Two and a half years ago, singer/pianist Sarah McKenzie took part in the Umbria Jazz Festival competition: she was awarded a rare full Scholarship to attend the iconic Berklee College of Music.
18 months later she graduated with a Diploma in Jazz Performance and was immediately snapped up by Jean-Philippe Allard, managing director of the impulse! label. Brian Bacchus (Norah Jones, Gregory Porter) produced the album, recorded at the legendary Sear Sound studios in New York. The record features several McKenzie originals, alongside classic tunes from Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington and Jerome Kern. For the recording McKenzie assembled an impressive lineup of musicians that include trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, guitarist Hugh Stuckey, bassist Alex Boneham, drummer Marco Valeri; and saxophonists Troy Roberts and Yosvany Terry.
Her impulse! debut ‘We Could Be Lovers’ is now ready for release in Europe on September 18, 2015.
Currently living in Paris Sarah McKenzie originally hails from Melbourne, Australia; she earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz at Perth’s West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and recorded two critically acclaimed albums for the Australian label ABC records – ‘Don’t Tempt Me’ (2010) and ‘Close Your Eyes’ (2012), winner of Best Jazz Album ARIA award. The Australian version of ‘We Could Be Lovers’ has also been awarded with the prestigious Bell Award as Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2015.
Sarah McKenzie has performed at jazz's iconic places, the festivals in Monterey, Juan-les-Pins, Marciac and Perugia, Dizzy's and Minton's in New York, as well as the top clubs in Paris, London, Vienna, Munich and Sydney. Together with the Boston Pops Orchestra she premiered one of her compositions at Boston's Symphony Hall.