Ayanna Jacobs-El (Pronounced: I-ya-na Jay-cobs-el) was born in Huntsville, Alabama and has had a lifelong love of music. She is a composer, producer, DJ, alto and baritone saxophonist, vocalist, and songwriter. She writes, teaches, and performs in a wide range of genres including classical, jazz, pop, funk, electronic, blues, and R&B.
Throughout Ayanna’s life, she has often been either the only female or only minority in a myriad of circumstances. The most prominent situation has been within her musical journey. She has defied the norms of what an African American woman should aspire to be, by first pursuing a career as an alto and baritone saxophonist and then by entering the white-male-dominated fields of music technology and composing for visuals. Ayanna teaches free music technology and composition workshops for women and minorities to encourage more diversity in music technology and composition.
Ayanna received a full-tuition scholarship to her dream school, Berklee College of Music, upon graduation from the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 2014. Since her Berklee career began, Ayanna has been awarded the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship for her compositions related to video game music. She has also been awarded the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship for academic achievements, leadership abilities, and community service as a bandleader and private instructor.
In 2016, Ayanna founded her music production company, Ayanna Jacobs-El Productions, which provides affordable music for small businesses and independent projects, primarily with regard to visual media like film, TV, video games, and commercials.
Ayanna began her musical journey at age five when her mother enrolled her in classical piano lessons, and at age nine she began honing her vocal talent. Throughout the years, she gained confidence as a jazz singer and improviser while singing with her Grandfather Benjamin's jazz trio at jam sessions and gigs. She began playing the alto saxophone in her middle school’s concert band. In the 9th grade, she began studying classical and jazz saxophone performance at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA), in Birmingham, AL.
Ayanna has been performing professionally since the 9th grade with her jazz/R&B combo and she released her self-produced and composed EP Metamorphosis in 2015. Ayanna has taught private saxophone and flute lessons since her junior year in high school and has coached middle and high school students in music production. During her sophomore year of college, she studied abroad at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain. While in Valencia, Ayanna studied studio recording/production, electronic music production, and electronic DJ performance.
Ayanna is a 2018 graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA with majors in Contemporary Writing and Production and Professional Music and minors in Writing for TV & New Media and Video Game Scoring. She is currently based in Los Angeles pursuing a career writing and producing music for film, TV, video games, and recording artists. Her vision is to have a positive impact on her listeners, through the messages conveyed in her music.