BIO

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Singer. Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist, Poet, Photographer, Videographer, Band Leader, and Astrologer, Sarah James infuses straight-ahead jazz with blues, folk, free improv, funk, soul, and soft rock creating a unique blend of music that is hard to categorize. 

 

Working as a solo performer all the way to big-band, she enjoys the full spectrum of mixing genres. Each performance has her unique signature whether in a nite club, a concert venue, or a private party.

 

BACKGROUND

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Queens, NY, both parents were music fans but jazz and blues were in the record player. Mom was a bobbysoxer and loved Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, and Della Reese, Dad was a Dixieland fan and loved Louis Armstrong, Barney Bigard, Trummy Young, Lightning Hopkins, and Brownie McGhee. 

Both parents worked for NYC, Dad, a New York City Detective, and Mom, a Corrections Officer who worked in Bellevue, Rikers Island, and The Women’s House Of Detention. Both parents loved Black music, but racism was the pink elephant in the room. 

Upon graduating high school, a brief stint in NYC at Fashion Inst. of Technology majoring in Photography, and Sarah was off to Berkley and Oakland, California. There she met musicians and poets from the Black Panther Organization, many Bay Area musicians in both the jazz and rock genre, and went further up north to Eugene, Oregon where she met Sonny King and Nancy King. Eugene at the time was a hotbed of advances in social justice and cultural exploration. The relationships she formed there cemented her interest in music, social justice, and environmental consciousness.     

Her musical inspirations come from everywhere! Edith Piaf, Mahaila Jackson, Sonny Stitt, Paul Simon, Miles Davis, Bessie Smith, Dr. John, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Abbey Lincoln, Dexter Gordon. Favorite poets and writers include Nikki Giovanni, Allen Ginsberg, Zora Neal Hurston, Thomas Hardy, Rumi, Hafiz, Leonard Cohen, James Baldwin, Stephane Mallarme, Anne Sexton, Charles Bukowski and Arthur Rimbaud just to name a few. 

DISCOGRAPHY

So far, there are 16 CDs encompassing the broad range of musical, cultural, and healing interests that over the years have become so important. Her recording company, KILAMANJARO JAZZ, has gone thru a few incarnations. 1995 saw her first label, Urania Records, then, Funky Diva Records, then Kilamanjaro Disques, and most recently all have been re-issued on her  KiILAMANJARO JAZZ label. Individual tracks and full CDs can be purchased from the website: www.sarahjames.com/music

BOOKS

Author of twelve poetry books (all out of print but soon to be back again in print) and one Aromatherapy book with recipes on how to incorporate essential oils in your daily life. “SARAH’S AROMA JAZZ RECIPES” available on Amazon.com

ACTIVISM

Member and supporter of Greenpeace, Environmental Defense Fund, Avaas, Friends of the Earth, and Doctors Without Borders.

LATEST NEWS! MERCH!

Since covid happened and gigs were at a virtual halt, I started designing clothing, computer cases, leggings, mugs, and "merch" using my photos, artwork, and paintings. My merch is on three different platforms at the moment, Gearbubble (Made in the USA) , Le Galeriste (made in Quebec), Canada), and Printacular (Made in the USA). You can find links to each one in the merch section on this site. 

RAVES

Voted #8 International JAZZ SINGER in the USA by N1Mmusic.com

 

“... I like that lyric”

Dave Frishberg, Portland, Oregon

 

“Great meeting you, connecting the dots ~ and now hearing your stuff. Great.

Best to you!”

Mary O  Minneapolis, Minn

 

 

 

“I finally have gotten around to checking out your music and website. It is terrific !! Sign me in for updates”

Denise D.  Florida, USA

 

“You sound beautiful and your site is fantastic. Just like the creative person you are”.

Bob F.  Lodi, NJ

 

“site looks and sounds fabulouso just like you.”

Pam P. Irvington NJ

 

“Just checked your site and it's Awesome”.

Anca M  Slovenia

 

“Wow, Sarah! This music is delightful! i particularly enjoyed the Empty Page! Truly unique and gifted you are! All the best!”

Lori G. New Paltz, NY

 

“One of the best singers in NYC”

Gino M.  Kitano Hotel, NYC 

 

“Congratulations on your "Just Plain Folks" composer awards nomination”.

Jeff D.

 

“….. this site (and your music)  is beautiful - thank you for your spiritual kinship and other Goddess-esque attributes - from abstract darkness to paranormal brilliance your soul travels and you experience the experience intuitively giving back love. In other words, it great to know you!….”

Nora M Newark NJ

 

“….now THAT's music I’ve been listening to you all day, seems like I can never get tired of it!”

Lindsey O   Philadelphia, Pa.

 

 

 

Press Photos

Sample Track

Video Reel (Short Clips)

Singing at The Kitano Hotel

Singing at The Kitano Hotel