Southbank Centre to celebrate (a week early) the 100th birthday of one of my mentors, Coleridge Goode. We’ll be posting up some footage from the show shortly.

Send Coleridge a birthday message via the Tomorrow’s Warriors blog or, alternatively:

  • Post on Twitter with hashtags #OnceInACentury #ColeridgeGoode100
  • Like and post a comment on Facebook page Coleridge Goode 100

– we’ll be sharing your messages with Coleridge at his party on the 29th!

Last week Tomorrow’s Warriors artistic director, Gary CrosbyOBE was able to publicly share his admiration for his mentor at a special interactive concert during the London Jazz Festival.  Today, we are so very proud to celebrate the 100th birthday of the double bass jazz giant and unmatched legend, MrColeridge Goode: ‘Lord Master of the Lower Frequencies’.

Happy Birthday Coleridge! may you celebrate many more glorious years with your family and friends, and keep on inspiring future generations of jazz musicians and lovers of jazz music.

Please join us in celebrating Coleridge’s incredible talent, his influence on the jazz scene and beyond and, most of all, the pure generosity and humanity he shows to those who come after him. Send your appreciation by tweeting #OnceInACentury #ColeridgeGoode100 or commenting on Facebook.

Coleridge Goode, born 29 November 1914, Jamaica, West Indies.

Thanks to Coleridge Goode’s family for photographs and…

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Another sold out show for Jazz Jamaica All Stars

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Photos by Kwame Lestrade except where indicated

Big thanks to all of the 2,000+ fans and supporters who came to our sold out Royal Festival Hall Love Motown! show on 19 July. Once again, our fans turned up in their thousands on one of the hottest days of the year to see us pay tribute to the music from the Motorcity. By the end of the show, we had everyone up on their feet and dancing, if not in the street, then definitely in the seats and the aisles of this iconic venue.

It was set to be a fantastic show but, regrettably, we faced quite a few glitches, which were evident on the day. As a result we fell short of the very high bar we set ourselves. We are very sorry about this. It’s clear, from the feedback we’ve received, that the vast majority of people really enjoyed the show but a few of our fans felt let down, and for this we must apologise.

Those of you who have followed us over the years will know we are committed to high quality and exceptional audience experiences and we work tirelessly to achieve this. As part of this commitment, we conduct post-event reviews and evaluate all feedback so that we can continuously improve and exceed expectations.

We appreciate all comments received that will assist this process. Thank you!

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And thanks also to everyone who contributed to Love Motown!Jazz Jamaica All Stars, members of Urban Soul Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors, the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab and choir leader, Mark De Lisser, and lead vocalists Beverley Skeete and Noel McKoy. Thanks also to music arranger, Jason Yarde and our musical director, Kevin Robinson for their brilliant contributions, and to Southbank Centre, our co-producers.

When all is said and done, there was great joy and fun on the night and  towards the end of this week we’ll be posting some video footage online so that everyone can relive some of the best moments of Love Motown!



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

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.  


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!)




SOLD OUT! Catch A Fire blows the roof off Royal Festival Hall

Catch A Fire - Jazz Jamaica All Stars sold out Royal Festival Hall - July 2013

Catch A Fire – Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra & Brinsley Forde sold out Royal Festival Hall – July 2013

Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra & Brinsley Forde & Voicelab Choir @ Royal Festival Hall, London - July 2013

Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra & Brinsley Forde & Voicelab Choir @ Royal Festival Hall, London – July 2013

Unbelievable! We did it! We sold out the Royal Festival Hall with Catch A Fire on Saturday night and blew the roof off! That’s our second sold out Catch A Fire show at Southbank Centre in 9 months (we filled the Queen Elizabeth Hall last October when we were touring as part of the Lively Up! Festival). Just incredible, the sea of people on and off the stage!

Big thanks to everyone who came and supported, and to the band and choir for being totally awesome. There were flames flying off the stage, the band and singers were on FIYAH, and the audience up on their feet, dancing and singing from the second tune!

I saw so many old friends in the crowd, some of whom I haven’t seen for years – wonderful catching up with some of them after the show. And it was great to see such a diverse group of people, on and off the stage. Just goes to show what a unifying effect this music has. Respect to Bob Marley and The Wailers! Respect to Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra, Brinsley Forde and the wonderful Voicelab choir.

Such an amazing, unforgettable night, and what a great after-party backstage – it was rammed! Even though the party’s over, we’re all still flying high on the great vibes and will be for a very long time to come!

Oh, in case anyone’s wondering where I disappeared to while Brinsley and the strings played Redemption Song, I went up to the rear stalls to sit with some of my family and watch the show. I’d been dying to see/hear the show from the audience’s perspective but, as the band leader, have never had the chance. Our decision to play a voice and strings only version of Redemption Song provided my first, possibly only chance to see the show live. Unfortunately, when I tried to get back, I couldn’t find the hidden door at the side of the stage! The ushers looked completely bemused and were asking me for my ticket! Fortunately, someone finally opened the door and let me in! Probably won’t be doing that again!

Peace and love.