Hailing from Ulverston in Cumbria, saxophonist Jess Gillam is blazing a trail in the music world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality: she ‘spreads joy’ said The Times.
After performing at the prestigious Last Night of the Proms in 2018 and having her performance described as ‘the indisputable highlight’ by BBC News, Gillam continues to grow her international career.
Gillam is the first ever saxophonist to be signed to Decca Classics and released her debut album ‘Rise’ in April 2019 which shot to No. 1 in the Official UK Classical Charts. Featuring a selection of her favourite pieces ranging from Marcello and Shostakovich to David Bowie and Kate Bush, it was highly celebrated and received rave reviews. As well as performing and recording, Gillam is also a presenter on TV and Radio. She became the youngest ever presenter for BBC Radio 3 and hosts her own weekly show ‘This Classical Life.’ She talks to musical friends and colleagues about the music that inspires them and has just been nominated for Best Specialist Music Programme at the ARIAS (February 2020).
Gilliam has been the recipient of a Classic BRIT Award (in the Sound of Classical Poll), was the first ever saxophonist to reach the final of BBC Young Musician of the Year (2016), and in 2019, performed live at the BAFTAs to millions of viewers at home. She is also a passionate advocate for the power of music in society, often combining her concert engagements with educational and social projects. She is a patron for Awards for Young Musicians and a trustee for the newly formed HarrisonParrott Foundation, working towards full inclusivity of all ethnicities, genders, disabilities and social backgrounds with equal access to the arts. Jess studies with acclaimed saxophonist and composer John Harle. She is a Vandoren UK Artist and became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones aged just 13. She is a lover of live music and continues to promote her own concert series, bringing international talent to her hometown of Ulverston.