Dr YolanDa Brown - Honorary Doctorate Award

Double MOBO Award Winner, saxophonist YolanDa Brown is widely regarded as the emerging “voice” of mainstream Jazz in the UK.

It comes as no surprise that Brown was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the University of East London on 2 December 2010 at the Barbican, alongside human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and Time Out editor Mark Frith.

“I feel extremely humbled to receive this doctorate and I am keen to work closely with the University of East London.”

At school, YolanDa was as able in the classroom as she was in the music room. She excelled in all subjects, especially maths and science. She sailed through her GCSEs, became head girl during her A-levels, and went on to university. She graduated with first class honours, gaining a Masters in Management Science. She then completed a Masters in Social Research Methods. For the last four years Brown has been studying for a PhD, at the University of Kent, but has taken a sabbatical in order to pursue her music career.

An independent artist, with no record label funding or support, Brown has had to work very hard and be extremely creative in an ever changing music industry.

With two independent EP releases, two MOBO awards and sold out concerts in tow, Brown is due to release her eagerly anticipated debut album in 2012.

“It has all happened really quickly and I am enjoying doing what I love. My debut album due for release in 2012 will illustrate new landmarks in my particular musical journey. I am fortunate to have an eclectic and very open-minded following, many of whom have been with me from day one”

Brown has performed on a range of platforms, ranging from the London Jazz Festival to audience with the President of Russia and playing to the Prime Minister of Jamaica in Port Antonio. She has toured and collaborated with artists including Grammy Award Winner Diana Krall and Motown legends The Temptations. 

Brown’s entrepreneurship has found practical application through her association with Black Grape Global. She is involved in the professional development and support of other performing artists as well as various other ventures, including the opening of a restaurant and live music venue in London.

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