Rhinegold Photo credit: Robin Clewley

Lucy Thraves


Jess Gillam announces debut album

1:51, 11th February 2019

Following her performance at last night’s BAFTAs, young classical saxophonist Jess Gillam announces the release of her debut album ‘Rise’, out 26 April on Decca Classics.

The album is a collection of pieces which showcase her talent and musical taste, ranging from Marcello and Shostakovich to David Bowie and Kate Bush. Reflecting her musical journey and the pieces that have inspired her in her career, the album features cover versions of Kate Bush’s ‘This Woman’s Work’ and David Bowie’s ‘Where Are We Now?’ as well as familiar hits from the world of film, such as ‘Closing In’ by John Williams (as featured in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can).

Alongside signature pieces and classical works, ‘Rise’ features a brand new commission from Gillam’s teacher and mentor, acclaimed saxophonist John Harle, who also produced the recording. His new piece for Jess, ‘RANT!’, is based on traditional folk tunes from her home county, Cumbria, and he describes it as ‘a portrait of Jess Gillam – her energy, her sound and her presence, painted in music from her own part of England.’

20-year-old Gillam recently wrote an open letter in the Guardian, calling on politicians to support music tuition in schools, as funding cuts continue to threaten the opportunities for children to learn an instrument and develop a greater understanding of the arts.

Gillam said: ‘To record an album has been a huge ambition of mine for a very long time so I can’t believe it’s actually happening! I’ve learned a lot through the recording process and the whole album consists of music I love so I am very excited to share it.’

Watch the music video for ‘Theme from Love Story’ here:

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