THE DUO PROJECT
Sara Gazarek & Josh Nelson
The piano is the most versatile of all instruments. It can become a suit of armor or a bouquet of flowers. It can keep time and it can stop time. When paired with the human voice, the possibilities are limitless but the outcome is unpredictable. Vocalist Sara Gazarek and pianist Josh Nelson have aligned their musical spirits in a way that would make any artistic duo envious. Gazarek’s top flight interpretations of the vast and varied American songbook are buoyed by the sensitivity of Nelson’s supple command and they have transfixed audiences from New York to Tokyo. They have a telepathic understanding that has come about through more than a decade of friendship, not just hundreds of hours on the bandstand and it blankets any audience lucky enough to hear their swinging high-wire act of trust and commitment.
About Sara Gazarek
Championed by some of music's most celebrated figures, Sara Gazarek has emerged as a strikingly original artist with limitless potential. With three highly acclaimed CD's under her belt at 31, Sara has been hailed by the LA Times as "the next important jazz singer," and "impeccable," by the Winnipeg Free Press. Blessed with a gorgeous, translucent voice, excellent pitch, and supple sense of time, Gazarek is steeped in the jazz tradition, but is not afraid to embrace the music that moves her generation. Her newest CD, Blossom & Bee (2012, Palmetto) was released to rave reviews, as Nick Mondello of Jazz Times has noted "Blossom & Bee' has all the beauty, bite and superb workings of a winner. It’s as good – or better – than some recent Grammy®-nominated or winning female vocalist efforts." Sara is currently on faculty at the University of Southern California, leading the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble there and teaching privately.
About Josh Nelson
Born and raised in Southern California, Josh Nelson is a first-call jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and recording artist. At 35 years old, he has already performed and worked with some of the most respected names in music, including Natalie Cole, Queen Latifah, John Clayton, Walter Smith III, Ben Wendel, Seamus Blake and Matt Wilson. Josh has produced music for countless albums, films, and television, but also makes time for his own projects including Anticipation (2004), Let it Go (2007), and I Hear a Rhapsody (2009), all of which featured Josh’s explorations of new original music, standard interpretations, and reinventions of pop tunes. His recent record Discoveries (2011) pairs classic sci-fi film footage with new compositions for a brass and wind ensemble. He currently teaches at Cal State Northridge as part of the music faculty.