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Masterclass: Emma Johnson // Saxophonist, Composer

Award winning saxophonist and composer Emma Johnson is a Leeds based musician and the bandleader of Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat.

Emma’s music has been played on BBC Radio 3 and her writing has been described as ‘a relaxed, melodic and distinctive style of contemporary jazz’. With her group, Emma received the Peter Whittingham Award to record her debut album Worry Not, which was released in July 2021. The band completed their first national tour at the end of the year, performing the album’s music live in cities across England.

Johnson is currently working on Northern Flame, a commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival 2022, which will premiere in September. Regarding her playing, a recent review in Bebop Spoken here noted: ‘Johnson gets a great sound on tenor and has a technique to match. Not one of those in your face players but someone whose solos build gradually and logically, with a natural lyricism reminiscent of Coltrane.’

A versatile musician, Emma has worked with musicians such as Easy Life, Gregory Porter, Olly Murs, Clare Teal and Los Campesinos! and performs across the UK and internationally with a number of bands. Emma also has her own horn section, and has arranged and performed on releases for bands such as Happy Daggers, Neon Dolls and most notably Fold, who’s tracks are played regularly on BBC Radio 6 Music.

Emma will be in conversation to take your questions on how to run a successful group.