Nubya Garcia’s 10 favourite saxophonists

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Saxophonist Nubya Garcia is one of the ringleaders in an exciting new generation of jazz musicians in London. After becoming known on the circuit for her work in bands like Collocutor, Nérija, Maisha and the Theon Cross Trio, this year marks the launch of her own band, which reads like a who’s who of the best young talent in London: Moses Boyd and Femi Koleoso on drums, Daniel Casimir on double bass and Joe Armon-Jones on piano. This coincides with the release of her debut album, Nubya’s 5ive, on Jazz Re:freshed, which has been one of the most talked about jazz releases of 2017 in the capital.

Nubya picks her ten favourite idols, influences and role models. Listen to her favourite track from each in the Spotify playlist below, and hit follow to keep up to date with future playlists.

John Coltrane

I think I listened to A Love Supreme nearly every day for a couple years. The album and ‘Resolution’ in particular have been a huge influence – pure fire!

Charles Lloyd

I saw Charles Lloyd for the first time a couple years back at the London Jazz Festival and I’ve been hooked ever since. Incredible melodic playing, full of subtleties alongside his flying phrases. Such an incredible storyteller.

Wayne Shorter

It’s both Wayne’s playing as well as his writing that have been a huge inspiration to me. He has composed so many tunes in his own bands and when he was playing as a sideman. He has such a distinctive sound.

Dudu Pukwana


Gary Bartz

I dig Gary Bartz’s playing massively. Full of a lot of soul, honesty and power.

Dexter Gordon

I love Dexter Gordon’s playing on this version. He was one of the first saxophonists I started listening to when I started. I was immediately drawn in by his melodic playing. ‘Body and Soul’ is an incredibly popular tune to play too.

Joe Henderson

‘A Shade of Jade’ is one of my favourites! He can play serious lines, and also has such a distinctive sound and use of rhythm that Ive been heavily drawn to.

Fela Kuti

A pioneer of afrobeat. He has a completely distinct style of playing and tone, his music instantly makes you move and dance

Sonny Rollins

Saxophone Colossus is one of the first jazz albums I owned at 11 or 12. The interaction and rhythmic interplay through this album gets me every time, I feel hugely hugely privileged to have seen him a couple of times when he has been over for the London Jazz Festival. It took me a while to decide what tune to put up between the classic ‘St. Thomas’ and ‘Strode Rode’ are both amazing throughout!

Pharaoh Sanders

Pharaoh has such a intense emotional expression, it draws you in completely. Again – difficult to pick just one track that I love. ‘You’ve Got To Have Freedom’ is another favourite alongside ‘After the Morning’

Nubya Garcia plays Ronnie Scott’s on 15th August alongside Alfamist.

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