YolanDa, her sax, and all that jazz

YolanDa Brown
YolanDa Brown

From learning the proper pronunciation of the town’s name to the quality of its fish and chips, multi-award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown has fond memories of Alnwick.

Yes, she enjoyed playing in front of a responsive and much-impressed Playhouse audience when she performed there last summer.

But mentioning the town to her immediately rekindles thoughts of a linguistic and a culinary nature.

“I remember Alnwick well, I loved it,” said East London born-and-bred YolanDa, who is back in concert at the Playhouse on Friday, June 20.

“I wasn’t sure whether it was Aln-wick or Alnwick, so that was the first question I put to the audience last time and they put me right,”she jokes.

“I also remember having amazing fish and chips in the town centre. And seeing where Harry Potter was filmed.”

Not only does this talented musician promise to say the name of the town correctly this time round, but she has also vowed to take the Playhouse audience on a musical journey.

“It won’t be a stuffy jazz night,” she said during a phone interview with the Gazette.

“There will be new songs and new genres mixed in with the jazz. I also love to interact with the audience and so I make sure that everyone is involved and along for the ride.”

Her Playhouse appearance is part of the current tour which started in London at the start of May and will take her to the likes of Portsmouth, Norwich, Canterbury and beyond.

“The tour is going well,” said YolanDa, whose music is a mix of sounds, touching on jazz, soul and reggae. “We are trying out some new material and it is good to get feedback.

“It’s nice to be on the road. For me, touring is the best part about being a musician and making music. I love being on stage and making music for the moment.”

If there is one thing that has changed since YolanDa was last at the Playhouse, then it is the sound of the patter of tiny feet.

New mum YolanDa said: “My daughter is three-and-a-half months old and she has already been on tour.

“I love being a mother and I am lucky enough to be able to bring her on the road with me and have time at home with her between appearances. She also loves music, which is a bonus.”