Talent development organisation and charity Tomorrow’s Warriors has launched its appeal #IAMWARRIOR, with the aim to raise £100,000.
The mission is to support the next jazz generation with funds to help sustain its free-to-access Young Artist Development Programme and Emerging Artist Programme.
The award-winning organisation has launched the appeal with a fundraising film featuring founders Dr Gary Crosby and Janine Irons, alumni and current Warriors musicians. The organisation invites supporters to donate at www.gofundme.com/IAMWARRIOR2023.
Tomorrow’s Warriors relies on the support of funding and donations to continue to deliver its learning programmes that provide music education to the next generation of jazz musicians, with a focus on young women and those from diverse and low-income backgrounds.
Many of today’s jazz stars have benefited from participation in TW’s Young & Emerging Artist Development Programmes, including Femi Koleoso and the Mercury-winning Ezra Collective, along with Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Cassie Kinoshi, Binker Golding, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons of Kemet, ESKA, Denys Baptiste, Soweto Kinch, Mark Crown, Sultan Stevenson, Camilla George, Blue Lab Beats, Dave Okumu, and many more.
Ezra Collective were the first jazz act ever to win the Mercury Music Prize, becoming the 10th Warriors alums to be nominated for the award.
In recent years, the UK education sector has faced funding cuts, resulting in the reduction or elimination of music programmes in schools across the country.
“Across cultural divides and barriers, Tomorrow’s Warriors needs to continue to make its programmes accessible and free of charge, not just to support young jazz musicians and increase access and inclusion, but to support the talent pipeline from the very grassroots into professional careers in the music industry, thereby helping to sustain the jazz scene as a whole,” said a statement.
Gilles Peterson, DJ and broadcaster, said: “Tomorrow's Warriors occupies a unique and vital space in our cultural landscape. Their work in helping positively shape future generations is of critical importance especially in light of the tribulations we currently face."
Cerys Matthews, artist and broadcaster, said: “Tomorrow’s Warriors remain the musical heart of the British jazz scene and supporting their #IAMWARRIOR Appeal will help directly in providing free music lessons and a community to all budding musicians who knock on their door.”
Janine Irons, co-founder &?CEO of?Tomorrow’s Warriors, said: "In what is our 32nd year, we return with our #IAMWARRIOR appeal and invite all our supporters to help us keep doing what we do, making a difference to the next generation of talent and keeping the scene fresh, diverse and exciting. Tomorrow’s Warriors gives young musicians a place and a space to thrive, and to realise their creative ambitions. Indeed, it provided the conditions for the Mercury Prize winning Ezra Collective to emerge! But we can’t continue to deliver our programmes free of charge to exceptional young talent without your help.
“Music has the incredible power to transcend boundaries, unite communities, and inspire change. Yet, as we celebrate the beauty of music, we must also acknowledge a stark reality: the very real creative divide that keeps aspiring musicians from diverse backgrounds, and those facing economic hardship, from being able to access a career in music. Music education is a right not a privilege and programmes like ours need consistent support. The UK Jazz ecosystem and talent pipeline relies on Tomorrow’s Warriors to keep feeding it from the grassroots upwards, so please support so we can stay true to our purpose.”
The launch follows last Friday night’s annual celebration I AM WARRIOR at Tomorrow’s Warriors’ spiritual home at London’s Jazz Café, which featured new jazz collaborations and performances of newly commissioned pieces composed by TW alumni.
PHOTO CREDIT: Graeme Miall