Yanagisawa Artists

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Alexander Bone

Born in Darlington into a musical family, Alexander started playing the saxophone at the age of six, taught by his father.

Alexander was the first BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, winning in 2014.

In his formative youth, Alexander was a member of the Greater Manchester Jazz Orchestra and the National Youth Jazz Collective and played with high profile names including Snake Davis (a mentor) and Stan Tracey.

More recently, Alexander has worked with global artists such as Nile Rodgers, Kylie Minogue and chart-topping producers Rudimental.

Alexander was a soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and is a member of jazz quintet The Jam Experiment, who won the 2014 Jazz North Introduces scheme and have already performed at many British jazz festivals and venues.

Alexander currently studies jazz at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Alexander plays: Yanagisawa A991B, T991B, SC991B

Jess Gillam

From Ulverston, Cumbria, Jess started playing sax aged seven and has won numerous awards and accolades for her talent.

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.

In 2018 Jess closed the 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.

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 became the first saxophonist to sign a record contract with Decca Classics, releasing her first album “RISE”in 2019. You can hear her regularly on Radio 3.

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

Snake Davis

Snake Davis is widely known as a solo artist and for his guest appearances, solos on tracks such as Lisa Stansfield's “Change”, M-Peoples “Search For A Hero” and “Moving On Up” and Take That's “A Million Love Songs”. 

He has played and recorded with artists ranging from James Brown to Paul McCartney, The Eurhythmics to Amy Winehouse – having recorded on more than 400 tracks in recent years for over 60 artists and played live with dozens more.

Snake is in demand across the world; playing the saxophone family as well as flutes, whistles and the ancient Japanese wind instrument, the Shakuhachi.  A highly talented player, he is also a musical director, a writer, an arranger, bandleader, and sought after for his work in education.

During the pandemic Snake held live sessions on YouTube. We had the pleasure of meeting Snake in a webinar during covid; Snake proving himself to a perfect guest, a charming man, as well as musician.

Laura Fowles

Most notable for her renowned live performances with Hed Kandi and other huge brands such as Ministry of Sound, Space-Ibiza, Pacha, Café Del Mar and Cocoon, it is no surprise that Lovely Laura is the clubbing world's most in demand saxophonist.

To add to this, and under the personal invitation of Domenico Dolce (Dolce & Gabbana), Laura has toured the world performing at a wide range of their events such as fashion show parties, boutique parties and even personal events.

With numerous influences including Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Paul Desmond, Joni Mitchell & Donny Hathaway, Laura, who is also a singer/ songwriter, has a passion for music which extends from electronic music to that of Jazz and Soul, where, as a solo artist, she has enthralled thousands. She has performed at arenas such as the O2, NEC, Manchester Evening News Arena and Amsterdam Heineken Music Hall, supporting artists such as Take That, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Stylistics and Candy Dulfer.

Laura recently signed her debut jazz album ‘Off The Ground’ to Robin Millar’s (Sade, Everything But The Girl, Fine Young Cannibals, Randy Crawford, etc) label NuJaz.

Gerard McChrystal

Gerard McChrystal comes from Derry, N.Ireland. He took up the saxophone as a second study for his RNCM audition in 1982. By 1987 he had made his concerto debut with the RTE Concert Orchestra playing the Dubois Concerto live on TV.

Since then, Gerard has won numerous competitions and performed in 35 countries including USA, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Azerbaijan, Korea and Germany.

Orchestras Gerard has worked with include Philharmonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony of Ireland, Stuttgart Staatsorchester and the Orchestra of San Francisco Ballet. Venues include San Francisco Opera House, Baku Opera House, Royal Abert Hall, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, National Concert Hall, Dublin and a longhut in Sarawak, Borneo.

He has worked with Philip Glass, The Smith Quartet, guitarist Craig Ogden, percussionists Ensemble Bash, The Soweto String Quartet, tenorist Tommy Smith and vocal groups Anuna and Codetta. In 2010 he was invited to be an adjudicator at the Royal Overseas League Competition, London and the 5th Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition in Dinant, Belgium.  

In keeping with his roots, Gerard has developed a repertoire of accessible new works, often with a celtic influence. Gerard is Professor of Saxophone at Trinity Laban, London.

Gerard Plays: Yangisawa S992

Edward Leaker

A relative local to John Packer, Edward graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Masters Degree in Music Performance. Since then, Edward has built an enviable reputation as a freelance saxophonist and educator.

As a freelance musician, Edward has performed in a wide variety of settings, both classical and jazz, from big bands and jazz ensembles to solo recitals, quartets, orchestral and television work. Edward is always in demand as a saxophonist for his versatility and is well respected among musicians for his sound and approach.

A passionate educator, Edward currently holds the positions of Head of Instrumental & Vocal Coaching, Coordinator of Woodwind Studies and Coordinator of Jazz & Popular Music Studies at Wells Cathedral School. Edward’s extensive experience as an educator includes teaching the saxophone, clarinet, improvisation and jazz studies at several leading independent schools and for Kings College, London. In addition to this, Edward leads workshops and ensembles nationally and is a mentor and tutor for South West Music School.

Edward also leads his own projects including Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra (a South West based big band featuring some of the top jazz musicians in the country), Blaze (a groundbreaking classical crossover group which features the saxophone with strings) and pop jazz ensemble The Edward Leaker Band.