Nu Civilisation Orchestra

Nu Civilisation Orchestra

Founded by Gary Crosby OBE and led by Peter Edwards, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra represents an evolution in the contemporary jazz orchestra. The NCO produces diverse and forward-thinking music.

Previous commissions include repertoire from Duke Ellington, Joe Harriott, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus; literary and film collaborations with author Lemn Sissay and documentary film director John Okomfrah;  media broadcasts on Channel 4 Television and BBC Radio, and live concerts at BFI, Southbank Centre and Rich Mix. 

From 2017 London’s most diverse orchestra, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra will take up artistic residency at Rich Mix, London’s most diverse art centre in London’s most diverse borough.

Image Credit: 
Nu Civilisation Orchestra

Edwards, Peter


Peter Edwards is a pianist, composer and music director whose 'guileless, soulful music...[is] full of emphatic chording, Latin grooves and romantic, cinematic themes' (Guardian). He is the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards 'Newcomer of the year' and was among the nominees for the 2015 Jazz FM 'Breakthrough Artist' award. He works with acclaimed artists Mica Paris and Zara McFarlane, directs the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and is a 2017 New Music Biennial commissioned composer.

Peter graduated with a Masters in Jazz from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2009. Participation in the Tomorrowʼs Warriors young artist development programme gave him the opportunity to sharpen his performance and compositional skills under the guidance of Gary Crosby OBE. Peter began recording and touring with the Abram Wilson Quartet and has gone on to work with vocalists Nicola Emmanuelle, Zara McFarlane and Mica Paris.  

  • Total duration: 14'19
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Nu Civilisation Orchestra
Peter Edwards musical director


[New Music Biennial - Live Recording]

Pianist, composer and bandleader and nominee for the 2015 Jazz FM Breakthrough Artist Awards, Peter Edwards, looks into the year 1917, which was a defining year for jazz. It saw the births of some of the most influential jazz artists including composer ‘Tadd’ Dameron, singer Ella Fitzgerald, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, drummer Buddy Rich and percussionist Mongo Santamaria. Taking inspiration from the motifs found in six of the artists’ classic works, Peter Edwards’ piece deconstructs their themes to offer the audience a re-imagined and alternative musical experience.


Nu Civilisation Orchestra are:

Peter Edwards musical director/claves
Cherise Adams-Burnett vocals
Becca Toft trumpet
Byron Wallen trumpet/agogos
Harry Brown trombone
Rosie Turton trombone
Will Gibson alto saxophone
Alam Nathoo tenor saxophone
Rhiannon Jeffreys baritone saxophone
Ben Burrell piano
Gary Crosby double bass
Noda Oreste congas
Eddie Hick drums


This piece is part of New Music Biennial 2017. For more information about the project and to download the New Music Biennial album, please visit our project page:


A Journey with the Giants of Jazz is commissioned by Turner Sims Southampton.


Produced with the support of partners and funders:

NMB funders



The performance of A Journey with the Giants of Jazz was recorded live by the BBC at Hull Minster on 2 July 2017 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 11 July 2017.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL201711
Release Date:
21 July 2017