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 is currently composing music for the iconic Sesame Street and an animated series called Bea's Block. She has toured with Diana Krall, The Temptations, Billy Ocean, Beverley Knight and collaborated with artists such as Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
A champion for the importance of music education, YolanDa is chair of Youth Music, a national council member of the Arts Council, a trustee of the PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018 along with James JP Drake, she launched the "Drake YolanDa Award" offering grants to emerging musicians between the ages of 16 – 30. In 2021, she was invited by the Department of Education to sit on the advisory panel of the National Plan for Music Education.
Over on the airways, she hosts YolanDa Brown on Saturday on Jazz FM and BBC Radio 4’s ‘Loose Ends’ with Clive Anderson. You may have also spotted her flexing her general knowledge muscles on such shows as ‘University Challenge’, ‘The Hit List’, Richard Osman’s ‘House of Games’, ‘Mastermind’, ‘Pointless’ and Gareth Malone’s ‘All Star Music Quiz’. She even got to indulge her other passion of driving fast cars on ‘Celebrity Antiques Road Trip’, scouring the country for hidden treasures.
A real renaissance woman, set to reach new heights, join YolanDa Brown for some sunshine music.
It’s been a long time since the UK could with conviction, boast about the emergence of a true soul singer.
Welcome to Annastasia Baker - a MOBO award nominee; Former X Factor Contestant with rave reviews from Simon Cowell, school champion hurdler and a business owner (she owns her own driving school).
Her Debut Album ‘You Turn’ is full of songs redolent of a young woman that has overcome multiple setbacks in life.
Her daughter developed diabetes at the age of three and they have fought it daily since with Annastasia working closely with Diabetes UK as a celebrity ambassador for the charity. “This album is everything I have dreamt my debut album would be, the songs come from the heart, and I hope they can serve as an inspiration to others.”
Also under her belt, she auditioned for a TV series called Time2Shine, the UK’s most popular gospel talent show.
Here she flourished and sailed all the way through to the finals, where she was crowned the winner.
A MOBO Award nominee, she has performed at the Houses of Parliament.
Life has been a whirlwind ever since, Legend Kirk Franklin spontaneously invited Annastasia on stage to sing a couple of songs with him, during his London concert.
Annastasia Baker, has just come off a solid tour around America, where she picked up momentum and recently played a sold out show at the Jazz Café in London.
She sold out the 2000 capacity Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London feat special guest Grammy Award Winner Erica Campbell from the duo “Mary Mary”.
Following her tour, the US market has really embraced her music and the future looks extremely promising for Annastasia Baker.
Rick Leon James
The proficient, World renowned bassist, Rick Leon James rose to eminence on the London music scene in the 2000's, and has a long list of touring credits while simultaneously launching his own career as a band leader.
Essentially an improviser, an known for his fiery improvisational lines and inclination towards a strong groove and feel.
Rick initially appeared in the 1990's building an audience on the Trinidad music scene before moving to the UK to join Daniel Bedingfield's band, he had already established a fruitful career performing alongside such notability as Bunji Garlin, Benji and later on playing guitar for Vernon Duncan.
Hearten by his time with Duncan's live recording and album experience , he was able to journey to the UK to become The Bass Player to The Stars.
As well as playing on the Pop scene, Rick would host his own Jazz Fusion nights around London where he would be joined by his friends Amy Winehouse, Michael Kiwanuka, John Altman, Shabaka Hutchings, Jazzu, Femi Temowo to name a few.
He also expanded his reach, moving into producing and co-writing for YolanDa Brown's Love Politics War album.
Improviser, arranger, songwriter, film music composer, bassist, multi-instrumentalist Rick James is now one of the most in demand musician known for his versatile abilities.
Currently touring with Kamaal Williams, YolanDa Brown and his own band which ft. David Mrakpro from Blue Lab Beats.