Helena Kay is a tenor saxophonist and composer based in London. Originally from Perth, Scotland, they moved to London in 2012 to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2016 with a First Class in BMus Jazz (Hons). During their time studying, they were awarded the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year Award (2015). In 2021, they were selected to become a City Music Foundation Artist. They are currently a Help Musicians supported artist.
Kay draws influence from different places which are important to them: Scotland, London, and New York, each of which have been their home during their career. While in New York, they had lessons with some of the greats of the contemporary jazz scene – Dayna Stephens, Melissa Aldana, Chris Cheek and Rodney Green.
“I'm especially looking forward to bringing my band to Shetland on this tour. My dad is from Lerwick, and I've been coming to Shetland all my life to visit family. It's a very special place to me. We'll be playing music from my latest album, Golden Sands. One of the tracks, Da Dratsie, is dedicated to my granny (and Lerwick legend), Mary Kay. The gig at Mareel is the last of the tour, so it's sure to be a great night!” (Helena Kay)