During the heyday of jazz in the middle of the 20th century names like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington were among the most popular musicians in the world. Now jazz is increasingly being seen by young people as a difficult or elistist art form, something which requires specialist music training and is inaccessible to the community from which it originally sprang. This Saturday a group of young jazz musicians will be performing at the Southbank Centre. Called Tomorrow’s Warriors, the group was set up by the celebrated jazz bassist Gary Crosby and is run by his partner Janine Irons. Children from age 9 to 19 are given free music lessons and training from Crosby and other top jazz players. And although the students come from all walks of life, the goal of Tomorrow’s Warriors is to bring jazz music back to the Afro-Caribbean community, and especially to encourage girls to take part. Jennifer Chevalier reports from one of the rehearsals.
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