Clay is adept at both vocal and flute renditions of jazz standards, switching easily between her own vocal cords and the flute’s elegantly curved mouthpiece.John Stifler, Daily Hampshire Gazette, in review of “Clay Jazz Standards”
- Sarah Clay — vocals, flute
- Draa Hobbs – guitar
- George Kaye – bass
Vocalist/flutist Sarah Clay sings in three languages and swings for the fences. Sarah has performed at jazz festivals and concert halls (including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall) on both sides of the Atlantic. Known for nuanced expression and crystalline tone, she delivers fresh, playful interpretations of jazz standards, Bossa Nova and American Songbook tunes. And she scats like nobody’s business!
The soundtrack of Sarah’s childhood was her father’s jazz guitar. Her dad played with Erroll Garner (stride pianist who wrote the standard, Misty), and Dodo Marmarosa (bebop pianist for Gene Krupa and Artie Shaw). She studied music with an oboist at Radio City Music Hall, a Broadway vocal coach, and a Russian opera diva. At New York University as a William Randolph Hearst Scholar, Presidential Scholar and University Scholar, she earned a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, focusing on early music performance practice. With this solid and diverse musical foundation, she has performed in a kaleidoscopic range of music styles: baroque, classical, plainchant, minimalist, folk, Blues, tango, but always returning to jazz.
Improvisation is the ultimate in musical freedom and expression.Sarah Clay
In the 1990s Sarah began intensive jazz study: a new song every week. After developing a substantial repertoire, she formed Clay Jazz and began performing throughout New England, releasing two jazz CDs that the Daily Hampshire Gazette called, “Impressive … delightful”. Sarah continues to delight audiences at jazz festivals, concert halls, libraries and a variety of other venues.
Draa Hobbs, originally from Chicago, has made Southern Vermont his home since 1980. He studied with some truly great musicians – Attila Zoller, the jazz guitar legend Jimmy Raney, Gene Bertoncini, and Peter Leitch. Draa performed with the great bassist Dave Shapiro, plus Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, etc., for 23 years. While performing Attila Zoller’s band in clubs, concerts, and radio, Draa joined pianists Roland Hanna, Don Friedman, Larry Willis; bassists George Mraz, Ron McClure, Michael Formanek; saxophonists Lee Konitz, and Nick Brignola to name just a few. He was fortunate to perform twice in concerts honoring Attila. For the first he shared the stage with Vic Juris, Russian guitarist Andrei Ryabov, and drummer Barry Altschul. For For the second concert, Draa was the musical director and performed Attila’s music with jazz legends Don Friedman, Ron McClure, and Eliot Zigmund.
Guest bassist George Kaye has worked and recorded with Houston Person and Etta Jones, and as a member of the Green Street Trio has performed with hundreds of musicians including Cécile McLoren Salvant, Ralph LaLama, Steve Davis, and Karrin Allyson.