Multi-award winning singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane, is the UK’s Black British foremost Jazz Vocalist. Eloquent and provocative her sound is distinguished by her melding of multiple influences from jazz, reggae, folk and nu-soul. Her 3rd and most recent album “Arise,” co-produced by rising-star drummer Moses Boyd, is a product of their exploration of the meeting points between British Jazz sounds and traditional rhythms of Jamaica.
McFarlane first caught the attention of world renowned DJ Gilles Peterson on the release of her self- produced EP in 2010 so much so he released her debut album “Until Tomorrow” (and subsequent albums) on his label Brownswood Recordings in 2011. Her second album “If You Knew Her” (2014) saw her blossom as a lyrically conscious songwriter and set her apart as one to watch on the UK Jazz scene.
Zara’s impact is reflected in being awarded Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year Award (2018 & 2015), Session of the Year at Worldwide Awards (2018), Best Jazz Act at Urban Music Awards (2015) and Best Jazz at MOBO Awards (2014).
Zara has achieved great success with performances with a variety of highly acclaimed musicians such as Hugh Masekela, Gregory Porter, Ernest Ranglin, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Ezra Collective. With a voice that has been described as ‘a caressing voice of sparkling clarity,’ she is in demand as a featured vocalist internationally, collaborating with esteemed producers Louie Vega, Swindle, Floating Points, Osunlade and most recently Dennis Bovell.
Eager to explore all avenues as a performer and vocalist, this year Zara completed her debut season with the Royal Shakespeare Company as the featured singer in ‘Anthony and Cleopatra,’ directed by Iqbal Khan with music written by Laura Mvula. Specialising in songwriting, Jazz and Popular Music vocal styles, Zara is often invited to deliver masterclasses at prestigious music courses such as RWCMD, GSMD and BIMM and within local communities and shall be a judge on the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 Awards.
Currently working on her heavily anticipated 4th album, Zara will also be a featured singer in the brand new community opera ‘Agreed’ to be premiered on Glyndebourne’s main stage in March 2019.
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