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Five Minutes with...Jess Gillam

Posted on 6 December 2018

We caught up with brilliant young sax star Jess Gillam ahead of her appearance here at Sage Gateshead during New Year New Artists Festival on 18 January. Jess stole the show at the Last Night of the Proms this year with a glittering performance of Milhaud’s Scaramouche.

What can people expect from your show?
I can’t wait for the concert with Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead! I think it will be a very joyous evening – a lot of the music in the programme is inspired by dance.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
This is such a difficult question! I take inspiration from so many different artists across many genres – David Bowie, John Harle, Barbara Thompson and Nina Simone to name but a few!

Who is your favourite new musician?
I think now is a very exciting time for classical music and there is so much incredible music being written. I love Anna Meredith and the work she does with electronics and her collaborations with other art forms.

What does performing at Sage Gateshead mean to you?
Sage Gateshead is a venue I have always wanted to perform at! I am looking forward to it so much and it will be especially brilliant to be performing at Sage Gateshead for the first time with RNS. I have performed with Jessica Cottis a couple of times before and she is such an incredible musician and interpreter so I’m also excited about that.

What’s coming up next for you?
I am currently working on my debut album so I am recording that at the moment! I’m also particularly looking forward to concerts in Switzerland and London later this year.

See the full New Year New Artists line-up