Episode 58: YolanDa Brown

02.28.2022 - By Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

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YolanDa Brown is a saxophonist and broadcaster who has a constant, dazzling smile and an air of joy, which I hope comes across during our chat.  In our house we know her best for her Cbeebies show YolanDa's Band Jam where she shows children the joys of music through singing, dancing and playing.   Mum to 8 year old Jemima and 2 year old Alelphi, YolanDa talked to me about her two very different experiences of having her girls, and takes her hat off to all other parents who have had babies during the pandemic. When she is able to tour, she likes nothing better than to take her whole family away with her, with the support of her parents.   She talked to me about how teaching herself saxophone as a teenager helped her process her emotions, how she coped when her littlest daughter was born with a cleft soft palate, and her comforting discovery that 'you can only be you'. She has won many awards and incredibly she has TWICE won a MOBO in the Best Jazz Act category. She runs the Drake YolanDa Award to support emerging music artists in the UK. And as if all that wasn't enough, she's also worked with Mr Tumble! 
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