Steve Ash- piano
Sean Smith- bass
Andrew Atkinson- drums
With her debut album Do Right released in 2016, Sari Kessler is fast becoming a singular force in jazz, praised by critics for her recorded material and live performances alike. JazzTimes proclaimed her a â€śvital new voice,â€ť stating, â€śKessler maintains a welcome less-is-more approach that emphasizes the purity of her tone, with its enticing hint of duskiness, and the immaculate quality of her phrasing.â€ť All About Jazz named her â€śa first-rate interpreter, (able) to tap into the marrow of a lyric and bring its essence to the foreground.â€ť
To say that Sari Kessler has traveled a long way in her shoes is more than a metaphor. The New York-based jazz singer, songwriter, and arranger is also an avid runner, and it was only after finishing her first half-marathon that she knew anything was possible. Trading in her hard earned career as a clinical psychologist to be a full-time musician, Kessler has pursued jazz singing with like-minded persistence, achieving a
deeply personal and soulful sound.
A compelling storyteller and tasteful improviser, Sari exudes warmth and a joyful spirit both on and off the stage. She says, â€śI know my stories and I know myself. Being an effective jazz singer means finding myself in the lyric and investing each word with meaning.â€ť Looking at a list of Kesslerâ€™s influencesâ€”including Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, and Ray Charlesâ€”highlights a tradition of great storytellers, each of whom carved an unbeaten path across the landscape of the Great American Songbook. While Sariâ€™s background in pop and soul gave her the foundation to use her voice as an expressive tool, it was Grammy-nominated singer and educator Kate McGarry who helped her investigate rhythmic and harmonic aspects of the jazz tradition in service of telling the story.
Kessler has shared the stage with the legendary talents of Houston Person, Gene Bertoncini, and Phoebe Snow. She has also recorded or performed with eminent jazzmen Howard Alden, Tootie Heath, Harvie S, John di Martino, and Freddie Bryant, among others. Kessler has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Area and at leading Manhattan venues such as Jazz at Kitano, Cornelia Street CafĂ©, Mintonâ€™s, 55 Bar,
and Jazz on the Plaza. In the Hamptons, sheâ€™s been featured at Shelter Island Jazzfest, LI Winterfest, and The Art of Song Parlor Jazz Concert Series. Sariâ€™s wide-ranging resume also includes studio work, providing lead and background vocals for Miramax, public radio, and other corporate marketing ventures.
All of these experiences have nourished her appropriately titled debut, Do Right, an album that celebrates Kesslerâ€™s contemporary spirit while acknowledging the greats who inspire her. Preview tracks can be heard on the Music Page of her website.
More info here: www.sarikessler.com
JAZZ AT SAINT PETERâ€™S CHURCH
Each Sunday at 5:00 P.M. an open community gathers for prayer and reflection on the lines of jazz.
The community is diverse and includes people who live near and far, native and new New Yorkers, and people visiting New York City. Oftentimes churches will bring groups from their home congregations. Others are not Christians or are exploring Christianity for the first time in this supportive environment. Musicians from New York and throughout the world come to play.
You do not need a ticket or reservation of any kind to attend a liturgy at Saint Peter's Church. As at every other liturgy of Saint Peterâ€™s Church, everyone is welcome.