VOTI - voices of the industry




Through her music, British-Bahraini trumpet player, Yazz Ahmed, seeks to blur the lines between jazz and electronic sound design, bringing together the sounds of her mixed heritage in what has been described as ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz, intoxicating and compelling’.


Yazz has led her ensembles in performances across the UK & Europe, and further afield including Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, USA & Canada. She has also enchanted audiences at major festivals such as WOMAD, Love Supreme, NYC Winter Jazz Fest & Pori Jazz.


A mark of her growing reputation is the series of sold out concerts in London over the last few years. These include shows at Jazz In The Round, Kings Place, The Jazz Café, the Purcell Room and at the Church of Sound.


Her career is studded with high profile collaborations, which have seen her record and perform with the likes of Radiohead, Lee Scratch Perry, Transglobal Underground, Susheela Raman, Tarek Yamani, Amel Zen, including a world tour with These New Puritans.


As a guest soloist and composer, Yazz has performed with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra, NYJO, NYOS, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Jazz Orchestra.


In 2015, Tomorrow’s Warriors, with support from PRS Women Make Music, commissioned Yazz to write a suite inspired by courageous and influential women. Polyhymnia was premiered by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra at the WOW! Festival on International Women’s Day in March 2015.


Later that year, Yazz received support from Jazzlines at Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham, to write her suite, Alhaan al Siduri, premiered in October 2015 at CBSO Centre, Birmingham. This music is influenced by Yazz’s Bahraini roots, drawing from the folk music of the Bahraini pearl divers and traditional wedding songs sung by the women drumming groups. The second performance of this suite marked Yazz’s debut in her paternal homeland, at the Bahrain International Music Festival, 2016.


During her year as an LSO Soundhub composer in 2016, Yazz was able to explore writing music for her newly developed quarter-tone flugelhorn. This is a unique instrument, enabling her to get closer to the spiritual nature of the ‘blue notes’ in Arabic music, deeply infusing her sound with that of her heritage.


Yazz’s debut album, Finding My Way Home, 2011, saw her first explorations of Arabic music, introducing her as an innovative performer and composer, and led Jazzwise Magazine to mark her out as ‘one to watch’. However, it was her second album, La Saboteuse, (Naim Records, 2017), which made a global impact, clocking up multiple rave reviews and making many ‘best of 2017’ lists around the world, including Jazz Album of the Year in The Wire magazine, and achieving the number 18 spot in Bandcamp’s top 100 albums (all genres).


“This is enchanting, late night music that floats on the liminal space between dreams and reality. And for sheer, unconquered beauty, there are few albums of any genre that reach these heady heights. Ahmed, in diving deep within herself, comes back up for air with a mysterious, wondrous artefact humming in her hands,” the2010s.net


Interest in the album grew beyond the traditional boundaries of the jazz community with Yazz interviewed by and invited to contribute editorial articles in publications such as the Vinyl Factory, The Guardian, Harpers Bazaar, Rollingstone Magazine, Downbeat and appearances on BBC World Service, Radio 3 and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.


Illustrating her growing fascination with electronic music, La Saboteuse Remixed, (Naim, 2018) features collaborations with three of Europe’s eminent electronic DJ’s – Hector Plimmer, DJ Khalab and Blacksea Não Maya. Four of the pieces from the original album have been reimagined, taking her music to a new realm and reaching out to a new audience.


The Planets 2018, a work created especially for a tour of planetariums, is a celebration of the centenary of Holst’s suite and modern astronomy. Commissioned by the Ligeti Quartet, Yazz’s composition Saturn was featured and performed around the UK in October 2018.


Continuing her explorations into space, Yazz was later commissioned by the Open University to write a solo piece inspired by the moon, which was performed at the OU Moon Night in December 2018.


June 2019 saw the coda to La Saboteuse revealed: A Shoal of Souls (IXCHEL Records). Composed as a reaction to Sophie Bass’s striking artwork for La Saboteuse, the piece is dedicated to the thousands of lives lost in recent years by those attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better future.


A Shoal of Souls was also featured as the soundtrack to an Apple iPhone 11 advertising campaign.


Yazz’s 2019 album, Polyhymnia, (Ropeadope Records) was voted Album of The Year at the 2020 Jazz FM Awards. Making many ‘best of year’ lists and garnering multiple rave reviews, the release builds on her growing reputation as a notable composer with a strong individual voice, a figure at the heart of the exciting UK scene. Evolving from a performance on International Women’s Day in 2015, the music takes the form of a suite written in celebration of courageous and inspiring women and features an extended ensemble of 25 musicians. The passion and power of this music speaks for itself but understanding the message behind the compositions adds depth and resonance for the listener, taking the experience to another level.


“Whilst gathering ideas for my composition, I came across the character of Polyhymnia, the ancient Greek Muse of music, poetry and dance: a Goddess for the arts. Perhaps inspired by her, I conceived the form of a suite of movements, each dedicated to women of outstanding qualities, role models, with whom I felt a strong connection. Whereas La Saboteuse, the embodiment of my inner-destroyer and the catalyst for the creation of my last album, could be viewed as my anti-muse, maybe Polyhymnia herself became my Muse, inspiring an intense period of creativity, which resulted in the six pieces on this album.


Since its conception the music has evolved and expanded. During the recording process I began incorporating new elements and drawing on a wider pool of artists, including members of my own Hafla band, alongside some of my favourite musicians working on the London scene.


By sharing my musical response to the stories and achievements of these exceptional women, and celebrating the creativity and talents of my co-contributors, I hope to inspire others, in the words of Malala, “to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realise their full potential.”


“Rich, powerful, colourful, exciting and highly evocative. Ahmed’s most ambitious and most successful work to date has the feel of a ‘major statement’ about it.” –thejazzmann.com


The striking album artwork was also picked up by Apple and has been highlighted in their recent iPhone and watch advertising campaigns.


Yazz has been nominated for Downbeat Magazine’s ‘Trumpet Artist of The Year’ and featured in the ‘Rising Star Trumpet’ category in this year’s Downbeat critics’ poll. She also won the 2020 Jazz FM Award for UK Jazz Act of the Year.


More recently, Yazz has been composing music for Jazz FM, Adult Swim, Festival of New Trumpet Music – New York, and performing ‘isolated sessions’ for the Boiler Room and a vinyl set for the Vinyl Factory.


This year Yazz announced her second remix EP, Polyhymnia Remixed (self-release, Nov 2020). Teaming up with fast-rising underground producers, DJ Plead, Asmara and Surly, the record expands on the themes of Polyhymnia, expressing the important stories of the women it celebrates, told by other voices, with a fresh perspective.


“I hope that through my music I can bring people together, building bridges between cultures, and changing perceptions about women in jazz and people of Muslim heritage”.




FREE personalised Microsite with flexible ‘super-smart’ URL
Your customised music link-in-bio
The only music link you need
Your online music sales, streaming, and identity all in one place
Click on ‘Create Artist Microsite'
No coding or design skills needed
Free quick and easy to create
Connects to directory where everyone can find you
Be shared on ConnectsMusic features and social media
The perfect PR support
Connect audiences to all your music with one flexible sharable link
Select a music release, click 'share button' to auto-copy
Share your SUPERLINK URL to all online platforms featuring your selection
Your audience can enjoy your featured sounds, then click outside selection to explore all your additional music, videos and bio on your Microsite
ConnectsMusic Industry Support, Gigs, Features:

Hannah Horton Quartet

Apr 15, 2023
  Peggy's Skylight

Lana-May & Her Hot Jazz Band Presents: Fashionably Late to the Postmodern Party

Apr 13, 2023
  Crazy Coqs

Sean Foran Trichotomy

Mar 30, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

John Donegan/Nigel Price Quartet

Jul 19, 2023
  The jazz Cave


May 20, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Byron Wallen’s ‘Four Corners’

Apr 8, 2023

Nik West

Jun 22, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe

The Quireboys

May 18, 2023
  Night & Day Cafe


Apr 27, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Vladimira Krckova & Dave Ital

Mar 30, 2023
  The Pheasantry


Jun 29, 2023


May 2, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe

The Dead South

Oct 27, 2023


Apr 10, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe


May 19, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Brandt Brauer Frick

May 13, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe


Jun 2, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Hannah Horton and Tony Kofi Quintet

Jun 9, 2023
  Chichester Jazz Club

Heathen Apostles

Jul 25, 2023
  The Sunflower Lounge


May 18, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Hannah Horton Quartet

May 19, 2023
  Sunnyside Jazz Club


Dec 13, 2023

Baco Exu do Blues

Apr 15, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe

John Donegan – The Irish Sextet

Apr 16, 2023
  Arthur's Blues & Jazz Club

The Filthy Six Quartet

Apr 13, 2023
  Crazy Coqs

Hamish Stuart

Apr 17, 2023
  606 Club

GOAT + Special Guest

Apr 16, 2023
  The Mill


May 13, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club


May 26, 2023
  The Sunflower Lounge

Azhaar & Global Wave

Apr 3, 2023
  North Devon Jazz Club

Azhaar & Global Wave

Mar 29, 2023

Nell Bryden

Jul 1, 2023
  Ropetackle Arts Centre


Apr 19, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club


Apr 18, 2023
  606 Club

Curtis Stigers

Mar 28, 2023
  Ronnie Scott's

The Gary Fletcher Band

May 17, 2023
  Ropetackle Arts Centre

John Donegan Quartet

Jun 9, 2023
  Burford Jazz Club

Mario Bakuna & Andria Antoniou presents: Female Voices of Brazil

Apr 7, 2023
  Crazy Coqs

Knight and Spiers

Apr 25, 2023
  Ropetackle Arts Centre


Apr 21, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

The Ewan Bleach Trio

Mar 29, 2023
  Crazy Coqs

Larkin Poe

Oct 21, 2023

Aaron Liddard Nylon Man

Apr 30, 2023
  Ribble Valley jazz Festival

Rokia Kone

May 21, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe

Natasha Watts

Apr 7, 2023
  Bush Hall


May 4, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club

Anita Wardell & Dave McEvoy: ‘Stars’

May 4, 2023
  Crazy Coqs

Oye Santana

May 13, 2023
  Ropetackle Arts Centre


Jul 18, 2023
  The Jazz Cafe

Simon Moullier

Apr 22, 2023
  Vortex Jazz Club
Artists Connects Pages
What's On
live and streamed
Industry Nuggets
Top Tips
Info you need to know
Interviews with Heavy Hitters
Watch & Listen
selected music and videos
by creators for creators and their audience - music community at its core