Born: February 27, 1979 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
As a native of Lisbon, Portugal, and currently living in New York, vocalist and composer Sara Serpa has lived around music all her life. While in her teens she attended the Conservatory of Music in Lisbon, studying piano and singing, setting the basis of her musical vocabulary. When facing the challenge of choosing a career, Serpa entered a Psychology College, graduating in Social Work. Her musical desires remained alive during this period and soon she encountered jazz at Hot Clube Jazz School in Lisbon. Serpa’s aspirations of seeking more knowledge and challenges eventually brought her to Boston where she attended Berklee College of Music and later the New England Conservatory, where she received her Masters in Jazz Performance in 2008. Among her teachers were a very celebrated cast of luminaries such as Danilo Perez, Ran Blake, Dominique Eade, Theo Bleckmann, Hal Crook and Jerry Bergonzi.
From the time Serpa arrived to Boston, she has kept her yearning to learn and for developing her own voice as a composer and improviser. Serpa is a singer of a new generation who seeks out challenges in order to grow. Her ability to navigate through demanding, instrumental music and improvise over complex chord progressions is amazingly natural. As a composer Serpa has a unique approach to sound and emotional depth: she creates melodies that seem to tell everyone a different story and at the same time leave her own signature. The fact that she sings mostly wordless music, going beyond the traditional scat technique, is also part of her creative style. It is no mystery that her compositions and singing have established her prematurely as a pillar among many young jazz musicians.
Very recently Ms. Serpa became a new member of Greg Osby’s band, being the first native Portuguese musician to perform at the famous Village Vanguard in New York. Her recording participations include the latest Greg Osby’s album, “9 Levels”, released by Inner Circle Music, and also the guitarist André Matos “Rosa Shock” to be released by Tone of a Pitch. Serpa’s first album “Praia” has been released by Inner Circle Music as well.
For the past years, Sara Serpa has shared stages with an expanding circle of musicians including Greg Osby, John Lockwood, André Matos, Demian Cabaud, Jesse Chandler, Ferenc Nemeth, Matt Pavolka, Pete Rende, Esperanza Spalding, Nick Falk, Peter Slavov, Aruan Ortiz, Leo Genovese, Albert Sanz, Masa Kamaguchi, RJ Miller, Vardan Ovsepian, Nelson Cascais, Bruno Pedroso, Andre Sousa Machado, and Andreia Pinto Correia.
Sara's ethereal voice has graced such spaces as The Village Vanguard, The Jazz Standard, Cornelia St Cafe (New York), Panama Jazz Festival (Panama), Hot Clube de Portugal, Teatro S Luiz (Lisboa), Casa das Mudas (Madeira) Regatta Bar, Ryles Jazz Club, Berklee Performance Center, Jordan Hall (Boston),Kennedy Center (Washington DC).
A bright young Portuguese singer New York Times
She's the freshest vocalist on the scene at the moment All About Jazz