It all began with an vexing and frustrating incident at Ronnie Scott’s involving the UK’s premier jazz vocalist Cleveland Watkiss. A Facebook post by Cleveland sparked of the Facebook group “When Are We Going To See More Black UK Jazz Musicians On UK’S Jazz Stage?” and with it emerged an in-depth and at times volatile and heated debate that was rooted in decades of frustration with the UK’s jazz institutions. While certain people were notable by their absence no stone was left unturned as people traded experiences and discussed the nature of Jazz in the UK along with ongoing issues of race, diversity and respect.
One result of that debate has been the re-emergence of The Jazz Warriors as a militant organization poised to put into action a plan that will unite generations and ensure “the fair and equitable representation of the Black UK Jazz presence in the areas of: National Heritage, the Arts, Education and Training, Promotion and Performances.”
Check their manifesto @ http://www.thejazzwarriors.com and watch out for the return of the Jazz Warriors to centre stage!
PLAY THIS VIDEO FULL SCREEN: The Jazz Warriors video by Bruno Tilley hails from 1987 and features everyone who performed on the original album. Deep.