The Artistic Director of Tomorrow’s Warriors , Gary Crosby OBE previews “Tomorrow’s Warriors Jazz Orchestra Plays The Music of Steve Williamson,” a project in which the composer has – unexpectedly – become personally involved.
(Saturday 23 July, 7:45pm Purcell Room, Southbank Centre)
Steve Williamson was a close personal friend, and the better I came to know him the more I understood that his music was not only about his theoretical and technical skills but also his cultural background. He was very interested in modern classical music and his use of folkloric relationships within the music were not always picked up by jazz writers. He sadly dropped off the scene in the early nineties with only intermittent reappearances since that time.
I felt that by working on new arrangements of Steve’s music with upcoming talents such as Peter Edwards, Binker Golding and James McKay. and more established figures like Jason Yarde, was an opportunity to play the music of someone that I loved and respected, and to make the public aware of Steve’s important contribution to the legacy of black British jazz.
But recently an extraordinary thing happened. The writer Kevin LeGendre ran into Steve playing on Hackney Marshes and told him what we were doing. Steve then came down to one of our Southbank weekend workshops and was deeply touched to hear our young musicians playing his music.
At the Southbank this Saturday we’ll be playing five pieces reflecting Steve’s relationship with bebop, his Jamaican roots and his understanding of modern musical techniques. And we’re delighted that Steve will join us to perform his ‘Waltz For Grace’ along with the wonderful Jamaican singer Myrna Hague.We sincerely hope the audience will join us and follow Steve’s journey of artistic discovery.
This concert is part of “London Is The Place For Me” – A weekend at the Southbank centre celebrating some of the seminal moments in black British music.