Anna Brooks has enjoyed a diverse and prestigious career to date. She is currently alto saxophonist and backing vocalist with Jools Holland’s 19-piece ‘Rhythm And Blues Orchestra’ with whom she regularly tours the UK and abroad. In March 2020, Anna toured Europe with Jools’s 6-piece band as tenor / soprano saxophonist and vocalist alongside special guests KT Tunstall & Ruby Turner, vocalist Louise Marshall and drummer George Latham. On tenor saxophone and vocals, Anna is a long-standing member of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials with whom she has recorded two albums - ‘Funk Ain’t Ova’ (2015) and ’Stay Good’ (2019) and toured worldwide. This unique band, which blends Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop and Turkish folk music, became a staple of the New York City club scene in the 1990s and has since gained a loyal worldwide fan base.
As a recording artist, Anna has appeared on countless artist's albums on soprano, tenor, alto, baritone saxophones and backing vocals. She released her own jazz album ‘My Time’ in 2003 following a commission from the Jerwood Foundation to write music to perform as part of their ‘Rising Star’ series in the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2002. Her E.P ‘Going My Way’ followed in 2007.
As musical director and arranger, Anna spent two years with George Treadwell’s legendary group The Drifters and nineteen years with Roy G. Hemmings’ ‘Dictionary Of Soul’ band, touring the UK with the shows 'Reach Out To Motown' and 'The Sound Of Philadelphia and More’. This followed two years touring with legendary ‘70s glam-rocker Roy Wood and several years touring and recording with composer and violinist John Mayer’s ‘Indo-Jazz Fusions’. As lead alto saxophonist with the Walsall Jazz Orchestra, Anna played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and recorded two albums of original music. Anna has performed on numerous occasions with The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
As a music preparation specialist, Anna has worked for such prestigious clients as the BBC (Dr. Who, Torchwood, the Numberjacks), film producers Ridley Scott (‘Robin Hood’) and Gurinder Chadha (‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’) and Kanbar Animation (‘Hoodwinked Too!’) not to mention artists such as Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Katie Melua. She has also composed music for TV and independent film.
Anna studied Classical and Jazz saxophone at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and graduated in 1996 with a first class honours degree. She has been a Visiting Tutor in the Saxophone department at the Conservatoire since 2003 and is currently also employed as an Associate Tutor at ACM Birmingham.