2018 Grammy Nominee Sara Caswell “is a brilliant world-class violinist…one of the very best of the present generation of emerging young jazz stars” according to the late David Baker, internationally-renowned jazz educator and former Director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Rooted in an early exposure to a variety of musical genres, Sara’s technical facility intertwined with her gift for lyricism continue to attract growing attention to her artistry as a jazz soloist, sideman, and teacher.
Recognized as a “Rising Star” in the DownBeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls every year since 2013, Sara’s two groups (the Sara Caswell Quartet and the Caswell Sisters Quintet) have been heard in venues ranging from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club to university concert halls nationwide. In 2013 Sara and her sister, vocalist Rachel Caswell, released their CD, Alive in the Singing Air featuring jazz pianist Fred Hersch, to rave reviews and its selection by jazz critic Thomas Cunniffe as one of the year’s “Best Vocal CDs” on Jazz History Online. Sara’s two CDs, First Song (Double-Time Records, 2000) and But Beautiful (Arbors Records, 2005), were recognized in several year-end best-of jazz album releases.
Sara regularly performs with mandolinist Joseph Brent’s 9 Horses and has toured extensively with Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society, clarinetist David Krakauer’s The Big Picture, vocalist Roseanna Vitro’s quintet, violinist Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration, and violinist Darol Anger’s Four Generations of Jazz Violin. She has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Brad Mehldau, Linda Oh, Fabian Almazan, Regina Carter, Jenny Scheinman, Lynne Arriale, Alan Ferber, Ike Sturm, John Clayton, Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd, Skitch Henderson, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Bruce Springsteen. She is a member of the New York Pops Orchestra with whom she has been a featured soloist several times in Carnegie Hall, and was part of the house band for NBC’s weekly variety show “Maya & Marty” starring Maya Rudolph and Martin Short.