Jess Gillam Ensemble set for St Albans Cathedral concert

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam MBE.

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam MBE. - Credit: Robin Clewley

Having recently been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for Services to Music, saxophonist Jess Gillam is set to bring her ensemble to St Albans.

The Classical BRIT Award-winning musician is due to play the 31st St Albans International Organ Festival at St Albans Cathedral on July 12.

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam is due to play the 31st St Albans International Organ Festival at St Albans Cathedral.

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam is due to play the 31st St Albans International Organ Festival at St Albans Cathedral. - Credit: Robin Clewley

After reaching number one in the classical charts with her latest album, TIME, Jess will perform music from the record on tour for the first time.

She will be 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 and Michael Jones (violins), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola), Gabriella Swallow (cello), Sam Becker (bass), Elsa Bradley (percussion) and Leif Kaner-Lidstrom (piano).

Jess 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.

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"Recording the album was one of the most gratifying and enjoyable musical experiences I have had and I’m excited now to see how that energy will translate into a live concert."

Hailing from Ulverston in Cumbria, Jess is one of the most exciting young musicians on the international stage and will present an eclectic programme.

The ensemble will play some classic favourites as well as new works written especially for them, including music by Will Gregory from Goldfrapp, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Astor Piazzolla, Meredith Monk, Kurt Weill, Björk, Luke Howard, Joby Talbot, Phillip Glass, Thom Yorke and more.

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam MBE.

Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam MBE. - Credit: Robin Clewley

Jess is the first ever saxophonist to be signed to Decca Classics and her second album, TIME, shot to No.1 in the Official UK Classical Charts, as did her debut album RISE.

Jess also hosts her own award-winning weekly show and podcast called ‘This Classical Life’.

On being awarded an MBE this year, Jess said: "I feel extremely touched to receive this award, especially in a year where so many people have done such incredible and selfless things.

"It’s very unexpected and a complete surprise. I’m very grateful to all of those who have supported me and to have had the opportunity to learn an instrument in the first place.

"Music has changed my life and I‘m passionate about sharing its magic with other people!"

Following the government announcement about the delay in the roadmap, festival organisers are reassessing seating arrangements for Jess' performance, and so bookings are currently unavailable. Visit www.stalbanscathedral.org for latest updates.

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