Jazz sensation embarks on emotional tour

14:48 16 February 2012

YolanDa Brown

YolanDa Brown

Archant

»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.

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 Stories

Yesterday, 16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:26
The super-cute miniscule monkey currently measures just three inches tall (Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

The newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo measures just three inches tall and was spotted by keepers clinging tightly onto her mum during their daily rounds.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:59
Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 101 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A war memorial in south London was set on fire by vandals just days before the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

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.

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

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

Yoou might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more