“Sara Gazarek’s singing is impeccable… ★★★★★” -Winnipeg Free Press
“She may well turn out to be the next important jazz singer.” -Los Angeles Times
“Sara combines heart and intellect in a way that really makes her stand out.” – Larry Goldings
West-Coast Jazz Vocalist Sara Gazarek Previews New Music at Birdland January 9 in Rare New York City Performance
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Follow Up to Acclaimed “Blossom & Bee” (Palmetto) Coming Late 2014
Sara Gazarek is a gifted artist with a singular sound and vision. Steeped in the tradition of jazz, she is also deeply informed by contemporary songwriters and performers. Her influences range from Nick Drake and Harry Nilsson to Duke Ellington and Irene Kral. Her most recent release, “Blossom & Bee” (Palmetto), produced by organist Larry Goldings, featured guest artist John Pizzarelli and gained her a new level of acclaim as one of the finest young vocalists in jazz. Jazz Times noted, “‘Blossom & Bee’ has all the beauty, bite and superb workings of a winner. It’s as good – or better – than some recent Grammy-nominated or winning female vocalist efforts.”
Known for offering emotionally expansive standards, Sara creates uncommonly memorable originals too, all delivered with a thoughtful poignancy and rich, supple tones. She will debut new music she’s written and feature selections from “Blossom & Bee” at Birdland Jazz Club January 9, coinciding with the Jazz Connect and APAP conferences. Her engagement will mark the first time in five years she has performed in New York City due to international touring in Asia and Europe and considerable U.S. touring and work on the West Coast. She will be joined by her stellar Los Angeles-based band of nine years: pianist Josh Nelson (Natalie Cole, Monk Competition finalist); bassist Sam Minaie (Tigran Hamasayan); and drummer Zach Harmon (Terence Blanchard). Guitarist Randy Napoleon (Freddy Cole) will also be featured.
At Birdland we’ll explore the music of some of my favorite composers and debut some original compositions. I always look to tell a story via the mood, arrangement, melody and/or lyric of a song and am inspired by composers like Ellington who subscribe to the mood as a pivotal element. We’ll also work-shop some material for our next album, exploring more sophisticated instrumentation, much of it inspired by Ellington.
LISTEN NOW: SINGLE PETAL OF A ROSE (Ellington/Gazarek)
“Fragile beauty, darkest ruby, keep it close and guard it”
Sara first realized she wanted to become a jazz vocalist in 2000, when her high schooljazz orchestra was asked to perform at the Essentially Ellington Festival in NYC. Awarded the first-ever Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Vocal Soloist Award for her performance, she went on to the University of Southern California (USC) to study with vocalists Tierney Sutton and Carmen Bradford. While there, Sara was selected by Downbeat as its Best Collegiate Vocalist and went on to tour with the Concord Jazz Festival alongside Diane Schuur, Karrin Allyson and Oleta Adams. At USC Sara also connected with bassist/arranger John Clayton, who produced her first two critically- acclaimed CDs. He has remained one of her most important champions.
Sara is incredibly passionate about music education and conducts workshops and clinics in the cities in which she performs. Sara now serves on faculty in the jazz studies department at USC, and works as an educator and performer at many jazz festivals around the country including the Reno International Jazz Festival and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
INTERVIEWS / CD: Jana La Sorte / firstname.lastname@example.org / 347.726.8325