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Friday, March 07, 2008

Ocho RIos Jazz Profiles - Yolanda Brown

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown is considered by many to be one of a kind.

To hear YolanDa play music is to know her…

From very early musical beginnings she has come to make the Tenor and Soprano Saxophones her very own.

YolanDa Brown expresses her innermost feelings through her music and in so doing, never fails to rise to the next level with each performance. A belief in the open truth of music has seen her develop a wide genre vocabulary and songbook, backed by an undeniably awesome performance talent.

YolanDa is as comfortable re-interpreting a current chart-topper, as she is reprising a Jazz standard or launching into an original composition. Always in evidence is her raw emotion which as become synonymous with the YolanDa Brown sound.

Born and raised in London, YolanDa Brown has grown up surrounded by an eclectic mix of music, the influences of which can be heard in every breath she plays and in every note she writes.

She references Jazz, Afro-Jazz, Gospel, Reggae, Salsa, Hip-hop, R&B, with consummate ease, even going back to Mento throughout her performances, but her style and phrasing always remains her own.

With such a musically diverse DNA to her soul, is it any wonder that YolanDa Brown touches so many people through the voice of her music!

In conjunction with her music, YolanDa Brown has completed a Masters in Management Science, as well as a Masters in Social Research Methods and is currently studying for her PhD at the University of Kent. She also fronted a TV talk show on a Sky Channel.

YolanDa Brown has performed in numerous venues including: Jazz Café, Café de Paris, St. Martin in- the- Fields, Smollensky’s on the Strand, Mermaid Theatre, Cargo, The Broadway Theatre and Hackney Empire.

A worldwide performer, she has also played for the High Commission in Jamaica, Jazz venues in Miami, the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Rotterdam Carnival and the IslaVuelta festival in Spain, to name but a few.

The release of YolanDa Brown’s debut EP, entitled “Finding My Voice” and her sold out debut concert at the Mermaid Theatre London in July 2007, were both met with rave reviews from press and her ever growing fan base.

We now await with great anticipation the DVD release of that magical evening.

YolanDa Brown has worked with artists ranging from MOBO Awards Best Album Singer Terri Walker to Mercury Music Prize Saxophonist Soweto Kinch, Chicago Star Brenda Edwards, Jazz Calypso Legend Russ Henderson MBE and Queen of Lovers Rock Janet Kay to name a few...

In response to overwhelming popular demand, YolanDa Brown held her second solo concert on Saturday 8th December 2007, at the prestigious Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square, London. The show at a venue twice the capacity of her debut concert, was also sold out.

Many people have come to realise the uniqueness of the artist that is YolanDa Brown.

YolanDa Brown's main aim through her music is to "Make the Saxophone Her Voice..."

“Bright young saxophone talent – sounding somewhere between Stan Getz and Courtney Pine (minus the showboating chops) – Brown's music is an accessible mix of classic jazz tones with a twist of R&B and funk. Something of an unusual 'crossover' star in the making (she's not a singer for starters)”

“A name you are going to hear you are going to hear lots and tonnes and loads about in the not too distant future”
-- BBC London

“One to look out for in 2008”
-- Choice FM

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