Nérija (pronounced ‘Ne-ree-ya’) began from a Tomorrow’s Warriors initiative seeking to encourage young women to play jazz. The group is fast becoming established on the British jazz scene, following performances at Ronnie Scott’s and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at Latitude, Love Supreme and Brainchild festivals. They have toured across Europe in Norway and Germany, and have played alongside top UK jazz musicians such as Nathaniel Facey of Empirical and Zoe Rahman.

The name comes from the Hebrew ‘Nerijah’, meaning ‘lamp (or light) of God’. The focus on the concept of a light with divine power is the common desire that binds the group beyond the confines of the warriors:

“It is the search for individual strength in the face of external expectations, a strength which shows itself not in competitiveness, desire for approval, or to prove that women can play well, but in the ability to discover and remain who we are, being honest with ourselves and others when to do so is incredibly hard. Our music is a reflection of this, our friendship, and the continual search for ‘Nérija'”.

Sheila Maurice-Grey – trumpet
Rosie Turton – trombone
Cassie Kinoshi – alto sax
Nubya Garcia – tenor sax
Shirley Tetteh – guitar
Inga Eichler – double bass
Lizy Exell – drums

Multi-award winning Polish saxophonist Krzysztof Urbanski arrived in London recommended by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as one of the best of his generation. Winner of the 2013 International Saxophone Competition in Chicago, his growing reputation on the British jazz scene is matched by his prolific touring profile, which regularly takes him around Europe. His quartet, Urban Jazz Society, creates a fresh sound, incorporating into jazz elements of modern styles like hip-hop, urban and R&B.

Krzysztof Urbanski – sax
Stuart McCallum – guitar
Martin Longhawn – piano
Sam Vicary – bass
Sam Gardner – drums