Gary Crosby (bassist)

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Gary Crosby
Gary Crosby.jpg
Gary Crosby, 2006
Background information
Born (1955-01-26) 26 January 1955 (age 66)
London, UK
Occupation(s)Musician, arranger, bandleader, educator
InstrumentsDouble bass
Associated actsJazz Warriors; Tomorrow's Warriors; Gary Crosby's Nu Troop; Jazz Jamaica

Gary Crosby OBE (born 26 January 1955) is a British jazz double bassist, composer, music arranger, and educator. He was a founder member of the celebrated group the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s and has worked with many top international artists.

Also a bandleader, record producer, company director and facilitator, he leads Gary Crosby's Nu Troop, Gary Crosby Trio, Guava, Jazz Jamaica and Jazz Jamaica All Stars. Crosby is executive Artistic Director of Tomorrow's Warriors, a music education/professional development organization co-founded in 1991 with his partner Janine Irons.[1] In 1996 Crosby and Irons established Dune Music, a company that encompasses artist management, a record label, music publishing, and education.[2]

Crosby appeared in the 1998 Teletubbies episode "Double Bass", where he played his double bass for some children.[3]

Described by the BBC as "a towering figure in jazz",[4] Crosby has been the recipient of many honours, including in 2009 being appointed an OBE for Services to Music, and in 2018 becoming the first jazz musician to be awarded the Queen's Medal for Music.


Born in London of Jamaican heritage,[5] Crosby is the nephew of guitarist Ernest Ranglin, who performed with Jazz Jamaica at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in October 2009 as part of the club's anniversary concert series.[6][7] Crosby started out playing trumpet but in his teens studied with noted bassist Peter Ind, going on to become a founding member in 1986 of the Jazz Warriors[8] — a group that showcased such talented young Black musicians as Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, Cleveland Watkiss, Phillip Bent, and Orphy Robinson.

Tomorrow's Warriors[edit]

In 1991, Crosby established Tomorrow's Warriors, providing a platform for talented young musicians who wished to pursue a career in jazz. Over the following 13 years, the Tomorrow's Warriors Jazz Café Jam Session became an institution and developed four generations of Warriors, including Denys Baptiste, J-Life and Soweto Kinch.[9]

In 2004, the Tomorrow's Warriors Jam Session moved to The Spice Of Life in Soho, where it remained active until Summer 2010. Tomorrow’s Warriors continues to develop the careers of young musicians and is now commencing the development of its sixth generation of Warriors with core programmes and workshops at Southbank Centre, London.[10]

Jazz Jamaica[edit]

In the early 1990s, Crosby set up Jazz Jamaica, a group of Jamaican jazz musicians, in which young musicians played alongside such seasoned talent as ska trombonist Rico Rodriquez and trumpeter Eddie Thornton.[11]

Dune Music[edit]

In 1996, Crosby and his partner, Janine Irons, established The Dune Music Company Ltd, a commercial company comprising four divisions: artist management, record label, music publishing, and education.[9] Artists associated with Dune Music include Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Soweto Kinch, Denys Baptiste, Abram Wilson, Andrew McCormack, Empirical and J-Life.[12]


In 1998, Gary Crosby's Nu Troop won the award for Best International Ensemble at the Jazz à Vienne Concours International d’Orchestres in France.[13]

In 2002, Crosby won the award for Best Band for his 20-piece big band, Jazz Jamaica All Stars. In the same year, he was honoured by the Festival Directorate of the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Jamaica, for Consistent Contribution to Music in Jamaica,[14] thereby securing a place in the Jamaica Jazz Hall Of Fame.

In 2006, Jazz Jamaica was given the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Ensemble.

In 2007, Crosby received the BBC Radio Jazz Award for Services to Jazz.[15]

In 2009, Gary Crosby was appointed an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.[16]

In 2012, Crosby received the Parliamentary Award for Jazz Education. Citing Crosby's nomination for the award, presenter Paul Gambaccini said: "Gary has been making his mark as a jazz educator and bass player since 1991 when he formed the group ‘Tomorrow’s Warriors’ as a platform for young musicians who want to pursue a career in jazz. The ethos is to encourage young people from all backgrounds but there is a positive move to encourage people of the African diaspora. Many women have come through the Warriors' training bands and have now secured places at leading music colleges. Gary Crosby through his organisation and outstanding teaching has achieved in 20 years what many would think would take a lifetime in regards to ethnic minorities and gender imbalances."[17][18][19]

In September 2017, Crosby was named by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) as one of 12 recipients (including Michael Gibbs, Paulette Long, Emeli Sandé, Martyn Ware and others) of a Gold Badge Award , which celebrates the unique contribution of those who have supported or inspired the UK songwriting and composing community.[20][21]

In 2018, Crosby was awarded the Queen's Medal for Music – the first jazz musician to receive the honour since it was established in 2005 – which was presented in a special audience at Buckingham Palace on 10 July 2019.[22][23][24][25][26]

In 2019, Crosby was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.[27][28][29]

In 2021, he was awarded an honorary doctorate, "Doctor of Music honoris causa", by the University of London Institute in Paris.[30][31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gary Crosby on mentoring rising jazz stars", iSingmag, 19 November 2019.
  2. ^ Tomorrow's Warriors website.
  3. ^ "Teletubbies: Double Bass (1998)". YouTube.
  4. ^ "Gary Crosby", BBC profile.
  5. ^ Ijeoma Azubuike, "Preview: Gary Crosby – Lively Up! Festival" (interview with Gary Crosby), London Jazz News, 9 October 2012.
  6. ^ Ronnie Scott's Anniversary Concert Series – "Ernest Ranglin and Jazz Jamaica, including his nephew Gary Crosby". 2009.
  7. ^ Paul Taylor, "Gary's jazz journey", Manchester Evening News, 27 January 2006.
  8. ^ "Gary Crosby – The artistic side of Dune Records", Open Sky Jazz, 23 October 2009.
  9. ^ a b John Murph, "Do Your Own Thing: The Dune Label", JazzTimes, March 2004.
  10. ^ "About", Tomorrow's Warriors website.
  11. ^ Neil Price, "Gary Crosby Quintet to Celebrate 70 Years of Blue Note at Spice of Life", JazzWise, 16 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Record label PR file: Dune Records", The Independent, 31 January 2007.
  13. ^ "Gary Crosby's Nu Troop", Air, Artist Agency.
  14. ^ Tanya Batson, "Four awarded for contributions to music" Archived 12 August 2004 at the Wayback Machine, Jamaica Gleaner, 18 June 2002.
  15. ^ "Young British jazz artists dominate this year's BBC Jazz Awards", BBC press release, 10 July 2007.
  16. ^ "Gary Crosby awarded OBE in HM The Queen's Birthday Honours", The Jazz Mann, 16 June 2009.
  17. ^ "Gary Crosby OBE honoured with parliamentary Award for Jazz Education", Tomorrow's Warriors website. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  18. ^ Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2012 – Winners Archived 20 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, The Jazz Site, 16 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2012", Properganda Online, 22 May 2012.
  20. ^ "BASCA Gold Badge Award Recipients for 2017 Announced" Archived 22 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine, BASCA, 4 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Gold Badge Awards 2017 Celebrates British Jazz", M Magazine, 5 September 2017.
  22. ^ "The Queen's Medal for Music 2018 awarded to Gary Crosby", The Royal Household, 10 July 2019.
  23. ^ Peter Bacon, "Gary Crosby awarded The Queen’s Medal", London Jazz News, 10 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Jazz musician Gary Crosby awarded Queen’s Medal for Music", Belfast Telegraph, 10 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Gary Crosby Receives The Queen's Medal For Music", The Voice, 11 July 2019.
  26. ^ "The Queen awards Trinity Laban Honorary Fellow Gary Crosby OBE Medal for Music", Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, 12 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Gary Crosby receives honours from London conservatoire", Tomorrow's Warriors, 4 January 2019.
  28. ^ Lucy Thraves, "Trinity Laban awards honorary fellowships", Rhinegold Publishing, 11 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Celebrating Gary Crosby OBE", Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, 14 May 2019.
  30. ^ "Gary Crosby OBE to receive Honorary Doctorate from University of London Institute in Paris". The Independent Music Insider. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  31. ^ "Presentation of Graduands from the University of London Institute in Paris". University of London Institute in Paris. Retrieved 12 December 2021 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]