Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Five-day forecast

»The thing that strikes you most about YolanDa Brown is the way she’s so unassuming for a woman who has two MOBO awards, has played in front of presidents and worked as a TV presenter – all before the age of 30.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The saxophonist and singer is modest about her achievements, but warm, earthy and bubbly after achieving so much despite being a latecomer to jazz.

She only took up the saxophone aged 13, although previously played the piano, violin and drums before the age of seven.

Her interest in the saxophone started because she “wanted to play a wind instrument” and says she did not look back because it felt so natural. She sees the saxophone as an extension of herself.

“The sax is my voice. I can communicate my life with music,” she says.

YolanDa’s talent was spotted a few years later at an African-Caribbean society event in London where a representative of the High Commission decided to fly her to Jamaica to play for the president when she was 18.

‘Ambassador’

Playing sax remained a hobby and she decided to study business at university.

It was not until she was doing a PhD, aged 24, that she started working full-time as a musician. The following year in 2008 she won her first MOBO for Best Jazz and the rest is history.

Yolanda is touring to promote her debut album, April Showers, May Flowers.

She said: “The album is about going through hard times and growing. If you believe you can do it, you can get to the good times.

“I do find when I’m playing, it’s easy to be emotional. Some audience members say ‘I really did feel what you were saying’.”

When not performing, she’s a music ambassador for the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians and Yamaha, teaching children to play instruments.

She added: “Music is important in a child’s education.

“We are so caught up in league tables, we forget about the emotive, creative side.”

n YolanDa Brown is at Hammersmith Apollo on February 17. To book tickets, call 08448 444748.

Latest London art news & reviews

Share this article

submit to reddit submit to Fark

0 comments

LDN24 Promotions

Lord's Cricket Ground

Everyone’s invited to Lord’s this summer

Lord’s will host the first ever domestic T20 group stage double-header when Sussex and Essex take on Middlesex at the Home of Cricket on Saturday, May 17.

Read full story »

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

WIN beer with Beer BingoTM

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Read full story »

The Week subscription offer

The Week magazine special offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Read full story »

Things to do