Gary Crosby


I was delighted late last year when the Queen’s Medal committee totted up the votes and elected jazz bassist Gary Crosby as the 2018 winner; the Queen presented him with the medal yesterday at Buckingham Palace. Gary is a musician of importance, and a model for all of us in the musical and teaching professions for his quiet, courteous determination to open up his own field to as many people as want to enter it, in particular via his tireless work for Tomorrow’s Warriors, the group he founded with Janine Irons almost thirty years ago.

Indeed, so generous is Gary that he arrived at the Palace with his bulky instrument case (the Queen, as ever, had some pertinent questions about the practicalities of being a bassist) and, after his audience, assembled a fabulous quintet of current Warriors who recorded a track titled appropriately ‘London is the Place for Me’, which can be heard here on the fantastic Royal Household twitter account. I loved the hour or so we spent crushed into a small Palace room (actually quite like a jazz club, apart from the Edward VII style décor on the walls) listening to this brilliant track being put together in an atmosphere of impressive musical intelligence and cooperation.

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer

© Judith Weir, 2020