Sara Serpa

Sara Serpa

Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, improviser who implements a unique instrumental approach to her vocal style. Recognized for her distinctive wordless singing, Serpa has been immersed in the field of jazz, improvised and experimental music since first arriving in New York in 2008. Described by JazzTimes magazine as “a master of wordless landscapes” and by the New York Times as “a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook,” Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy-nominated pianist, Danilo Perez, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist, Ran Blake, and Greg Osby.
Her ethereal music draws from a broad variety of inspirations including literature, film, visual arts as well as history and nature. As a leader, she has produced and released nine albums, (with labels Sunnyside Records, Clean Feed, Tzadik and Inner Circle Music); the latest being “Close Up” in collaboration with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander. Serpa has collaborated with an extensive array of musicians including John Zorn, Guillermo Klein, Zeena Parkins, Mark Turner, Tyshawn Sorey, Nicole Mitchell, among many others.
She has performed her own music in Europe, Australia, North and South America, singing at international festivals such as Bergamo Jazz Festival, Festa do Jazz, the Panama Jazz Festival, Festival de Jazz de Montevideo, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Adelaide Festival, Sopot Jazz Festival or venues like Bimhuis, Casa da Música, Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, The Stone, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, the Met Breuer, and the Kennedy Center for the Arts, among others.
Currently, Serpa leads a trio with Erik Friedlander and Ingrid Laubrock , and a quartet featuring Zeena Parkins (harp), David Virelles (piano) and Mark Turner (tenor sax) in an interdisciplinary performance, combining film with live music entitled “Recognition”.
Sara Serpa was voted Rising Star- Female Vocalist by the Downbeat Critics Poll 2019, and currently teaches at The School of Jazz and Contemporary at The New School and at New Jersey City University.

Sara Serpa is a recipient of New York City Women’s Fund 2020, Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant 2019, New Music USA 2019 Grant, and Foundation for The Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.