Multi-award winning singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane, is one of the UK’s finest jazz vocalists. Eloquent and provocative, her sound is distinguished by her melding of multiple influences from jazz, reggae, folk and nu-soul.
McFarlane’s debut album, 2011’s Until Tomorrow, came garlanded with rave reviews and a MOBO award nomination, and heralded a major new talent in the world of British jazz. The follow-up, also recorded for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label, is a more ambitious collection that draws from many more influences: from the deep spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders to dub and reggae.
We managed to sit down with her briefly, whilst trying on glasses, to get a little more insight on this exceptional artist.
Who are 3 musicians/vocalists that have inspired you the course of your life?
What are your 3 favourite places to see live jazz in the world?
North Sea Jazz Fest
Rochester Jazz Festival
What is your desert island record?
This is tricky… it might have to be a Bob Marley Compilation album.
Are there any upcoming exciting events or collaborations you can share with us?
I shall be performing at the London Jazz Festival with jazz legend Gary Bartz in the Royal Festival Hall on Nov 16th.
I am currently working on my 4th album which is due to come out next year. All iI can say for now is that is a little different from my previous records so watch this space!
Finally, if you weren’t a musician, what would you be?