John Zorn's Stone Commissioning Series presents: Sara Serpa
featuring Sara Serpa, Sofía Rei, Aubrey Johnson, Emmanuel Iduma, Matt Mitchell, & Qasim Naqvi
6pm doors • 7pm show
New Music. New Jazz. Curated by John Zorn.
The John Zorn Commissioning Series celebrates Zorn’s revolutionary venue, The Stone, a non-profit venue that was “dedicated to the experimental and avant-garde” and served as a vital spot for new music in Manhattan’s Alphabet City for over a decade. Held on the last Wednesday of every month, National Sawdust honors the spirit of the Stone, hosting the world premiere of new works.
This month’s concert features singer, composer, and improvisor Sara Serpa in collaboration with Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma. Hailed as “ahead of the curve” by Jazz Trail, Serpa has performed to critical acclaim around the world, while Iduma’s latest work has been praised in Vanity Fair for its “quiet meditations on longing, migration, and home”. Together, these two artists will create “an atlas of a borderless world” (in Iduma’s words), spanning musical and narrative styles in a map of the qualities that bind us all together.
Sara Serpa – voice, composition, production
Sofía Rei- voice, percussion
Aubrey Johnson – voice
Emmanuel Iduma – spoken word
Matt Mitchell – piano
Qasim Naqvi – modular synth
Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, and improviser who implements a unique instrumental approach to her vocal style. Recognized for her distinctive wordless singing, Serpa has been immersed in the field of jazz, improvised, and experimental music since first arriving in New York in 2008. Described by JazzTimes as “a master of wordless landscapes” and by The New York Times as “a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook”, Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy–nominated pianist Danilo Pérez, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist Ran Blake, and Greg Osby.
Her ethereal music draws from a broad variety of inspirations, including literature, film, visual arts, history, and nature. As a leader, she has produced and released nine albums (with labels Sunnyside Records, Clean Feed Records, Tzadik, and Inner Circle Music), the latest being All The Dreams in collaboration with guitarist André Matos. Serpa has collaborated with an extensive array of musicians, including John Zorn, Guillermo Klein, Zeena Parkins, Mark Turner, Tyshawn Sorey, and Nicole Mitchell, among many others.
She has performed her own music in Europe, Australia, and North and South America, singing at international festivals such as Festa do Jazz, the Panama Jazz Festival, the Festival de Jazz de Montevideo, the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, the Adelaide Festival, and the Sopot Jazz Festival, as well as in venues like Bimhuis, Casa da Música, the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, The Stone, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among others.
Currently, Serpa leads a trio with Erik Friedlander (cello) and Ingrid Laubrock (tenor sax) — with a debut album released in March 2018 (Close Up on Clean Feed) — and a trio featuring Zeena Parkins (harp) and Mark Turner (tenor sax) in an interdisciplinary performance combining film with live music entitled Recognition.