Jazz Re:freshed Announce SXSW Online Showcase Filmed in Studio Two

17th March 2021

The showcase will feature award-winning tuba sensation Theon Cross who will also be presented by SXSW as a 3D digital avatar in a unique VR performance - a world first in music showcasing

As SXSW goes online in 2021, innovative award-winning London promoter Jazz re:freshed and producer British Underground have joined forces with Abbey Road Studios to create a unique streamed showcase featuring new music from the UK’s explosive emerging jazz scene. With performances from rising star Theon Cross, and newcomers like Doom Cannon and Camilla George, this extra special online showcase will spotlight the UK as home of one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the world. The performance will be broadcast on Tuesday, 16 March and available to experience via SXSW Online 2021 and will be a rare chance for these players to safely get together and share their music.
Alongside the showcase British Underground today announced the first ever 3D digital avatar performance at SXSW featuring Theon Cross with motion-capture also filmed at Abbey Road. Supported by Arts Council England’s Future Art and Culture programme, Audience of the Future Live, FKB and Jazz re:freshed, the avatar will be available to experience during SXSW Online 2021, further information and details will be available at Fachouse.com and announced on 1 March. Watch the avatar creation video below.


Theon Cross' 3D Avatar Story

The avatar performance will exclusively feature new music from Theon Cross’s forthcoming new album (details of which are to be announced in the near future). Theon has received critical praise for his contribution to British jazz project, Sons of Kemet, as well as his recent solo record Fyah which Pitchfork stated Cross brings “new energy to the tuba, an instrument long neglected in jazz and its offshoots.”
Discussing the landmark event, Theon Cross stated, “At a time when travelling and playing live is not possible, exploring new avenues for connecting my music with the widest possible audience becomes a real focus. This year SXSW is providing just such a chance allowing me not just to perform with my band as part of the JAZZ RE:FRESHED OUTERNATIONAL showcase but also, thanks to British Underground and SXSW, participate in a virtual showcase with my very own avatar which has historically been the preserve of the few. With a new album on the way later this year, this opportunity has created a way for me to gain the kind of exposure that only showcasing at SXSW can bring despite not being able to leave London!”

Isabel Garvey, Managing Director at Abbey Road Studios stated, “We are delighted to support Jazz:refreshed and British Underground in spotlighting the incredible, emerging jazz talent at this year’s virtual SXSW festival from our world famous Studio Two, which has hosted artists from Shirley Bassey and The Beatles to Radiohead, Kano and Celeste. The chance to host the 3D avatar performance with Theon Cross is a fantastic opportunity to spotlight a remarkable talent and demonstration of our commitment to supporting the best emerging artists and technology across the industry.”

British Underground CEO, Crispin Parry stated, “We’ve spent the last twelve months working out how to showcase new UK music without access to live stages and audiences, so to be hosted by Abbey Road Studios for this SXSW live-stream is very special. It has also been an incredible journey into the future bringing to life the Theon Cross 3-D avatar with the support Arts Council England and the development team at FKB. Theon’s avatar is a product of our times and is a glimpse at what is coming.”

This showcase is part of the Arts Council England supported JAZZ RE:FRESHED OUTERNATIONAL project, an initiative to shine a spotlight on new British jazz talent from Nubya Garcia to Ezra Collective, Nerija and Shabaka Hutchings.

Related News