German artist Sara Decker is a contemporary jazz vocalist and composer, specializing in merging pop styles with improvisational jazz artistry. Known for her subtle tone, impressive range and heartfelt story-telling she recently won the 2nd prize at the distinguished Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in 2017 and the European Jazz Award Italy (2015).
2018 she opened for the Chick Corea Trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the Academy band under Bugge Wesseltoft.
2017 she released her sophomore album “Long distance” (Systems Two, Brooklyn, NYC) as well as performing in prestigious jazz venues and festivals across Europe and the United States. (Auditorio- internat. Jazz day-, Spain; Rockwood Music Hall, NYC; Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland; Jimmy Glass, Spain; B-Flat, Germany; Jazzit, Austria; Loong swingt, Belgium; Women in Jazz, Germany; Festival Transeuropéennes, France and others).
SECOND ALBUM ‘POETRYFIED’ 2020
The album was recorded in the fall of 2019 with her Cologne based band. It features Ms. Deckers original compositions to poems of R. M. Rilke and Emily Dickenson. The musicians are all currently coming up in the European Jazz scene. The pianist on this album is talented Billy Test who currently holds the piano chair at WDR Bigband. On bass and drums you can enjoy listening to Nicolai Amrehn and Jeroen Truyen. Other tracks feature soli by german trumpet player Heidi Bayer and tenor player Stefan Karl Schmidt.
The album will be released in April 2020.
In 2014, she was awarded with the distinguished Fulbright Scholarship in order to pursue her Master of Music degree in jazz voice at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. She studied with GRAMMY awarded vocalists and musicians such as Gretchen Parlato, Theo Bleckmann and Kate McGarry (voice instructors), Jim McNeely, Dave Liebman and Phil Markowitz (composition), as well as in masterclasses with jazz greats Christian McBride, Maria Schneider and Kurt Elling.
After her return to Europe in 2015, the Sara Decker Group won the famed European Jazz Award Italy (2015), a competition judged by jazz greats Aaron Goldberg, Peter Bernstein and Reuben Rogers.
Her time in New York resulted in the formation of the ‘Sara Decker Group,’ a band consisting of six accomplished, international musicians such as Giorgi Mikadze, awarded pianist and Oskar Stenmark on flugelhorn. This group performs Sara’s original compositions and arrangements - and in 2014, they recorded her EP, “Clouds and Birds” at MSM studios. They have since presented her music throughout Europe.
DEBUT ALBUM ‘LONG DISTANCE’ 2017
Ms. Deckers debut album ‘long distance’ reflects on her time studying and living on and off in NYC. It was recorded at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn with her New York City based band. The pianist on this album is young Julius Rodrigues who is featured in the title song with a solo. Other tracks feature solos by Swedish trumpet player Oskar Stenmark and vocals by Soul/ Jazz singer Schadrack Pierre.
Besides her own work as a bandleader, composer and singer, Sara is an in-demand side-person and collaborator, featured as a lead and backing vocalist in a variety of musical projects. She’s performing regularly with her experimental vocal band FRIDA, bass/vocal duo project, joined by New York City jazz prodigy Daryl Johns, the Soul/ Jazz band ‘Oneword’, as well as with her Latin jazz trio ‘Yo Toco’ (David Mingullion on guitar and Jeroen Truyen on percussion).
Other collaborations include work as lead vocalist in big bands ( Jazzotic and Sparkassen Big Band) and large Brazilian music ensembles (Mistura de Cores/ Latin band MSM). As a composer, she’s arranged for her own musical settings and other bands, as well as for the large MSM Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra.