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For some, world-wide touring and critically acclaimed albums would be satisfaction enough. Not for YolanDa Brown, she wears many hats, musician, broadcaster, author, philanthropist and wears them well… with passion and full of vigour.


YolanDa is a double MOBO Award winning artist, her music is a delicious fusion of reggae, jazz, and soul. She has toured with The Temptations, Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Billy Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Dave Stewart from Eurythmics, Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance, Kelly Jones from Stereophonics and Rick Astley. She is currently composing music for the iconic Sesame Street, animated series called Bea’s Block on Sky Kids, as well as the Netflix Series CocoMelon Lane. 


She was awarded an OBE for services to music, music education and broadcasting in the 2023 New Year Honours List by his Majesty the King. In July 2022, YolanDa was appointed Chair of BPI - the representative voice for record labels in the UK. BPI organises The BRIT Awards, The Mercury Prize and co-owns The Official Charts. The Lord Lieutenant of Greater London appointed YolanDa as a Deputy Lieutenant in October 2022.


A champion for the importance of music education, YolanDa is Chair of Youth Music, sits on the Arts Council National Council, is a trustee of the PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund, on English Heritage’s Blue Plaque panel and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2021, she was invited by the Department of Education to sit on the advisory panel of the National Plan for Music Education. November 2022 saw YolanDa awarded the Music Week – Women in Music “Music Champion Award”.


During the pandemic with Sony Music and Twinkl, YolanDa rolled out her bespoke online music lesson plans for teachers, parents and pupils in primary schools nationwide, an estimated 30 000 children have used the resources. In 2018 along with James JP Drake, she launched the "Drake YolanDa Award" offering grants to emerging musicians between the ages of 16 – 30. 


YolanDa graduated with a first-class degree in Operations management from the University of Kent, followed by 2 Masters degrees and studied a PhD for four years, before taking a hiatus from her thesis to pursue her music career. She awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the University of East London and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music in 2023.


She is a broadcaster working across TV and Radio, including her eponymous series for CBeebies, "YolanDa’s Band Jam", which won the RTSNW award as Best Children’s Programme. For the BBC Proms she hosted the Ella and Dizzy Centenary, as well as Last night of the Proms, Gospel Choir of the Year for BBC One and BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year. Host of the London Philharmonic Orchestra podcast Offstage, YolanDa presents a series talking to a range of musicians within the LPO about their experiences as orchestral musicians.


Over on the airways, she hosts YolanDa Brown on Saturday on Jazz FM, presents the best of classical music on Scala Radio on Sundays, BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends and can be heard regularly across BBC Radio 2 and Magic FM.


You may have also spotted her flexing her general knowledge muscles on such shows as: 'Bridge of Lies' with Ross Kemp, ‘University Challenge’, ‘The Hit List’, Richard Osman’s ‘House of Games’, ‘Celebrity Mastermind’, ‘Pointless Celebrities’ which she won, ‘Celebrity Eggheads’ and Gareth Malone’s ‘All Star Music Quiz’. She even got to indulge her other passion of classic cars on ‘Celebrity Antiques Road Trip’, scouring the country for hidden treasures and she was recently a sitter on ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ on Sky Arts.


An entrepreneur too, YolanDa launched the London Saxophone Festival in 2018, currently in its third edition, and is about to launch her own music venue and restaurant, Soul Mama, in 2024. YolanDa loves to drive fast cars around racetracks in her spare time and can even rattle off a Rubik’s Cube in around five minutes (on a good day).


A true renaissance woman, continually scaling new heights in her diverse endeavours.


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