Trailblazing superstar saxophonist Jess Gillam makes her Irish debut with a fabulously eclectic programme that takes us on a journey of musical discovery from Bach to Bowie!
Jess Gillam has been forging her own adventurous path since she shot to fame becoming the first saxophonist to reach the finals of BBC Young Musician and the youngest ever soloist to perform at the Last Night of the Proms.
Animating the music world with her outstanding talent, electrifying performances and infectiously enthusiastic personality, Jess is passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music. As well as performing around the world, Jess is a presenter on TV and Radio. She became the youngest ever presenter for BBC Radio 3 with the launch of her own weekly show, This Classical Life, and is the first ever saxophonist to be signed exclusively to Decca Classics. Both of her albums reached No. 1 in the UK Classical Music Charts.
For her Irish debut at WWF, Jess will be joined by double bassist Sam Becker and pianist Leif Kaner-Lidström for a programme that brilliantly blends music from the 18th century right up to the present day.
“Not just one of Britain’s most virtuosic instrumentalists, but also an unstuffy, inspiring personality.”The Times
“A true inspiration…she frankly rocks.”Huffington Post
“She had the Royal Albert Hall in the palm of her hand.”The Telegraph
Hailing from Ulverston in Cumbria, Jess Gillam is animating the music world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality. She has been forging her own adventurous path since she shot to fame becoming the first saxophonist to reach the finals of BBC Young Musician and the youngest ever soloist to perform at the Last Night of the Proms. Passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music, Jess invites audiences on journeys of musical discovery through her electrifying performances and eclectic programming.
As well as performing around the world, Jess is a presenter on TV and Radio. She became the youngest ever presenter for BBC Radio 3 with the launch of her own weekly show, This Classical Life. The show is in its third year now and in 2020 won the prestigious ARIA Award for Best Specialist Music Show. Jess has presented a special live edition of This Classical Life at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. She has also been a guest presenter for BBC Radio 2 and co-hosted a miniseries for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Keen to explore the creative output of her home county, Jess presented a series of Cumbrian Chats on BBC Radio Cumbria. TV presenting includes the BBC Proms and BBC Young Musician.Jess is the first ever saxophonist to be signed exclusively to Decca Classics and both of her albums reached No. 1 in the UK Classical Music Charts. Her debut album was listed in The Times Top 100 albums of 2019. She has been the recipient of a Classic BRIT Award, has been nominated for The Times Breakthrough Award and was awarded an M.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2021 for Services to Music.
A free spirit in style and character, Jess is an advocate for the power of music in society. She is passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music and during lockdown, she formed her ‘Virtual Scratch Orchestra’, inviting musicians of any standard to come together to play music virtually with her. The orchestra played music by David Bowie and The Beatles as well as a Christmas special of Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. Over 2,000 people from around 30 different countries took part across the two projects, aged 2-94, playing a huge range of instruments. Jess is a patron for Awards for Young Musicians and London Music Fund and enjoys working and performing with young musicians.
Her enthusiasm and passion for classical and non-classical music lights up every stage and she has performed in prestigious concert halls and with world-class orchestras around the globe including the NDR Hannover, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the UK’s leading orchestras. She also enjoys touring with her newly-formed Jess Gillam Ensemble bringing together a group of brilliant musicians who share her bold, uplifting and open-minded approach. Jess has performed live at the BAFTAs to millions of viewers at home.
Jess is currently Artist in Residence at the Wigmore Hall, an European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star which sees her performing at many of the top concert halls across Europe and she continues to promote her own concert series, bringing international talent to her hometown of Ulverston.
As an in demand bass player, Sam is equally at home in the studio as he is on stage. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2018 and has since enjoyed a busy and varied musical career in the classical arena as well as on the pop stage with his own band SUN SILVA. He has performed and recorded for some of the UK’s leading orchestras and artists including Bryan Ferry, the John Wilson Orchestra, the Hallé, Alexis Taylor (of Hot Chip) and the BBC Philharmonic. Sam’s band SUN SILVA were billed by BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders on his UK wide tour “Hopscotch” and their debut single ‘Blue Light’ featured on the international best-selling game FIFA 19, a game bought by over 20 million people. Their newer releases have been met with critical acclaim; they were featured as ’track of the day’ by Clash Magazine and DIY Magazine described their music as “remarkably assured… propulsive and idiosyncratic’.
Leif Kaner-Lidström is a pianist and composer, a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where he studied with professor Dina Parakhina. Leif has performed in a number of venues across the UK and internationally. He made his solo debut at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in October 2017, where he also played a recital with his father Mats Lidstrom, cellist and professor at the Royal Academy of Music in May 2019. Together, they have performed duo recitals around the UK, Sweden, Italy and performed on BBC Radio 3 In-Tune with Sean Rafferty. In 2018 Leif accompanied mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter on a recital tour to Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. Since then they have performed together in Germany, Sweden, Teatro Massimo in Sicily, and on national radio. Their collaboration will continue at the Wigmore Hall, Neuhardenberg, Germany, and in Helsinki, Finland this year.