The mighty Jazz Jamaica have rightly earned their reputation as “one of the UK’s leading good-time bands” (The Independent) from their many exuberant live performances and dynamic album releases over the past two decades. As the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival put it, “Jazz Jamaica should be permanent ambassadors to the United Nations of Good Times”.
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, turned a musical concept into a joyful reality. Crosby’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.
Since its realisation, Crosby has developed the Jazz Jamaica concept by introducing a stream of talented young jazz musicians, so increasing the size of the pool of Jazz Jamaicans, and enabling him to push the boundaries of the music played. Collectively, Crosby and his musicians represent the finest exponents of this unique musical fusion known as skazz, a fusion loved and appreciated by everyone, of all ages and colours around the globe. In 2002, Jazz Jamaica All Stars were winners of the BBC Radio Jazz Award for Best Band.