Helena Kay & Peter Johnstone Jazz Duo
Multi-award-winning saxophone and piano duo Helena Kay and Peter Johnstone are among the most compelling musicians to have emerged on the Scottish jazz scene over the past ten years.
Both winners of the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year title – Helena in 2015; Peter in 2012 – they have known each other since their teenage years in youth jazz orchestras and have cemented their musical relationship with enthusiastically received duo appearances at events including Perth Festival of the Arts; and in Helena’s KIM Trio+.
Helena grew up in Perth and began to develop the distinctive, considered approach that won her the Best Instrumentalist award at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2022 through playing with the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra before studying at the Guildhall in London. Experience gained through living and working in New York has further honed Helena’s playing into a superbly engaging style that communicates directly with the audience.
Peter is also a product of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and has gone on to work with Smith in his ‘Coltrane’ quartet, in an electrifying duo and as the resident pianist in the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. A recipient of a Yamaha Scholarship, Peter was a crucial member of the award-winning band Square One and he tours and records with the organ trio Prime as well as leading his own trio.
Together, Helena and Peter have a great musical understanding. Both bring original compositions to the duo to complement their imaginative interpretations of standards from the jazz canon.
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