ZARA MCFARLANE

Zara 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, is a more ambitious collection that draws from many more influences: from the deep spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders to dub and reggae.

“With the first album,” says Zara, “I was trying to create a cohesive sound, one that used the same line up and the same instrumentation throughout. This time the focus is on the song writing, and the arrangements are tailor-made to suit each song. There’s a lot more variation – around half of the tracks are duets, and I use more than one band. If there is a unified, cohesive theme, it’s in the lyrics: the songs represent a journey through a woman’s life.”

Gilles Peterson has been a key figure in Zara’s career. They first met when she was performing with the house music project Bopstar at the Southport Weekender in May 2010, where she gave him an EP of acoustic jazz songs she’d recorded. Within a few months, an impressed Peterson had signed Zara to his Brownswood Recordings label, and that EP eventually provided the basis for her debut album until tomorrow.

“Gilles has been an incredibly enthusiastic person to work with,” says Zara. “with the first album, I’d recorded most of it before he’d signed me, but this time he’s been more involved in its creation and made suggestions. He’s passionate about all kinds of music, not just jazz, which has allowed me to experiment with different sounds.”

Zara McFarlane was born 30 years ago into a Jamaican family in Dagenham, on the borders of Essex and London. She grew up in a household that loved reggae (“we played it all the time – parties, social gatherings, weddings, funerals, you name it!”), as well as the R&B of Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Her tv debut came at the tender age of 14, when she did a Lauryn Hill impression on Stars In Their Eyes against a line-up of grown ups.

She was educated at a local comprehensive before moving to the Brit School in Croydon in her sixth-form to study musical theatre. “I fell in love with musicals and learned tons of old showtunes,” says Zara. “I quickly realised that they were also jazz standards, and I always preferred the jazz versions.” After a BMus degree in popular music performance from the tech music school in Acton (part of the university of West London) she started to pursue her love of jazz, studying jazz and improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

When not working on her own material, Zara has performed as a featured vocalist in Gary Crosby’s SKA Orchestra Jazz Jamaica, and performed with esteemed British Jazzers such as Orphy Robinson, Denys Baptiste and Soweto Kinch. She’s made house music with Bopstar and paid tribute to Tammi Terrell with Norwegian DJ/producer Dalminjo. Her tracks have been remixed and reworked by the likes of Viennese Techno duo Ogris Debris, Ninja tune’s floating points, afro-funker Osunlade and Space-Jazzers Emanative. She’s fronted Italian DJ Nicola Conte’s big band, performed at a Nina Simone tribute concert in Amsterdam and played support for South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and American singer Gregory Porter. At the upcoming London Jazz Festival she’ll be appearing opposite Dianne Reeves (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 20 November). She also maintains a role in education, teaching workshops in vocals and improvisation around Britain and Europe.

“i love all areas of this work – the teaching, the performing – but this album showcases what i’m most into at the moment, which is writing,” she says. “these songs on this new album are more personal than anything i’ve ever written. It’s me opening up, taking listeners on a journey.

Westerhall Rums Grenada Sponsors Pure Grenada Music Festival

High quality producer of branded rum products named event sponsor of Reggae Night

St. George’s Grenada, September 15, 2015: The Pure Grenada Music Festival today announced it’s official sponsorship agreement with Westerhall Rums Grenada. The cheque was presented to Steering Committee member, Mr. Dieter Burkhalter by Managing Director, of Westerhall Rums Grenada, Mr. Graham Williams.

“The partnership is as complementary as it is strategic, based on common beliefs and values of quality and excellence, which allows for collaboration that will add to the thrill of the festival experience”, Mr. Williams stated.

As the Reggae Night Event Sponsor on Friday 8th April, 2016, Westerhall Rums Grenada will create audience experiences at the Festival aimed at consumer engagement. In addition, as an international award winning brand, Westerhall Rums Grenada will also leverage the sponsorship with support for the presentation of Grenada and its musical offerings to the world, through both their brand and festival related social channels. This expansion of opportunities to engage fans and artistes seeks to amplify the festival experience at every opportunity and capitalise on the driving force that is music, to bring together people with a passion for the art form.

The Pure Grenada Music Festival will, over 6 days, showcase the island of Grenada via 4 distinct locations. The Festival Village and Main Stage will be located on the spacious green at Port Louis; the VIP Stage at the exquisite Calivigny Island; the Floating Stage in the picturesque St. George’s Harbour - the Carenage; and the Mobile Stage which will feature free concerts in the towns of Grenville and Gouyave located North East and West of the island respectively.

Local artistes will perform alongside those more internationally renowned to include soul singer Joss Stone (UK); folk band Madison Violet (Canada); reggae superstar Etana (Jamaica); international reggae band Steel Pulse (UK); rising phenomenon, Jesse Royal (Jamaica); world music sensation Angélique Kidjo (Benin); contemporary jazz artist Eddie Bullen (Grenada/Canada); jazz/soul singer and songwriter Zara MacFarlane (UK); steel pan extraordinaire ; and acclaimed musician Hendrix Ackle.

Are you...Ready For the Big Stage?

Opportunity of a lifetime extended musicians of Grenada Carriacou and Petite Martinique
The Pure Grenada Music Festival seeks to assist in the development of musical talent in Grenada among several other stated objectives.  This includes recognising talent, nurturing it and providing the exposure and structure it needs to flourish.

September Newsletter

Your monthly dose of Festival News has arrived.  In this issue, you will get information about the closing of our first major promotion in which one lucky subscriber will win a return airline ticket to the Music Festival in April - finishes 15th September.  We feature our Ready For The Big Stage, tell you how to get involved as a volunteer, and share who our supporters are.  Invite your family and friends to subscribe online to our newsletter via Facebook or our website.

Read the full newsletter here.

August Newsletter!

Your monthly dose of Festival News has arrived.  In this issue, you will get information about our first major promotion in which one lucky subscriber will win a return airline ticket to the Music Festival in April.  We feature our current artist line-up, tell you how to get involved as a volunteer, and share who our supporters are.  Invite your family and friends to subscribe online to our newsletter via Facebook or our website.

Read the full newsletter here.

About

We are musicians and lovers of music, believers in the power of art and expression. The beautiful island of Grenada is our home.

Contact Us

For general information about the Pure Grenada Music Festival, including registration, please contact us at:
 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  +473.444.2400
  +473.409.7187
 Petite Calivigny Bay, P.O. Box 8001, St George’s

Thank You Sponsors

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