Anna Brooks (Saxophones, UK)
Anna Brooks’ musical career to date has been diverse and prestigious. She is currently tenor / soprano saxophonist for The Brooklyn Funk Essentials. Formed in the mid-‘90s the band, which mixes Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop and Turkish folk music became a staple of the New York City club scene. They now have a worldwide fan base and make regular international festival and TV appearances.
Anna studied both Classical and Jazz saxophone at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and graduated in 1996 with a first class honors degree. She was featured as a Jerwood Foundation ‘Rising Star’ at Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in 2002. Whilst performing at the Brecon Jazz Festival later that year, she was spotted and signed by Red Kite Records who later released her debut jazz quintet album ‘My Time’.
As tenor saxophonist / musical director, Anna spent two years with George Treadwell’s legendary group ‘The Drifters’. This followed two years touring with ‘70s glam-rocker Roy Wood. Anna was also a member of Indian composer / violinist John Mayer’s ‘Indo-Jazz Fusions’ (original line-up included Joe Harriott and Kenny Wheeler), with whom she toured India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Anna is Musical Director / arranger / saxophonist and long-standing member of Roy G. Hemmings’ ‘Dictionary Of Soul’ band, with whom she is currently touring the UK with the show ‘Motown and Philadelphia on Tour’. She also performs from time to time with The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As a recording artist and freelance musician, Anna works regularly on soprano, tenor, alto, baritone saxophones and backing vocals.
Aside from performing, Anna’s reputation as a skilled composer and arranger has earned her composition commissions for stage, television and film as well as arranging projects ranging from large theatre shows to smaller ensembles. She has composed music for TV and independent films, and as a music preparation specialist has prepared scores for BBC’s ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Hoodwinked Too!’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘Robin Hood’. Anna is also an enthusiastic music educator, and is a saxophone / jazz improvisation tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire.