UK & Irish Artists

Jess Gillam

Jess Gillam

Jess Gillam is an English sax player from Ulverston, Cumbria. She started playing sax at 7 years old. Jess has won many awards and scholarships locally and nationally including an ABRSM scholarship when she gained a place at the Royal Northern College of Music Juniors in 2011, where she studied saxophone with Ruth Bourn and won awards for demonstrating outstanding talent.

Jess won an award as the ‘Best Young Musician in the North-West’ from Awards for Young Musicians and has performed in concerts for them from the Highlands down to London. She was awarded an ABRSM Diploma in 2012, aged 15. Jess was also awarded Musician of the Year at the Cumbria Culture Awards presented by Melvyn Bragg. Other notable performances include appearances with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and as a concerto soloist with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra (in the same series as Nicola Benedetti, Emma Johnson and Julian Bliss).

She has played with Snake Davis several times and was described by him as “one of the best young sax players in the UK.” She runs her own annual concert series in Ulverston where previous acts have included Snake Davis and the Suspicions, the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Niko and the Terry Turner trio. The line-up for 2014 includes Courtney Pine and Snake Davis the Suspicions.

Jess was a woodwind category finalist of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 and was one of only three contestants who earned a place in the 2016 overall final. She has recently been studying with saxophonist, composer, conductor and record producer John Harle and will be taught by composer and educator Rob Buckland at the Royal Northern College of Music from September 2016.

She plays in many local and national concerts, performing a mixed classical repertoire, and is a member of the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain.

Most recently, Jess closed the 2018 BBC Proms by performing across the world-famous ‘Last Night of the Proms’, at Radio 2’s ‘Proms in the Park’ and at the Royal Albert Hall.

In May 2018, Jess became the first saxophonist to sign a record contract with Decca Classics, releasing her first album “RISE” on 26th April 2019.

2018 also saw Jess win a Classic BRIT award. She was awarded the ‘Sound of Classical Poll’ award, which promotes the best emerging artists and ones-to-watch in classical music.

Jess plays: Yanagisawa AWO20U, A992U, T992U, SS91SP, and SWO2U saxophones.