Mckenzie has eyes on Boston
Sarah Mckenzie joins the impressive rollcall of artists set to get Broadbeach jumping with free jazz, writes
SARAH McKenzie’s whirlwind 2012 is about to get a little more hectic – the jazz singer, who released her second album, Close Your Eyes last week scored a full scholarship to the Berklee School Of Music and will move to Boston next month.
With Berklee one of the most prestigious places in the world to study contemporary music, McKenzie says the scholarship was obviously an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
‘‘It wasn’t a planned thing, but it is a great opportunity to be around talented teachers and be in the US,’’ she says.
‘‘Music is a life-long journey and there are lots of things I want to develop. Berklee will allow me to explore avenues I wouldn’t otherwise consider.’’
Leaving minimal time to pack her bags, McKenzie – who starts at Berklee at the end of the month – heads to the Gold Coast this weekend to celebrate the opening night of the Broadbeach Jazz Festival
‘‘I haven’t been to Broadbeach before and I am looking forward to getting out of Melbourne’s weather,’’ she says.
‘‘At its core, our band will present a bluesy-jazz set with a few twists on pop standards.’’
Taking inspiration from Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, McKenzie says her style and sound is constantly evolving.
‘‘I try to incorporate new influences all the time and I am always discovering new material and working out something I can do with it to make it different,’’ she says.
‘‘That to me is what I really want to do because, as an artist, I don’t want to be known simply as, ‘that jazz and blues girl’. I want to be known as, ‘Sarah McKenzie, that girl who does something fresh with every song she delves into’.’’
McKenzie says Close Your Eyes includes two original tracks – So Got You This Way and Lover’s Tune.
‘‘I also wrote a prelude to I Should Care, giving it a deeper meaning for myself.
‘‘I want to pay homage to jazz music. I try to weave jazz and pop music.’’
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the Broadbeach Jazz Festival, a free feast of performances on outdoor stages and in venues throughout Broadbeach from tomorrow until Sunday.
Marcia Hines and Vince Jones headline a rollcall of more than 35 jazz stars including Albare, Ingrid James, Louise Denson, Emma Hamilton and Bob Schultz and local talents Ashley Lewis and Shannon Marshall.
The Broadbeach Jazz Festival runs from tomorrow until Sunday. Entry is free. Sarah McKenzie plays the Broadbeach Mall Stage tomorrow at 4.15pm. Visit broadbeachjazz.com for details.
Melbourne singer Sarah McKenzie