Double MOBO award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown will bring her album tour to Harrow in November.

Her Debut Album, April Showers May Flowers reached number one on the iTunes and Amazon Jazz Charts. In the show she will be performing tracks from her latest album Love Politics War, released in June this year.

She has toured with The Temptations, Diana Krall, Courtney Pine and Billy Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Mica Paris, Matt Cardle, Reggae Legend Bob Marley’s son Julian and as part of Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

Chatting to YolanDa I soon realise that this is a woman full of life and full of surprises.

Before YolanDa’s career took off she was four years into a PhD in management science at the University of Kent, where she did the same undergraduate degree and a Masters in methods of social research.

It was a tough decision for YolanDa, but her dedication to her music was rewarded by the University of East London in 2010 when they made her an Honorary Doctor of Arts.

Her career so far has been full of amazing achievements such as this, she goes on: “Being invited to Buckingham Palace was a big highlight, meeting the Queen and getting to speak to her about my journey so far.

After two MOBOs (2008, 2009) and an Urban Music Award (2009), all for Best Jazz, meeting the Queen and an honorary title was undoubtedly deserved.

What came as a shock to me, however, was that all her musical achievements are off the back of only one year learning the saxophone.

“I did GCSE music and I got an A star” she tells me, with a note of pride and touch of humour. “Apart from that I think I learnt the saxophone for about a year at school and then wanted to explore it for myself and learn about improvising and playing what I felt. So I went off to do my own thing.

“For me the saxophone is like a voice, it’s very soulful, I really just enjoyed playing by myself in my room, playing along to backing tracks and experiencing the emotion of music rather than thinking about the notes or what scale is this. I enjoyed that side of music more and I still do.”

The surprises don’t stop there, YolanDa goes on to tell me that her dream career, before music and before management science, was to be a racing driver and it turns out she’s been pretty lucky on that front: “Doing music has led me to be able to fulfil that, I do race at the moment. My video for Tokyo sunset, one of the songs on the album, was filmed in a formula 3 car and I met all the drivers and got to race myself.”

Harrow Arts Centre, 171 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, HA5 4EA, Friday, November 3. Details: 020 3773 7161