YolanDa back on home turf
The first woman to win the Best Jazz MOBO award in consecutive
years, YolanDa Brown is a saxophonist with an entrepreneurial
A former student at the University of Kent’s Business School in
Canterbury, YolanDa graduated with a first class degree in
It taught her a DIY ethic to making it, which led to her
fronting a TV talk show on a Sky Channel and appearing in idents
for American channel BET network (Black Entertainment
YolanDa decided to concentrate on her music career in January
2010, after studying for a PhD for four years at the University of
Kent. By that time she had already earned her two MOBOS in 2008 and
Also a winner of Best Jazz at the Urban Music Awards in 2009,
she was invited to play before the Russian president in St
“I played them some jazz but also introduced them to reggae –
they loved it,” she said after the trip.
Born to Jamaican parents in Barking, YolanDa has also travelled
to her parents’ homeland to perform for the country’s prime
Seen as the emerging voice of jazz in mainstream music, she has
toured with the Temptations, Courtney Pine, Diana Krall and played
with Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
The 30-year-old is an ambassador for both the Prince’s Trust and
the Yamaha Class Band, a scheme that visits schools in
underprivileged areas encouraging children to pick up an
“It’s amazing the confidence it brings them,” she said. “They
really come to life.”
See her at Canterbury’s Gulbenkian Theatre on Sunday,
November 25. Tickets £16. Box office 01227 769075.
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