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Home > YolanDa Brown: Women Make Music

YolanDa Brown: Women Make Music

Writer and performer YolanDa is passionate about storytelling through music, and having already established herself as a frontrunner in saxophone performance and winning two MOBO awards, she will develop her vocal and piano skills which she will incorporate into a new work titled ‘Blue Sky’. This will be performed live at the Jazz Café, Camden accompanied by an eight-piece band.

Born in Barking in the UK, YolanDa started to study her passion early on, beginning with piano at 6 years old, and by seven, the violin and then the drums. She loved the recorder, the oboe, and by 13 had settled on the saxophone. She refused to take lessons, however, simply because the saxophone to YolanDa was somehow instinctual. She simply knew how to play it, naturally, as if she were born to do so.

In her early 20s, she started to play live, her natural gift bringing her to the attention of all sorts of artists who promptly invited her out on the road with them. Over the past few years she has played with Alexander O’Neal, Mica Paris, Omar, Soweto Kinch and Sway. She learned plenty with each, but it also whet the appetite of someone who didn’t just play an instrument but also wrote her own songs.

Her debut concert at London’s Mermaid Theatre in July 2007 was a sell out and since then she has played at jazz venues in Miami and at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Rotterdam Carnival and Spain’s IslaVuelta’s Festival. She has played before the High Commission and at the Ocho Rios Festival in Jamaica. For 18 months, she hosted her own talk show – entitled, confusingly, Esther (after a character in the Bible) on Passion TV and she toured the UK with The Temptations. She ended 2008 by picking up a MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act. For the past three years now, she has performed with some of the music world’s most respected artists, and her name on the bill alone can sell out all sorts of venues. She has won 2 prestigious MOBO Awards, has presented an arts show on television, and is currently putting the finishing touches to a debut album which will firmly establish her on modern music’s cultural map.

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