YolanDa Brown, OBE, born in Barking, East London on October 4, 1982, is an accomplished British saxophonist, composer, and broadcaster known for her innovative fusion of reggae, jazz, and soul music. With a unique sound that transcends genres, Brown has become one of the most recognizable figures in the contemporary UK jazz scene, earning numerous accolades and awards throughout her career.
Brown’s passion for music began at a young age. She started playing the piano at the age of six and later took up the violin, drums, and oboe. However, it was the saxophone that truly captured her heart, and at the age of 13, she began playing the instrument seriously. Brown’s diverse musical interests and background have played a significant role in shaping her distinctive sound.
In addition to her love for music, Brown also excelled academically. She attended the prestigious University of Kent, where she graduated with a first-class degree in Management Science and a Master’s degree in Social Policy. Despite her academic achievements, Brown chose to pursue a career in music, driven by her passion and love for the saxophone.
YolanDa Brown’s professional music career took off in 2007 with the release of her debut EP, “Finding My Voice.” Her unique blend of reggae, jazz, and soul quickly gained her recognition and acclaim within the music industry. Brown went on to release her first full-length album, “April Showers May Flowers,” in 2012, which further solidified her position as a rising star in the UK jazz scene.
Throughout her career, Brown has received numerous awards and honors for her exceptional musicianship, including two MOBO Awards for Best Jazz Act in 2008 and 2009. Additionally, she has been the recipient of the Urban Music Award for Best Jazz Act and the Gold Badge Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.
Brown’s talents extend beyond her work as a saxophonist and composer. She is also an accomplished broadcaster, hosting her own radio show on British Airways and presenting the popular CBeebies television series “YolanDa’s Band Jam.” Her engaging and charismatic personality has made her a sought-after presenter and host, further increasing her visibility within the entertainment industry.
YolanDa Brown is also deeply committed to using her platform to give back to her community. She has been involved in various charitable initiatives and educational programs, including her work as a patron for the Mayor’s Music Fund and as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.
With her distinctive sound, passion for music, and dedication to giving back, YolanDa Brown has established herself as a leading figure in the UK jazz scene. As she continues to captivate audiences and inspire future generations of musicians, Brown’s influence on the world of music is undeniable.
Page last updated 3/18/2023.