For some, worldwide touring and critically acclaimed albums would be satisfaction enough. Not for YolanDa Brown, she wears many hats, musician, broadcaster, author, philanthropist and wears them well… with passion and full of vigour.
YolanDa is a double MOBO Award-winning artist, her music is a delicious fusion of reggae, jazz and soul. She has toured with The Temptations, Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Billy Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Dave Stewart from Eurythmics, Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance, Kelly Jones from Stereophonics and Rick Astley. She is currently composing music for the iconic Sesame Street as well as the Netflix Series CocoMelon Lane.
She was awarded an OBE for services to music, music education and broadcasting in the 2023 New Year Honours List by His Majesty the King. In July 2022, YolanDa was appointed Chair of BPI (organises The BRIT Awards, The Mercury Prize). The Lord Lieutenant of Greater London appointed YolanDa as a Deputy Lieutenant in October 2022.
A champion for the importance of music education, YolanDa is Chair of Youth Music, sits on the Arts Council National Council, is a trustee of the PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2021, she was invited by the Department of Education to sit on the advisory panel of the National Plan for Music Education. November 2022 saw YolanDa awarded the Music Week – Women in Music “Music Champion Award”.
She is a broadcaster working across TV and Radio, including her eponymous series for CBeebies, “YolanDa’s Band Jam”, which won the RTSNW award as Best Children’’s Programme. For the BBC Proms she hosted the Ella and Dizzy Centenary, as well as Last Night of the Proms, Gospel Choir of the Year for BBC One and BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year and is host of the London Philharmonic Orchestra podcast, Offstage.
Over on the airways, she hosts YolanDa Brown on Saturday on Jazz FM, presents the best of classical music on Scala Radio on Sundays, BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends with Clive Anderson and can be heard regularly across BBC Radio 2.
You may have also spotted her flexing her general knowledge muscles on such shows as Bridge of Lies with Ross Kemp, University Challenge, The Hit List, Richard Osman’s House of Games, Celebrity Mastermind, Pointless Celebrities, Celebrity Eggheads and Gareth Malone’s All Star Music Quiz. She even got to indulge her other passion of classic cars on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, scouring the country for hidden treasures, and she was recently a sitter on Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky Arts.
An entrepreneur too, YolanDa launched the London Saxophone Festival in 2018, currently in its third edition, and is about to launch her own music venue and restaurant, Soul Mama, in autumn 2023. YolanDa loves to drive fast cars around race tracks in her spare time and can even rattle off a Rubik’s Cube in around five minutes (on a good day).
A real renaissance woman set to reach new heights, join YolanDa Brown for some sunshine music.
Age guidance: 14+
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Future events in this series
EFG London Jazz Festival 2023
EFG London Jazz Festival is back this November! World-class artists and emerging stars bring the very best of jazz and musicianship to London over ten days of live performances, special collaborations, fresh discoveries, and exclusive new commissions in venues across the capital.Read more about this series