Clare was born in Cumbria and studied piano and clarinet until managing to get hold of a saxophone. She moved to York and then to Leeds before eventually making it to London where a successful career in pop music ensued. Having written and played on many recordings with artists such as David Bowie, The Communards, Mica Paris, Maxi Priest and The Bellestars she spent some time working with Mervyn Africa before embarking on a solo career based around her Quartet.

Being mainly self-taught Clare brings an original approach to her compositions and performances. Her experience with such a diverse mixture of musical styles ranging from salsa to reggae to funk and African music, along with a heavy influence from jazz players such as Sonny Rollins and Chick Corea, has created a unique style. The Clare Hirst Quartet have performed at many festivals, clubs and arts centres throughout the country and currently have a CD out on 33Records entitled "Summer Song" (33JAZZ110) a follow up to her previous release "Tough and Tender".

The Bellestars compilation album Belle-issima is out on Edsel Records MEDCD 747 released 24 May 2004 featuring Clare in the role that made her a star of TV's "Never Mind the Buzzcocks". Also out soon is a DVD of Live-Aid gig which will has Clare's performance with David Bowie on it.


"Breathy and evocative tenor playing'" The Times

"Clare Hirst fields a powerful flow of ideas on both tenor and soprano -
a promising and original quartet"
Jazz Rag

'A lively sax led session...blowing some passionate tenor and coaxing a swooningly beautiful tone from the soprano  Time Out

A charming set showing considerable verve and energy...recommended. "
Venue Magazine



Clare Hirst - Saxophones

Hilary Cameron - Piano and Keyboards

Tom Herbert - double bass
Dave Smith - Drums

This recently formed line-up play a mixture of standards and Clare's original compositions. With influences from great jazz players such as Sonny Rollins and Cannonball Adderley to the more mellow sounds of Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter this band produce a very intense and dynamic performance.