LOVE MOTOWN! Comes to the Southbank Centre Tonight
Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Urban Soul Orchestra return to the Royal Festival Hall tonight, 19 July at 7.30pm to celebrate a sensational musical extravaganza - Love Motown!
Joined by Southbank Centre's 200-voice Voicelab choir and featuring the soulful vocals of Noel McKoy and Beverley Skeete, this musical masterpiece is a celebration of the great love songs of the iconic American record label, Tamla Motown. There will be new arrangements of classics including Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, The Jackson 5's I'll Be There, The Supremes' Can't Hurry Love, The Commodores' Easy, The Isley Brothers' This Old Heart of Mine and many more.
Following the great success of last summer's Catch A Fire at the Royal Festival Hall, this new show has been created by Jazz Jamaica's founder and leader, Gary Crosby especially for Southbank Centre's Festival of Love.
Jazz Jamaica's acclaimed album, Motorcity Roots was originally performed with their small band. This has been expanded into a powerful 32-piece orchestra with big band horns, strings and backing singers, fronted by two of the UK's foremost RnB vocalists.
Noel McKoy's first band, the Albians played lovers rock/roots reggae music and released 4 singles for Studio Sixteen/Joe Gibbs Records. He formed his own band, Impak, initially playing rock music. Seeking a more soulful sound, he decided to add his sister and 2 brothers before changing the name of the band to McKoy, going on to support artists such as Womack and Womack, Gladys Knight and George Clinton. Noel co-wrote the song 5 Good Reasons for the film Bad Company starring Helen Barking and Laurence Fishburne and, over the past 20 years has built a fan base of RnB/soul music lovers. His acting career includes Nitro's production Up Against the Wall.
Beverley Skeete has worked with Elton John, Sting, Chaka Khan, The Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, Tom Jones, Paolo Nutini and Tina Turner. Since joining the Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings in 1997, Beverley has steadily been building a new following of fans as a lead vocalist in her own right. Beverley makes her debut with Jazz Jamaica in Love Motown!
Love Motown! is co-produced by Southbank Centre and Lively Up! Festival in association with Tomorrow's Warriors, and is part of the Festival Of Love at Southbank Centre. The line-up comprises Gary Crosby Artistic Director/Band Leader; Kevin Robinson Musical Director/Conductor; Jason Yarde Music Arranger. There is an associated album available - Jazz Jamaica Motorcity Roots (Released 2005, Dune Records, DUNECD012).
Love Motown will be performed tonight, 19 July, 7.30pm at Royal Festival Hall. Box office - 0844 875 0073; Tickets - £27, £22.50, £17.50 Booking fee £1.75 (members £0.00). Visit: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/love-motown-84625?dt=2014-07-19.
Gary Crosby - Gary Crosby OBE (Artistic Director) is one of the UK's most highly regarded and influential jazz artists and educators. He is the nephew of Jamaica's legendary guitarist, Ernest Ranglin OD. Gary received the BBC Jazz Award for Best Ensemble (Jazz Jamaica All Stars) and the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival/Jamaica Jazz Hall of Fame Award for Consistent Contribution to Music in Jamaica in 2002; the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Band (Jazz Jamaica) in 2006; the BBC Award for Services to Jazz in 2007; the OBE for Services to Music in HM The Queen's Birthday Honours in 2009; and the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Jazz Education in 2012. www.garycrosbybass.com
Jazz Jamaica All Stars - In 1991, inspired by the rhythms of traditional Jamaican music and the largely improvisational nature of jazz, original Jazz Warrior, and veteran jazz double bassist, Gary Crosby OBE turned a musical concept into a joyful reality. Gary's concept was to create a quintessential fusion of mento, ska, reggae and jazz, playing classic and modern jazz standards alongside Jamaican folksongs. The result was Jazz Jamaica. After extensive international touring, and the recording of four great albums with Jazz Jamaica, Gary was ready to move to the next stage and in March 1999 he expanded the core lineup of Jazz Jamaica to formal big band status by adding a raft of guest soloists. This enlarged format enabled him to extend the harmony and expand the orchestration of classic jazz and reggae music to create serious reggae with a big band/orchestral feel. The result was Jazz Jamaica All Stars.
Eleven years after the band's hugely successful album and tour, Massive in 2001/2, Gary reassembled Jazz Jamaica All Stars featuring stars of the UK scene, but refreshing the lineup with some of the 'ones to watch' from his successful Tomorrow's Warriors Young Artist Development Programme. The band completed a successful national tour of Catch A Fire in 2012 to mark Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence and, by popular demand, brought it back to the Royal Festival Hall in 2013.
Tomorrow's Warriors Ltd / Lively Up! Festival - Founded in 1991 by jazz bassist and Artistic Director, Gary Crosby OBE, Tomorrow's Warriors is a leading organisation for youth jazz education and professional artist development, with a special though not exclusive focus on young people from the African diaspora. The programmes and workshops inspire, develop and mentor gifted and talented young musicians and professionals of all ages. Tomorrow's Warriors is a weekend resident at Southbank Centre, London and a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England. www.tomorrowswarriors.org
Lively Up! Festival is a festival of music on tour produced by the professional live music division of Tomorrow's Warriors to celebrate and showcase works of excellence by Black artists that resonate with and beyond Black audiences. www.livelyupfestival.com