Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

Nu Civilisation Orchestra presents Marvin Gaye’s
Whats Going On

Six date tour of the UK kicks off during Black History Month.

In celebration of their 30th anniversary Tomorrow’s Warriors presents a UK tour of their world-class ensemble Nu Civilisation Orchestra, for a musical journey through Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’, 50 years after the release of this iconic album.

The 24-piece orchestra, conducted by Peter Edwards, will reflect on our current times through the lens of Marvin Gaye’s incredible catalogue.

‘What’s Going On’ was recorded and released in 1971 and Gaye’s masterpiece gave voice to a generation, as it reflected on the violence and turmoil of America with laser-sharp precision. Widely recognised as one of the most important albums of all time, 50 years later ‘What’s Going On’ continues to resonate with the inequality, struggle and uncertainty of the modern day. 

Acclaimed British soul singer Noel McKoy will join the tour on lead vocals as the voice of Marvin Gaye himself, he said

“Since the time of the release of the album to the present day, every time I’ve heard or sung it I think to myself that mothers are actually still crying –  ever more so, and young brothers are still dying.  The tracks from this album were and still are the benchmark of soulful commentary from a black man’s experience which can be related to across the globe. Its spirit and honesty remain potent to this very day”.

The evening will begin with a performance of Marvin Gaye’s seminal film score ‘Trouble Man’ with the orchestral performance being accompanied by a specially commissioned narrative written by the actor Colin Salmon, delivered by a different spoken a word artist at each event (featuring AFLO The Poet, Casey Bailey, Malik Al Nasir, Saili Katebe with Colin Salmon taking the stage at the London performance), as well as immersive visual projections by Yeast Culture.

Noel McKoy. Credit: Damien Duncan

“The What’s Going On tour will be a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th anniversary through one of the greatest albums of all time, while also highlighting the fact that the struggle continues. Marvin very much had anti-war sentiment in his heart, plus inner-city blues, social deprivation and inequality in the community. It is as relevant today as ever and it is important to ponder on, as so many of the challenges then apply now.  Thanks to all six of the UK venues and Serious who produce the London Jazz Festival, all of whom we have partnered with us to produce this ambitious tour. It’s going to be a powerful evening of music and we can’t wait to hit the road with the NCO.”

Gary Crosby OBE
Artistic Director, Tomorrow’s Warriors

Nu Civilisation Orchestra-photo by Chris Huning