On Wednesday 12th December 2012 the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra with A Kinda Monkish Singer – Sara Lazarus (vocalist) special Franco/American guest vocalist from Paris. Winner of the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition in 1994.
Ciaran Wilde and Ray Martin founded the Dublin City Big Band in 2007. It became Dublin City Jazz Orchestra for a performance at the Electric Picnic in 2008. Allen Smith of Jazz on the Terrace and Ciaran Wilde in collaboration create opportunities for the DCJO to perform throughout Ireland.
In 2010 and 2011 the DCJO played 24 concerts including in 2010 the dlr Festival of World Cultures, TBCT’s Culture Night, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival. In 2011 the orchestra performed an outstanding concert in the National Concert Hall with singers Mary Coughlan, Christine Tobin and David Linx, at the Sligo Jazz Festival with guests, trombonist Marshall Gilkes and drummer John Riley, and at “Made in Temple Bar”. In 2012 a concert in November to honour the memory of Noel Kelehan, Jazz Artist and the first concert in this series with French singer Cyrille Aimee. Always very good, many times brilliant.
This concert by the DCJO is the second in a series called “A Kinda Monkish Singer”. The Kinda Monkish Singer in this concert is Franco/American jazz singer Sara Lazarus.
Sara Lazarus was born on 1st April 1962 in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. She studied classical piano from the age of eight, four years later Lazarus joined her school band in which she played tenor saxophone. At 16 she played in The American Youth Jazz Band, visiting Europe on a tour that included an appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
After school, she studied English literature at Harvard University where she played saxophone and also sang with bands. During this period, she was heard by Artist in Residence Illinois Jacquet who encouraged her to follow music as a career. She was awarded the best vocal jazz soloist prize (university standard) by the American Downbeat jazz magazine. Upon graduating from Harvard in 1984, she relocated to France where she re-encountered Illinois Jacquet who included her in a band he led for a tour.
She was now concentrating on singing and gradually built a following at French clubs and concert venues. She led her own group and also worked with Franck Ansellem, Patrice Caratini, Riccardo del Fra and Jacky Terrasson. She takes part in numerous European festivals like Marciac, Crest Jazz Vocal, Montlouis, Braga and the JVC Paris Jazz Festival. She has been given the opportunity to sing with such musicians as Alain Jean-Marie, Jacky Terrasson, Manuel Rocheman, Frank Amsallem, Riccardo del Fra, Gilles Naturel and Andrea Michelluti.
In 1994, Lazarus made a return visit to the USA where she entered the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition, winning first prize. thus following in the steps of Joshua Redman and Jacky Terrasson.
She returned to France where she and her husband, French saxophonist Eric Breton, raised their sons. In November 2000, she sings in Patrice Caratini Jazz Ensemble for his project centring on Cole Porter music and takes part in his record “Anything Goes”. Her regular French trio in the 2000s was Alain Jean-Marie (piano), Gilles Naturel (bass) and Andrea Michelutti (drums). Other musicians with whom she worked, and some of which guested on her 2005 debut album, included guitarists Biréli Lagrène and Hono Winterstein, bass player Diego Imbert and drummers André Céccarelli and Winard Harper.
Lazarus sings songs drawn from the classic pop repertoire, such as ‘Get Out Of Town’, ‘Give Me The Simple Life’, ‘Taking A Chance On Love’, ‘Embraceable You’, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, ‘This Can’t Be Love’ and ‘He Was Too Good To Me’, and jazz works, including Clare Fischer’s ‘Morning’.
Sara Lazarus' debut recording, Give Me The Simple Life, shows her to be a gifted jazz vocalist with a real ability to swing. The dozen selections on the recording are well balanced, including ballads, blues and bossa. Lazarus brings a natural jazz sensibility to these songs and there is no hint of artificiality in her vocals.
After this successful first opus, Sara Lazarus recorded a second studio album with a new group. Surrounded by Biréli Lagrène, with his Gipsy Project, Sara Lazarus set her delicate and temperate voice on the 12 standards on the album “It’s All Right With Me” in2006. Exuding a compelling swing rhythm and entrancing ballads, this second album highlights the obvious gift of this Franco/American artist and was set to place her as one of the outstanding jazz voices.
The members of the DCJO are:
Trumpets: Danny Healy, Mark Adams, Eamonn Nolan Ray Martin.
Trombones: Jim Clarke, Karl Ronan, Barry McBrien, Paul Frost.
Reeds: Mark Wilde, Derek O’Connor, Brendan Doyle, Nick Roth, Ciaran Wilde.
Rhythm Section: Phil Ware(kybrds), Hugh Buckley(gtr), Cormac O’Brien(dbl bs), Shane O’Donovan(drms)
This concert is presented by Jazz on the Terrace and funded by Arts Council Small Festivals and Events Award 2012.