Yazz Ahmed is one of the most prominent trumpeters and composers on the London jazz scene. Through her music, Yazz seeks to dissipate the lines between jazz and electronic music, bringing together the sounds of her British-Bareinite heritage described as ‘psychedelic, intoxicating and compelling Arabic jazz’.
She debuted in 2011 with Finding My Way Home, a first delve into her music and influences. La Saboteuse (2017), her second album, shook the jazz world and won Jazz Album of the Year by the legendary magazine The Wire. In 2018, the album got new colours with the release of La Saboteuse Remixed (2018) – released in collaboration with several European DJs – and with A Shoal of Souls (2019), La Sabouteuse’s coda, which presented Yazz Ahmed’s exoticism to new audiences.
Polyhymnia (2019), Yazz Ahmed’s latest work, achieved several positive reviews and, like its predecessor, was distinguished as Jazz Album of the Year, this time by Jazz FM. Here, Yazz weaves a series of tributes to remarkable women in history and whose lives have inspired her music: Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Ruby Bridges, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Barbara Thompson, and The Suffragettes. Rich in images and metaphors, Polyhymnia explores the journey of these women, their struggles, and triumphs. Polyhymnia Remixed, a new electronic iteration of some of the album’s songs – re-imagined by the emerging DJ Plead, Asmara, and Surly – was released in 2020.
In addition to the consecutive best album of the year titles, in 2020, Yazz Ahmed was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Innovation and included by the prestigious Downbeat magazine in the list of 25 artists who will define the future of jazz.
Throughout her career, Yazz Ahmed has delighted audiences all over the world, having played in UK, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, USA, Canada, and in major festivals such as WOMAD, Love Supreme, NYC Winter Jazz Fest, and Pori Jazz. She has also collaborated with artists such as Radiohead (From the Basement), Lee Scratch Perry, Transglobal Underground, Susheela Raman, Tarek Yamani and Amei Zen.
“One of the most promising names in jazz” PÚBLICO (Nov 2021)
“Her concert seemed to counter the advancement of the clock, an usual sign of excellence” RIMAS E BATIDAS (Nov 2021)
“Yazz Ahmed is part of a shimmering new constellation in jazz affirmation” THE MUSIC JAZZ
“One of the most creative voices in jazz” DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
“A must-see figure in the jazz world.” AQUARIUM DRUNKYARD
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