“When I got the chance to record my first album, I wanted it to reflect music that I really love. Like many people, David Bowie was one of my musical heroes and with my new album Rise released on the 26th April, I’m proud to release a video single of his 2013 song ‘Where are we now?’. It was shot in Berlin (where else?) and you can view it here“.
‘Where are we now?’ is also available on Rise, released on Friday 26th April. You can pre-order via this link.
Jess releases her debut singles with Decca Classics! If by Michael Nyman and Brazileira, the third movement from Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche are now available to download from the following link.
You can also watch videos for both singles here:
or go over to the Videos page.
At the start of the summer, the BBC’s Proms Extra team filmed Jess as she prepared for her 2017 Proms debut. The resulting film with studio discussion and contributions from Nicola Benedetti, is now on the Videos page.
© BBC 2017 For more information about Proms Extra, please visit The BBC’s Proms Extra web page
Watch Jess perform “Where the Bee Dances” by Michael Nyman with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall, London in May 2016. Conducted by Mark Wigglesworth in the Final of BBC Young Musician 2016.
Click photo to watch performance.
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT – PERFORMED BY JESS GILLAM, FINALIST BBC YOUNG MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 2016
Saxophonist Jess Gillam commissioned Barbara Thompson to write this piece for her in 2015. Intended to be performed to a backing track of piano and strings at solo concerts, Jess first played it at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, where she was the youngest of 2,600 delegates. She is accompanied by Nadine André on piano and the Spitfire Strings.
Jess has always had an interest in promoting live music and she has been running an annual concert series in her home town of Ulverston in the Lake District for the past five years, bringing to the stage international names such as Courtney Pine, Snake Davis, Tommy Smith and the Apollo Saxophone Quartet.
I decided that this video had to be shot in the beautiful scenery around Jess’s home, but anyone familiar with the area will understand the vagaries of the weather and in the course of the two day shoot, the heavens threw everything it could at us. I had to quickly forget any ideas of blue lakes and sunlit peaks. Miraculously, out of nowhere, we did get a beautiful sunset.
Aged 18, Jess made history as the first ever saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year and in May 2016 reached the Grand Final where she performed a concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican to critical acclaim. When aged just 13, Jess became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones, one of the finest saxophone manufacturers in the world. She is also a Vandoren UK Artist.
Jon Hiseman July 2016
Jess performs Pequena Czardas by Pedro Itturalde with pianist Steve Lodder and Bassist Andee Price in March 2016.
Click to watch!
Jess performing 1st movement of Sonata by Phil Woods in March 2016 with Steve Lodder and Andee Price.
Click to watch!
Jess as Young Ambassador for UIMF
In 2015, Jess was invited to be the first Young Ambassador for the Ulverston International Music Festival. She visited local schools and gave performances and presentations about the Festival. She also gave a solo recital and made a guest appearance with the Will Todd Trio.
Since the inception of the Ulverston International Music Festival in 2004 by acclaimed classical pianist Anthony Hewitt, enthusiastic audiences have been treated to top stars and ensembles of our generation on their doorstep, including Nicola Benedetti, Tasmin Little, Chloe Hanslip, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Natalie Clein, Emma Johnson, Martin Roscoe, Sinfonia Viva and the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, plus jazz artists Dave Newton, Claire Martin and Benet McLean – all performing diverse programmes in venues all over the town.
In July, Jess was the youngest of 2,600 delegates to perform at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg. Her recital consisted entirely of World Premieres by some of the saxophonists who have been an inspiration to her: Barbara Thompson and John Harle. The piece written by Barbara Thompson is called “The Sky’s the Limit” and the arrangement by John hare is entitled “Berlin Tango”. She also performed one of her own compositions based on a poem by John Ruskin.
Some of Jess’ performance was filmed and is available to watch by following the link below:
Jess at World Saxophone Congress