Mcken­zie has eyes on Bos­ton

Sarah Mcken­zie joins the im­pres­sive roll­call of artists set to get Broad­beach jump­ing with free jazz, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

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

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