ACCLAIMED saxophonist Jess Gillam is taking her chart topping classical album on tour for the first time.

Jess will visit eight locations across England from 26 June – 25 August performing music from her second album ‘TIME’ which shot to No.1 in the Official UK Classical Charts.

The 23-year-old said: “I cannot wait to connect with audiences once again this summer, and I feel very grateful to have these opportunities to share in the magical world of music. I released my second album, TIME, last year and it has felt quite odd not to be able to tour it or perform the music live so to have the chance to take the Jess Gillam Ensemble on the road for the first time is brilliant.”

She is joined by a small ensemble made up of an incredible group of musicians from a wide range of musical backgrounds but with roots in classical music. The Jess Gillam Ensemble includes Roberts Balanas & Michael Jones (violins); Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola); Gabriella Swallow (cello); Sam Becker (bass); Elsa Bradley (percussion) and Leif Kaner-Lidstrom (piano). 

As part of the live tour, the Ensemble will play some classic favourites as well as brand new works written especially for the ensemble including music by Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Piazzolla, Meredith Monk, Kurt Weill, Bjork, Luke Howard, Joby Talbot and more. 

The tour begins with Proms at St Jude’s, Hampstead (26 June) and ends at Snape Maltings (25 August).

26th June – Proms at St Jude’s, Hampstead
3rd July – Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
8th July – Cheltenham Music Festival
10th July – Budleigh Music Festival, Devon
12th July – St Albans Festival 
15th July – Petworth Festival  
22nd July – Ryedale Festival TBA
25th August – Snape Maltings TBA

For full tour details visit the ‘Concerts’ page.

Also in a UK first, Jess celebrates her ARIA-winning weekly BBC Radio 3 show and podcast, ‘This Classical Life’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra and special guests, live at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on July 7 at 7.30pm.

Guest performers will include composer, drummer and producer Ollie Howell who has written music for multi-award-winning films and TV series, soprano Soraya Mafi, singer Orlando Weeks former frontman of The Maccabees and songwriter, vocalist and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Exploring their musical influences and favourite styles, Jess and her guests will share and perform an eclectic range of music they love. Celebrating the power of live music, the concert promises to be an exhilarating and emotional evening conducted by the London Contemporary Orchestra’s Hugh Brunt.

For tickets to see This Classical Life: Live, please visit the ‘Concerts’ page.

On 20th July, Jess made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart. She performed “Joy Ride” from Escapades by John Williams. Jess also performed in the BBC Ten Pieces Prom on 23rd July with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis.

Follow links to watch performances:-

In July, Jess premiered a piece written for her by internationally renowned saxophonist Barbara Thompson entitled “the Sky’s the Limit” at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg. Barbara and her husband Jon Hiseman asked Jess if she would like to make a music video for the piece and they travelled to the Lake District and Jess’ hometown of Ulverston to film the video which will be released in 2016. Jon Hiseman and Asue Azar filmed the video.
Barbara writes – “It is a real treat to write a piece for such a talented young 17-year-old saxophonist, and I hope this will be the first of many collaborations”.
Jess being filmed
Jess and Barbara ThompsonJess being filmed

In November, Jess was delighted to be receive the “Musician of the Year” Award presented by Melvyn Bragg at the Cumbria Culture Awards. Jess was one of five finalists – Rickard Skelton, Elaine Davidson, Sycamore Sykes and Emma Jones. The Awards Ceremony was held at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and Jess performed “The Sky’s the Limit” (a piece written for her by Barbara Thomspon) and her own composition based on a poem by John Ruskin (performed with Ross Baxter).

Cumbria Life Culture Awards 2015

Jess with Melvyn BraggJess at Cumbria Culture
Jess and Kerry

Cumbria Culture

Saxophone legend Snake Davis returns to Ulverston for a concert organised by Jess for the fifth time, with his 8 piece soul band! After taking Ulverston by storm at a sell out gig last year, Snake and the band perform Motown, Atlanta and Northern Soul classics. Snake Davis is the most prolific session saxophonist of the past 25 years, having performed and recorded with artists such as Amy Winehouse, James Brown, Kylie, Ray Charles, Take That, Paul McCartney, M-People, Ruby Turner and Lis Stansfield to name but a few. A night guaranteed to get you up onto the dance floor, be sure to book early!

Snake and the band will be joined on stage by Jess for another guest appearance. Snake described Jess as “one of the best young saxophonists in the UK”.

Snake Davis and Jess Jess with Snake Davis and the Suspicions