The MOBO award-winning saxophonist, band leader, composer and broadcaster YolanDa Brown joined Youth Music as the charity's Chair in January 2018.
YolanDa says: “I’m passionate about making sure young people have the opportunity to make music in a way that’s right for them, particularly those who, through no fault of their own, face barriers to taking part. I’m committed to helping break down these barriers.
“I know from personal experience the positive and transformative benefits of music-making. I also see the pressing need to make sure that all young people facing challenges in their lives get whatever support they need to experience these benefits. Youth Music is totally focused on this mission and I share its goal of achieving a musically inclusive England.”
YolanDa’s introduction to music started at an early age listening to her father’s diverse record collection. She learnt the piano, violin and drums before settling on the saxophone as the instrument closest to her musical voice and it has been the backbone of her career ever since.
YolanDa was the first musician to win a MOBO ‘Best Jazz’ award two years running and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the University of East London in 2010. Her music is a mix of reggae, jazz and soul and her new album ‘Love Politics War’ was top of the jazz charts.
She has toured with The Temptations, Diana Krall, Courtney Pine and Billy Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Mica Paris, Dame Evelyn Glennie, reggae legend Bob Marley’s son Julian Marley and as part of Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
YolanDa’s impressive list of achievements outside music includes learning to speak fluent Spanish and notching up two masters degrees in Operations Management and Methods of Social Research. She also loves to race fast cars and you can usually find her driving at a racing track on her days off. She is a presenter working on TV and radio, a keen foodie and can complete a Rubik’s cube in under 5 minutes on a good day!
Youth Music's Trustees
Our Trustees are responsible for making sure we fulfil our charitable purpose and obligations, guiding our strategy, helping with our fundraising and overseeing our finances. They’re all specialists in their respective fields, which gives us a range of expertise to call upon at board level. They volunteer their time because they’re passionate about what we do and they love music.