About Sarah Morrow
“Sarah Morrow is the first original voice I’ve heard in a long time. She has a personal and identifiable sound—Sarah Morrow is the new voice of this Era.”
(John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Benny Golson)
A female trombonist, playing in The Ray Charles Orchestra? Not until Sarah Morrow.
Charles had been playing a concert with the Dayton Philharmonic when he first heard Morrow play. His reaction? “Who is that trombone player? I want to hire him.” One week later, he hired Morrow, and she toured with the legendary Charles globally for two years. (Read more in The New York Times ).
Since then? She’s performed extensively with a veritable who’s who of artists, has composed and produced multiple recordings, written for musical icons and has produced/arranged music for major Hollywood film. Most recently this “SuperStar of the Trombone” collaborated with Dr. John, the Nitetripper as musical arranger and producer of his recent CD, Ske Dat De Dat…The Spirit of Satch! debuting #1 Billboard, #1 CJC, and #1 on iTunes concurrently.
Artists she’s worked with include: Ray Charles, Funk Legend Bootsy Collins, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Van Morrison, Blind Boys of Alabama, The funky Drummers of James Brown (Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks), drummer Bernard Purdie, Bonnie Raitt, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Anthony Hamilton, free form saxophonist David Murray, organist Rhoda Scott, tenor sax legends Pee Wee Ellis and Hal “Cornbread” Singer, Cuban rapper Telmary, Rickie Lee Jones, the American All-Stars in Paris, Mingus alumni Ted Curson and Ricky Ford, French star Anne Ducros, trumpeters Arturo Sandoval, Terence Blanchard, Marcus Belgrave and Nicholas Payton, Branford Marsalis, Pianist Robert Glasper, drummer Chris “Daddy” Dave, DJ Jahi Sundance, underground hip hop sensation Mike Ladd, cultural icon Dr. John the Nite tripper, and many others…as well as with her own bands.
Morrow has even appeared as a headliner and as a guest performer at jazz festivals throughout the world. Her 2006 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC prompted a standing ovation just 20 minutes into her group’s set. This recorded concert was chosen to represent live jazz music in America for the NPR World Special “Washington DC: A City of Music.”
Sarah’s vibrant onstage personality and her innovative approach to composing, playing and interpreting music have earned her a rank as one of the top jazz musicians in the world. She continues to experiment, innovate, and forge ahead on a path few, and in some cases none, have traveled before her.
“Ray Charles had in his ranks a great musician, Sarah Morrow. A long and beautiful career await this talented jazz woman!” PULSAR Radio France
Fun Facts About Sarah Morrow
- Sarah’s 2004 set at the Saratoga Springs Jazz Fest was voted as one of the top 20 festival highlights in 20 years.
- Sarah was chosen as Guitar Player Magazine’s Top 10 Jazz Musicians under the age of 30; however Sarah declined the honor because she was in fact over the age limit.
- Sarah was awarded the Guinness Jazz Festival 2005 Rising Star Award during Ireland’s stay as the cultural capital of the European Union
- She received A Key to the City of Montmelian, France
- She is a 2007 winner of the Chamber music America/FACE French American Exchange grant awarded for advancement of science in music.
- In 2016, Sarah produced and wrote a brand new arrangement of the children’s classic “Bare Necessities” for Disney Motion Pictures and Award-winning Director and Producer, Jon Favreau’s highly acclaimed The Jungle Book
- She served as a cultural envoy for Africa Regional Services of the US State Department, visiting countries such as Madagascar, Benin and Togo.
- Sarah Morrow’s original compositions have been delegated as “Jazz Standard Repertoire” in the book The Jazz Canvas, alongside the most innovative Jazz Artists of today.
- Sarah is endorsed by the Getzen Company, Inc. located and manufactured in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. She is one of Getzen’s most requested Artist in Residence clinicians and travels worldwide performing on her Getzen model 3508Y trombone.
- While on tour, Sarah makes frequent visits to local orphanages to spend time with the children; she hopes one day to adopt children of her own.
- In between tours, Sarah is proud to work as a clinician and guest soloist for junior high, high school and universities around the world.
- Sarah is an avid supporter of the World Wildlife Fund.
==The Sarah Morrow Quintet==
Morrow’s debut album, Greenlight (RDC Records/Dam/Summit) (2000) was her first with French producer Frank Hagedge, known for discovering and producing young stars. The album, featuring Antoine Roney (tenor sax), Jaz Sawyer (drums), Ugonna Ukegwo (bass), Kazi Oliver (percussion) and James Hurt (piano) won critical acclaim and launched her career as a prominent soloist, bandleader and composer. The Sarah Morrow Quintet performed at renowned jazz festivals across France and Spain, including Nice Jazz Festival, Paris JVC Jazz Festival, Marciac Jazz Festival, the Strasbourg Music Festival, Nancy Jazz Pulsations (France), and The Caja Espana Otono Tour.
The Sarah Morrow Quintet then toured on its own accord in Europe and opened for jazz luminaries Chick Corea, Ray Barretto, Kenny Garrett and Dee Bridgewater. Sarah’s group was joined by numerous special guests including Jacky Terrasson (piano), Scott Amendola (drums), Ricky Ford (tenor sax), Pierre Boussaguet (bass), Bobby Floyd (B-3 organ) and Denys Baptiste (saxophone).
The Sarah Morrow Quintet of Clarence Seay (bass), Victor Atkins (piano), Donald Edwards (Drums), and Jesse Davis (alto sax) was named headliner to the exclusive Burkhard Hopper European Rising Star Tours, first created for Diana Krall, which opened up touring throughout Europe including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
At the end of the Burkhard Hopper Tour, Sarah recorded her second (2nd) album, Standards and Other Stories (BMG Worldwide)(2002) with her touring band and with the support of legendary festival impresario George Wein and featured guest artists David Murray and Anne Ducros. George Wein’s context of “old and new” showcased Sarah Morrow’s originality and unique voice against the deep-rooted and historical genre of Jazz. A nod to the past with a fresh and unique sound, the album gave Sarah’s unique voice and arrangements a context. This allowed The Sarah Morrow Quintet the opportunity to continually tour Europe adding Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and expanding into Asia which included the Newport Jazz Festival at Madarao Japan, and even opening doors to play in the U.S. including Jazz Alley (D.C.), JVC Jazz Fest (Bryant Park) and Sculler’s (Boston).
Spending time in Paris, Sarah discovered the rich history of African-American Jazz musicians refuging in France during the racially charged early-to-mid-19th century U.S. Her study of Artists such as Sidney Bechet (clarinet/soprano-sax), Dexter Gordon (sax), Bud Powell (piano), Hal “Cornbread” Singer (sax), Archie Shepp (sax) and Wayne Dockery (bass). inspired the creation of her next project, Sarah Morrow and the American All Stars in Paris.
== Sarah Morrow and the American All Stars in Paris==
Sarah’s third (3rd) album, Sarah Morrow and the American All Stars in Paris (O+/Harmonia Mundi) (2004), celebrates the great American jazz musicians who lived in Paris during those tumultuous years. Showcasing a star-studded lineup of Americans living in Paris including Rhoda Scott (B-3 organ) and the legendary Hal "Cornbread" Singer on tenor saxophone along with John Betsch (drums) and Wayne Dockery and Peter Giron on acoustic bass, was hailed as “...quite important and welcome of an era in danger of being forgotten by Americans..” Sarah enlisted her mentor, the great swing arranger and trombonist Gary Carney to write the musical arrangements connecting the aspects of Swing and Blues in a modern context.
Establishing herself at the forefront of the popular European jazz scene, Sarah combined old-school jazz with elements of swing, blues, soul and even hip-hop to create a unique and signature sound. Never straying far from her deep-roots in the traditions of jazz, Sarah continued to hone her craft, by touring as both a headliner and as a guest performer at jazz festivals worldwide, and in 2005, was the first woman instrumentalist awarded the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival 2005 Rising Star Award in Ireland.
Sarah Morrow and The American All-Stars in Paris toured worldwide as the appetite for solid jazz with hints of blues and loads of swing and ripped through the festival circuit. While living in France, Sarah received Keys to the City of Montmelian for her outstanding contributions to music and the arts.
== Quartet Volatile==
As Sarah continued to play with The American All-Stars in Paris, she created a side project and formed a new band called Quartet Volatile. Quartet Volatile went on to win the critically acclaimed French Artist Award and top prize money from SACEM. Sarah Morrow was then awarded the Chamber Music America/FACE French American Exchange Grant for advancement of science in music.
The Quartet Volatile allowed Sarah to enjoy creative freedom by writing and arranging her own songs, in a way that her last two projects, which were primarily interpretations of jazz standards, had not permitted. The continual touring with two very distinctive bands, enabled a creative explosion.
Sarah Morrow’s quartet performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. prompted a standing ovation twenty (20)-minutes into her set, and the recorded concert was chosen to represent live jazz music in America for the NPR World Special “Washington DC: A City of Music.”
Elektric Air, recorded in 2006, was Sarah Morrow’s fourth (4th) and most ambitious album and provided a chance to record the most original project to date. The album featured pianist Robert Glasper (Mos Def, QTip), drummer Chris “Daddy” Dave (Maxwell), and bassist Derrick Hodge (The Experiment). Sarah’s vision included a hip-hop element, so she asked prolific DJ, Jahi Sundance (Danity Kane, Miguel) to add a surprising layer to both the album and to the live shows by performing as a DJ as an integral and live member of the band. She added Kay of the Foundation and Mike Ladd on vocals, and revolutionized what became possibly the first recorded CD exploring a new genre in Jazz. To further the creative palate, Sarah added a fresh and unexpected component when DJ Qmillion (Toni Braxton, Juelz Santana) remixed two tracks.
== Dr. John the Nitetripper==
Upon completing her album Elektric Air, Sarah returned to NYC, and scored music for an independent film about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Six (6)-time GRAMMY winner & Roll Hall of Fame Member, Dr. John wrote and performed the opening title track which was the beginning of a long-term collaboration between Sarah and the New Orleans icon. Sarah then returned to France to host and perform as Musical Director and Emcee for Jazz Hot Magazine's 75th Anniversary week long celebration in Paris.
Later the same year 2011, following a four (4)-month worldwide tour with Bootsy Collins, Sarah was asked by Dr. John to tour with him as his only horn on his co-bill tour with Cyndi Lauper. Sarah continually toured with Dr. John worldwide, and in 2013 was named Dr. John’s Musical Director which ultimately led to Sarah Morrow being named Dr. John’s Producer.
Dr. John with Sarah Morrow at the helm as Musical Director, played the Hollywood Bowl for a tribute to the legendary Louis Armstrong. Props to Pops: Dr. John’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong, marks the first-time Sarah both arranged and performed as Musical Director. It was a resounding success and further solidified their business and musical relationship.
Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch was the long-awaited album following the success of the show at The Hollywood Bowl, produced and arranged by Sarah Morrow and Dr. John, which featured Bonnie Raitt, Arturo Sandoval, Anthony Hamilton, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among many others. The album was both critically acclaimed and a fan favorite, debuting #1 Billboard, #1 CJC, and #1 on iTunes concurrently.
Sarah Morrow continued as vocal producer for Dr. John including his performance on ”You Touch My Brain” with Al Jarreau feat Dr. John, and The Art of McCartney, a Paul McCartney tribute album, on which Sarah Morrow produced Dr. John’s vocals and piano on “Let It Be”. With the strong musical connection between Sarah and this musical icon, and their history of success together, Dr. John further engaged Sarah to assist in all of his Guest Artist performances, as well as to start their own production company.
== TV and Film==
Sarah’s music has been placed in several TV and film projects as a performer, arranger, and producer. For Disney Motion Pictures and Award-winning Director and Producer, Jon Favreau’s highly acclaimed Jungle Book, Sarah Morrow was tapped to produce and write a brand new arrangement of the children’s classic. “Bare Necessities” featuring Dr. John. She also produced and arranged Dr. John’s song, “Step One” for Elsa & Fred starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, and wrote “Bittersweet” for Veronika Decides to Die starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Other original compositions of Sarah’s have been used in films such as Hurricane in the Rose Garden by Nigerian director Pascal Atuma and her sounds have been sampled in several hip hop projects such as Chris Dave and the Drumhedz. Sarah is currently working on the film score for a short film called Strive, expected to tour the film festival circuit in 2019.