Sarah McKenzie Quintet to Represent Berklee at 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival

By 
Rob Hayes
September 11, 2014
Press release
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Sarah McKenzie

Singer and pianist Sarah McKenzie '14, will lead her quintet in two performances on the 57th Monterey Jazz Festival, Friday, September 19, at 9:30 p.m. on the Garden Stage, and again on Saturday, September 20, at 5:30 p.m., in the Coffee House.

McKenzie’s latest album, Close Your Eyes, won the Best Jazz Album ARIA award (Australian Grammy), and she has performed with such artists as Michael Bublé, Chris Botti, Enrico Rava, and John Patitucci, and performed her own material with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. Already known for her mature instrumental and vocal phrasing, this international rising star has demonstrated experience beyond her years. Indeed, DownBeat noted that she is "already in full possession of an individualistic voice."

With repertoire featuring Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Shirley Horn, and Johnny Mercer, expect her Monterey performances to feature an array of McKenzie’s own originals, and fresh takes on the Great American Songbook. She is working on her third release with producer Brian Bacchus, featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

Watch McKenzie perform "Moon River" at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival:

McKenzie has chosen four top Berklee classmates to join her at Monterey: Daniel Rotem (Tel Aviv, Israel), a 2014 graduate of Berklee and a member of the 2016 class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz college program; guitarist Andrew Marzotto (Toronto, Canada), a member of the college’s Berklee Global Jazz Institute, led by artistic director Danilo Pérez; bassist Tabari Lake (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands), a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, and a Berklee Presidential Scholar; and drummer Rodney Rocques (Sarasota, Florida), a full-tuition recipient at Berklee, who has performed at Montreux, Jazz a Vienne, and Umbria Jazz.

Sarah was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee in 2012. Since coming to the college, she has had the opportunity to perform her own compositions at Boston Symphony Hall, Umbria Jazz's winter and summer festivals; Jazz Ahead in Bremen, Germany; and the Riccione and Lucca Donna jazz festivals, in Italy. She graduated from Berklee with an artist’s diploma in jazz performance in May of this year.

McKenzie is endorsed by Yamaha in Australia.  Her Saturday performance at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time will be streamed live worldwide by Yamaha Corporation to special subscribers of Yamaha’s DisklavierTV service.  Her performance will move the keys and pedals of connected Disklavier pianos in perfect sync with the video and audiostream.

Rob Hayes is the Assistant Vice President of External Affairs. Media inquiries: rhayes@berklee.edu.