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Chelsea is a jazz messenger

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WARRINGTON’S gift to the world of jazz, Chelsea Carmichael, is returning to her home town to provide encouragement to young musicians at her former school.
The 24-year-old up-and-coming tenor saxophonist will be bringing a group of six young professionals to put on a three-day interactive workshop at Culcheth High School from October 4-6.
During their stay, they also hope to stage a concert in Warrington.
Chelsea, who first learned to play in the Culcheth High School Swing Band, graduated from London’s Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance last year and is now a full-time professional musician and composer.
She plays with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and various other groups – including the Guy Barker Big Band which appeared in this year’s BBC Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and will be televised on BBC Four on September 1st.
Her visit to Culcheth is part of the NYJO Jazz Messengers outreach project and involves visiting schools and colleges across the country, explaining to aspiring musicians what the journey is like from student to professional and showing that jazz can provide a viable career.
She said: “It’s not an easy career path to follow, but it can be done, particularly in London. Our job is to spread the word to the rest of the country and I am passionate about doing that.”
The group she will be leading on the tour consists of herself on tenor sax, flute and clarinet, and other up-and-coming musicians on trumpet, trombone, bass, drums and either piano or guitar.
When she is not playing, Chelsea turns to the piano for composing, experimenting with different instrumentations, electronic sounds, etc. But she loves the excitement of playing new music in front of live audiences.
It is all a far cry from the day when she came home from school and asked her Dad, Winston, if he would buy her a violin.
He didn’t fancy listening to someone learning the violin in the house and suggested he buy her a piano instead. She agreed – but then found herself drawn towards jazz and switched to the tenor sax as her main instrument.
Now Winston is her No 1 fan – and immensely proud of her achievements.
He said: “Chelsea is now playing regularly with some of the top musicians in the country and it is wonderful that she is able to come back to her old school to help and encourage today’s pupils.”

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