Zara McFarlane, United Kingdom

ZARA McFARLANE, Great Britain

Multi-award winning singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane is known for her unique sound melding influences from Jazz, Reggae, Folk and Nu-Soul with her Jamaican roots.

Born in London in 1983, she grew up on the borders of east London and Essex. Her parents are of Jamaican origin, which has had a big influence on her musical tastes. She studied musical theater at the BRIT School, then went on to the London College of Music to study Popular Music Performance and finally completed a Master’s degree in jazz studies (vocals) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

A twice Jazz vocalist of the year winner, Zara McFarlane has led her band in festivals from British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Field Day and Boom Town Festivals to respected international Jazz festivals and venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, The Royal Albert Hall, Love Supreme in the United Kingdom, Rochester Jazz in USA, Cully Jazz (CH), St Lucia Jazz Festivals and SXSW (US). She has also made radio appearances worldwide, with her most notable appearances on Jamie Cullum’s show on BBC Show 2 and TSF Jazz.

With a voice that has been described as ‘a caressing voice of sparkling clarity,’ Zara is an in-demand vocalist internationally and has performed with acclaimed musicians including Hugh Masekela, Gregory Porter, Gary Bartz, Ernest Ranglin, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and EzraCollective and collaborated with esteemed producers Lil’ Louie Vega, Swindle, Floating Points, Osunlade and Dennis Bovell. Zara has also worked in the theater with Royal Shakespeare Company and Glyndebourne Opera and worked as a music educator at conservatories including Guildhall School of Music.

One of Zara McFarlane’s special projects is a show that musically follows the incredible musical career & life of Sarah Vaughan, not just the jazz singer but the musician that was so highly regarded by the A-list of her contemporaries. It makes for a magical evening that is both biological & revelatory. Included in the show are songs like Them Their Eyes, Shulie Bop, Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Baubles Bangles and Beads.