Jess Gillam grew up in Ulverston in Cumbria (UK). At the age of 13 she became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones, and she is also a patron for Awards for Young Musicians. She also gave a TEDx talk on the instrument, aged just 15.

She was the first-ever saxophonist to reach the final of BBC Young Musician in 2014. In 2018, she received the Classic Brit Award in the Sound of Classical Poll 2018, which recognises the best emerging artists in classical music.

On 26 April 2019, she released her debut album ‘Rise’, featuring an instrumental cover version of This Woman’s Work.