8 & 10p | $12
A true musician, songwriter, and all around creative thinker, Sarah Marie Young has emerged as a stellar jazz vocalist, but has also made a name for herself singing r&b, funk, gospel, pop, and Brazilian styles. Born and raised in Indianapolis, the small baptist church where her father played bass and mother sang in served her well, and the public performing arts magnet schools nurtured Sarah’s love for music. Surrounded by a loving and supportive musical family, it was no wonder by the age of 17 Sarah would win the 2000 Gospel Meets Classical competition of Indiana, and continue studying music at Indiana University, honing her harmony chops and traveling to the east coast with the all women’s gospel group Sojourner, only to find herself restless for more, dropping out after two years to sing and play keys in the indie rock band, The Nods.
After moving to Chicago in 2004, Sarah was the keyboardist for singer/songwriter Dick Prall, recording on two of his albums before being brought back to academia on a partial scholarship to Columbia College in 2005. It was then that Sarah’s journey to jazz began. Sarah fell in love with the rich jazz and r&b culture in Chicago through Columbia’s music school. Studying with personnel from the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Sarah was able to share the stage with John Faddis, Christian McBride, Cedar Walton, Pat Martino, The Yellowjackets, Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins and Earth Wind & Fire.
By 2008, and fresh out of school with a BA in jazz voice, Sarah already had a full schedule performing at Chicago’s premier jazz and live music venues, and was building up her reputation on the scene as a staple vocalist on the scene for any kind of soulful music. In 2009, Sarah recorded her self released EP, Expressive, including the acclaimed gospel/jazz original Winter Song, and her version of Amazing Grace. Sarah also performed her own written, directed, and produced Sarah Vaughan tribute show “Sarah Sings Sarah” at the historic Jazz Showcase and The Skokie Theater.
As a historian of jazz, Sarah knows how learning traditions in music can break through racial and social barriers to the youth in Chicago. She was the instructor for the progressive r&B/hip-hop songwriting and music production program through Gallery 37 at South Shore High School, where her students performed their own original and self produced songs at The Chicago Theatre. She continues to be an advocate of music education in the city.
2010 was the year Sarah began experiencing success outside of Chicago, and it has only been on the up and up since then. In October of 2010, Sarah was chosen from hundreds of worldwide applicants to perform as a semifinalist in Washington D.C. for The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Voice competition, one of the most prestigious jazz competitions known internationally. Then in 2011, Sarah traveled to Switzerland and won 1st place and public prize in the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, under presiding judge Quincy Jones who exclaimed, “The girl can sing!”. Her Stevie Wonder-esque version recording of Chick Corea’s You’re Everything with Chicago pianist Tom Vaitsas won over the ears of the judges when she was chosen as a semi-finalist, and heartfelt renditions of Ashford & Simpson’s You’re All I Need To Get By, Chega De Saudade and Autumn Nocturne were unforgettable and prize winning, displaying Sarah’s unique style of soulful, informed, personal, clear and emotive singing.
Through her win at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Sarah was given the opportunity to record for a week in April 2012 at the breathtakingly beautiful Balik Farm Studios with renowned engineer Alexander Bolle. Her yet to be released upcoming all original full length album, Too Many Februaries, featuring solid songwriting and lush vocal harmonies, is already being reported as Sarah’s breakout solo album.
Sarah Marie Young- vocals, baritone ukulele
Stuart Mindeman- piano
Patrick Mulcahy- bass
Makaya McCraven- drums