“Sara is now a real force of nature within Uk jazz with surely a great future ahead of her” Jazz Views.
Sara Dowling is a jazz singer who is deeply inspired by the repertoire of the classic American songbook, her most important influences are Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. And yet, as the clubs who have been booking her regularly in and over the past couple of years – Ronnie Scott’s, the 606 and the Cinnamon Club – have spotted, there really is something different, special and fresh about her. And that she makes audiences want to come back to hear her again. It is not her heritage, although that is unusual: she was born in Muscat / Oman with Jordanian and Irish parents. Nor is it her first career: as a professional cellist. So what is it? First, the fabulous fearlessness with which she approaches the act of singing. And the burning conviction, the irresistible communicative power and jaw-dropping musicality she brings to it. And maybe the fact that she leaves no stone unturned in her preparation. As she says : “I like to learn huge lists of songs that belong to one composer, to get the feel of the composer and his style. There is beauty to be found in all songs if they are written by one of the greats. That’s the beauty of the American Songbook.” She trusts her voice and its range of timbre. She trusts her ability both to convey the emotion of very slow ballads - or to bring joy as she rip-roars and scats through faster songs. And above all she makes a wonderful connection both to the music and to the audience. As Guy Barker has said: “Her voice has all the qualities that you find in the great singers.
Often guests with the Ronnie Scott’s All Star Band, Sara has been nominated by the British Jazz Awards as one of the 5 top jazz vocalists of 2018, alongside Claire Martin, Clare Teal, Tina May and Georgia Mancio.
Ian Shaw said: “Rarely does a jazz singer grace our scene with such breathtaking authenticity and natural flair. Dowling is this thing.”
Sara has performed in some of the UK’s most prestigious jazz venues and Festivals (Ronnie Scott’s, 606, Buxton International Festival, Swanage Jazz Festival) as well as abroad in countries like Italy (Jazz In Borgo - Ferrazzano, Winter Teata - Pescara, Notte Bianca - Comacchio) and Hungary (Budapest Jazz Club).