London-based saxophonist and composer, Nubya Garcia, is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK. Raised in a creative environment built by a set of Caribbean parents, her brand of afro-tinged Jazz has made her a key component in a string of new and established groups: from work with MOBO Award-winning drummer, Moses Boyd, legendary Jungle producer and toaster, Congo Natty, through to her own works as part of six-piece, Maisha, and the Nérija septet.
Nubya was born in 1991 in the Camden district of northwest London a Guyanese mother, Loraine Jansen (Bishops High School alumni). She is the niece of Guyanese-born Stanford University Professor, Dr. John Rickford.
Given a violin aged 5, Nubya followed her three older siblings to the local Camden Saturday Music Centre. Nubya also played the viola with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO).
Nubya started playing the Saxophone when she was 10. Joining the Camden Jazz Band, later moving to the Junior Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music. She attended Tomorrow’s Warriors workshops led by Gary Crosby, formerly of Jazz Warriors, alongside music workshops at the Roundhouse in Camden. With a distinction in G8 Saxophone and still in High School, Nubya received a scholarship enabling her to attend the summer five-week programme at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Returning to London she attended Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance London, graduating with a BMus (Hons) in Jazz Performance.
Nubya is a founder member of the Award-winning collective Nérija. A member of Theon Cross trio, the Jazz Afro fusion band Maisha, and the project Idiom. She has worked and collaborated with a wide variety of musicians including; Sun Ra Orkestra, Congo Natty, Lonnie Liston Smith, Kiko Bun, Outlook Orchestra, and Dub Colossus. Nubya has also recently composed the music for Streetcar Named Desire performed by ETT (English Tour Theatre).
Nubya has played regularly at many Music Festivals in the UK and abroad including; Glastonbury, Boomtown, London Jazz Festival and Love Supreme Jazz Festival. She has performed at Outlook Festival, Singapore Jazz Festival and Kazakhstan Jazz Festival. The Nubya Garcia Band opened the Giles Petersons Worldwide Festival 2017 in Séte, France. With Jazz Re:freshed Outernational, Nubya performed at Afropunk Paris, gigged in Brazil, and SXSW in Texas. She has also performed at the home of Jazz in New Orleans. Nubya has also showcased under the BBC Introducing Umbrella at NYC Winter Jazz fest in January 2018 .
Nubya released her first EP as a Leader, Nubya 5ives, in May 2017, under Jazz:Refreshed label.
A recipient of the Steve Reid Innovation Award in 2016, Nubya was mentored by Giles Peterson of WordwideFM & BBC R6. She was nominated for JazzFM Best Newcomer in 2017 & 2018. She was also nominated British Jazz Awards Rising Star 2017. Nubya was short listed in 2018 by SF Jazz as one of 10 female instrumentalists to watch.
Nubia is having an amazing year. She recently won the 2018 JazzFM Breakthrough Act Award and earlier this month took home the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts, Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award, where she was presented with her award by the lovely Double Bass player and founder of the Chineke! orchestra, Chi Chi Nwanoku. Nubia recently shared in a facebook post that says she was taken by surprise by winning the award but feels incredibly honoured to have been included.
- 2017 EP Nubya 5ive (Jazz Re:Freshed)
- 2018 EP When We Are (Self Released)
- 2016 EP Nérija (Self-Released)
- 2018 LP We Out There (Brownswood)
Below, is an image that we captured from Nubya via Twitter account of her celebrating her Guyanese heritage