|Clockwise from top left: Oscar Jerome, Yazz Ahmed, Nubya Garcia and The Comet Is Coming.|
A bunch of the UK’s finest young jazz musicians are heading to New York in January for a Winter Jazzfest showcase. Peter Bacon reports.
Young UK jazz talent gets to strut its stuff for a Manhattan audience next month when saxophonist Nubya Garcia, vocalist Oscar Jerome, The Comet Is Coming and Yazz Ahmed jet out to play Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on Wednesday 10 January.
The opportunity is courtesy of the PRS Foundation and BBC Music Introducing, and doing the introducing on the night will be BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, and Brownswood Recordings founder Gilles Peterson.
Trumpeter Yazz Ahmed told me: “I’m so excited to be playing at the festival, it’s really like a dream come true.”
And she is especially keen on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest’s social justice theme.
“I was very interested to discover that this year’s festival has a focus on social, racial, and immigration justice as well as gender rights, subjects I feel very passionate about,” she said.
“As a female trumpet player, with an Arabic name, I hope that through my music I can bring people together, building bridges between cultures, being an advocate of peace and changing perceptions about women in jazz and about people of Muslim heritage. These are not subjects I shout about through my music, perhaps it’s more of a quiet catalyst, an invitation for people to notice something different.”
In addition to that social justice theme, January’s NYC bash includes a tribute to the late pianist Geri Allen; Ravi Coltrane celebrating the work of his mother, Alice Coltrane; Pulitzer-nominated trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith paired with Indie rockers Deerhoof; and a line-up which stretches from the flamenco-tinged singing of Buika to the avant-drumming of Tyshawn Sorey.