Lana-May is an accomplished clarinettist, violinist, saxophonist and bandleader born and raised in London, England.
Influenced by her love of golden-era jazz from the early 20th Century and all things vintage, Lana specialises in swing, blues and hot jazz clarinet. She combines her musical expertise, soulful playing and captivating stage presence with a vintage aesthetic for an immersive, authentic jazz experience.
Lana has performed at venues and events such as The Crazy Coqs, The Royal Albert Hall, Pizza Express Holborn, The Pheasantry, Le Quecumbar, Victorious Festival, The Goodwood Revival and Toulouse Lautrec, to name a few.
Having loved music and the arts for as long as she can remember, Lana always knew growing up that her life would revolve around creativity, playing music and performance. In 2011, she began her career as a professional musician in the Royal Marines Band Service. Classically trained to the highest standard on both clarinet and violin, she became a highly competent instrumentalist and performer. Having served for almost 10 years, Lana has performed at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and high profile events, such as the Royal Albert Hall, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Horseguard’s Parade, Buckingham Palace and The Royal Festival of Remembrance. She also performed at several events abroad, such as the International Fleet Review in Auckland, New Zealand, the 100th anniversary parade of The Battle of Coronel and The Falkland Islands in both the Falklands and Ascension Islands, and the Eksjö Military Tattoo in Sweden. During her time in The Band of HM Royal Marines Lana completed a B(Mus)Hons in Music Performance, being awarded a 2:1 by the University of Plymouth.
However, as accomplished a classical instrumentalist as she had become, Lana was missing something musically – and that something was Jazz! Once Lana heard Artie Shaw whilst studying the clarinet she fell in love, and she has been in love ever since.
In February 2018, she began the transition from classical to jazz. Lana got her first gig in a pub restaurant in Old Portsmouth as one half of the gypsy jazz duo ‘Hodge Club de Pompé’, which quickly became a weekly residency. It was there that she developed a real sense of her unique style, direction and fine tuned her musical language.
Lana-May has since formed her own quintet, debuting in May 2021 and performing at legendary jazz clubs Le QuecumBar and The Pheasantry, selling out her debut show at The Crazy Coqs in 2022, as well as creating a polished and authentic product available for private hire.
She has also performed with some of the biggest names in Gypsy Jazz such as Paulus Schafer, Christiaan van Hemert and Robin Nolan, as well as regularly performs alongside one of the UK’s finest swing singers, Amy Baker as a member of ‘The Swing Beats’.
Though Lana-May is currently taking the time to establish and promote her quintet within the private sector, public shows are still very much a source of great joy for her, and she will be pushing to feature in some of the country’s finest venues and establishments for 2022 and beyond.