LIVE: Josie d’Arby and  saxophonist and composer YolanDa Brown presented the final of elite BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018, giving the tightly contested title to saxophonist Xhosa Cole, from Handsworth Birmingham, the award was presented by Zara McFarlane who stated. 
“It has been a pleasure to witness such a high quality gig by such exceptional jazz musicians. We have been moved, inspired and impressed by each and every one of the performers here tonight. It has honestly been the hardest competition to date.” 
Image credit: Xhosa Cole with presenter Josie Darby
Photo Credit: BBC/Mark Allan

About Xhosa Cole (saxophone)

Handsworth-born Xhosa has played saxophone in the Jazzlines Ensemble, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra and Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra among others. While studying in sixth form, Xhosa attended courses with the National Youth Jazz Collective and National Youth Wind Orchestra. He performs regularly around Birmingham, writes for commissions by the Ideas of Noise Festival and is also involved in teaching the next generation of talent in his locality.

Five of the UK’s most promising young performers competed for this coveted title in front of a judging panel featuring some of the jazz world’s finest: pianist Monty Alexander, composer and pianist Zoe Rahman, bassist Gary Crosby (founding member of Jazz Warriors), singer Zara McFarlane and saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy. This is a big competition firmly established in the jazz calendar, the final moves to London and the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the capital’s Jazz Festival.

The other finalists included pianists Reuben Goldmark and Fergus McCreadie, and bassists James Owston and Seth Tackaberry.

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