WINNING awards does not concern jazz musician Amy Roberts – she performs for the love of it. The 25-year-old grew up in West Cornwall not instantly enjoying the jazz nights her parents would take her to as a child, but soon developed a passion for music.
The tables turned when she began learning the flute, clarinet and saxophone and she now has a pile of awards as a jazz musician.
She said: “I am grateful that I have received awards but it’s not a huge deal to me, I do it for the music.
“It is a great job what I do, however, it is tough and it is a struggle. The fact that you don’t know how much money you are going to earn each month is challenging, but I am happy and I think that is what is important.
“When I was younger I never really showed much interest in the jazz clubs my parents would go to but now I can play the flute, clarinet and the saxophone, my favourite is the flute. I like playing jazz with the flute, it’s different.”
Amy, who now lives in Northamptonshire, will be coming to Harrow Arts Centre, Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, on Friday, June 28, for her first Harrow performance.
She was voted winner of the Rising Star Category in the British Jazz Awards in both 2009 and 2011, coming second place in the same category in the 2010 and 2012 awards.
She has played all over the UK and abroad at prestigious clubs and festivals and is well known on the jazz circuit as a charismatic performer on flute.
She said: “I have done some great stuff. I love touring and I love playing at festivals, tonight I am off to Ireland for a performance and then to Harrow in a few weeks.
“I left college two years ago and so far my professional music career is going well. I try to be as versatile as possible and I chop and change a lot.
“My favourite gigs are the smaller ones, you get much more from the audience, as a performer you can bounce off their energy.”
In July 2011, Amy graduated with a first class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she studied classical saxophone with Rob Buckland and performed with the RNCM Big Band under the direction of Mike Hall.
She added: “I am currently organising my own band which features some of the most exciting musicians on the jazz scene. I hope by next year we can be touring together, there are seven of us.”
Amy said about her forthcoming gig in Harrow: “I am very nervous, but also excited. I have performed in London a few times and it’s good fun.
“I just hope that in years down the line there will still be a jazz audience. It worries me a bit because a lot of the jazz fans are slowly dying off, maybe in 30 years time I will have to look into doing another profession, it’s very sad.”
Amy was featured and used as a cover girl in the autumn 2011 Clarinet and Saxophone Society Magazine, after being interviewed by musician, William Upton.
In January 2011 she became the first female musician to join the Big Chris Barber Band and is currently touring at concert venues in Europe.
During this time she has had the opportunity to record in Germany with pianist Thomas Stelzer, for an album which will be released in 2014.
In the last year, Amy has performed with the London Swing Orchestra and Pete Long’s Echos of Ellington.
n See Amy in concert at Harrow Arts Centre on Friday, June 28, at 8pm. To book tickets call Harrow Arts Centre box office on 020 8416 8989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.