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Sarah McKenzie: Bio

Sarah McKenzie hails from Melbourne, Australia; she earned a bachelor's degree in jazz at Perth's West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. With two critically acclaimed discs underneath her belt – Don't Tempt Me and Close Your Eyes (2012 Best Jazz Album ARIA Winner)– she began attracting the attention of many international jazz stars visiting Melbourne. With her eyes set on attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, she participated in one of the college's off-site jazz camps at the Umbria Jazz Festival in 2012, where she won both a full scholarship at the prestigious music school and an opportunity to perform at the festival. She graduated from Berklee in May 2015 with a degree in jazz performance. Sarah McKenzie has performed at jazz´s iconic places, the festivals in Monterey, Juan-les-Pins, Marciac and Perugia, Dizzy´s and Minton´s in New York, as well as the top clubs in Paris, London, Vienna, Munich and Sydney. Together with the Boston Pops Orchestra she premiered one of her compositions at Boston´s Symphony Hall. Last but not least, the Australian version of "We Could Be Lovers" won the Bell Award for Best Australian Vocal Album. Impulse! Label has released "We Could Be Lovers" worldwide in Spring 2015.

1 You, Me & The Christmas Tree  
Smooth FM | Sarah McKenzie - You Must Believe In Spring
Montreux Jazz Festival 2017

The magic of Christmas! Joy is in the air, everybody's in good cheer and you can hear carols everywhere. The outside is covered in snow, but it is warm by the fireside. Romance is at your heart, while you sit with your loved-ones under the Christmas tree. These are images that Sarah McKenzie creates in this original composition called ‘You, Me & the Christmas Tree'. It captures the spirit of Christmas. It's a song about love and being together. Sarah admits that only when she moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music did she grasp the full meaning of those legendary jazzy Christmas songs. In her home country of Australia she has never experienced a ‘White Christmas', so "a lot of those iconic songs only really started to make sense to me once I experienced winter on the East-coast of the United States with tons of snow and cold temperatures, but also saw the lit-up Christmas trees and Christmas markets, the smell of mulled wine and ‘chestnuts roasted on an open fire'. I instantly fell in love with that season of the year and always wanted to put my feelings in a song." 

Sarah chose to record ‘You, Me & the Christmas Tree' with an A-lister cast of Jazz' finest: John Clayton on double bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums, Warren Wolf on vibes and Randy Napoleon on guitar. And they went to legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles for this recording, the studio in which a lot of famous Christmas albums have been recorded (Frank Sinatra's ‘A Jolly Christmas', ‘Christmas Carousel' by Peggy Lee, Diana Krall's ‘Christmas Songs'), but also the building on which the famous Christmas tree is lit up every year since 1958. According to Los Angeles Magazine that Christmas tree was the first of its kind, designed by Ollsen Lighting and it featured 4,373 bulbs at 25 watts each.