Sandra Booker - Jazz vocalist
Sandra Booker is undoubtedly one of the new masters in the jazz genre. Highly respected for her virtuosic scat ability, impeccable timing, crystalline tone and bold musical individuality, Booker is in a league of her own. A native of the world’s greatest jazz city New Orleans, she sings in a style reminiscent of one who speaks in a native tongue revealing her deep Southern roots in jazz as well as gospel (Negro spirituals), rhythm and blues and Caribbean and Brazilian influences while demonstrating her classical training through precise intonation and uncompromising technical agility.
She has collaborated and performed with some of the great veterans and emerging stars of jazz including Billy Higgins, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Lalo Schifrin, WDR Big Band, Nils Landgren, Harry Connick, Jr., Mike Melvoin, Billy Mitchell, Willie Jones, III, Phil Upchurch, Ernie Watts, Barbara Morrison, Gerald Wiggins, Thania Sanz, Black Note, Patrice Rushen, Tamir Hendelman, John Leftwich, Wolfgang Haffner, Dan Lutz, Dale Fielder, Roberto Miranda, Larry Koonse, Pepesito Reyes and Ryan Cross.
As a little girl in New Orleans, growing up near the corner of St. Roch and Florida avenues, Sandra Booker sang whenever storms passed. Her grandmother and other family members took comfort in her voice. After graduating from Warren Easton High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Booker moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist. The daughter of a longshoreman dad, who died when she was young, and a pre-school teacher mom, Booker cultivated eclectic musical tastes early on. She was among the few students at Warren Easton in the early 1980s with an active interest in opera, the symphony and polka. Her NOCCA classmates included Harry Connick Jr. and Delfeayo Marsalis. I was focused on being a classical singer, she said. But once I got turned on to jazz as a performer and not just a listener, I was hooked.