Sarah Jerrom is a Toronto-based vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger whose music reflects a mix of eclectic and diverse influences. She is involved as a leader and collaborator in several improvising projects that include jazz, creative/contemporary music, folk, roots, and Irish music. As a composer, Sarah has written pieces for her own nine-piece chamber jazz group “The Yeats Project” which features music set to the poetry of W.B. Yeats. She has also written pieces for smaller jazz ensembles, including the title track of her 2007 debut album, “Illuminations”, which has generated considerable attention for its originality and musicianship. Encompassing original compositions, jazz-inspired arrangements of contemporary songs and traditional jazz standards, “Illuminations” continues to receive widespread media attention and radio airplay locally, nationally, and internationally.
Sarah has had the privilege of performing alongside jazz greats such as Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, Maggi Olin, and GP Prasanna. Some of Sarah’s notable performances as a headliner include well-known Toronto jazz clubs “Chalkers Pub”, “Lula Lounge”, “Cherry Street Restaurant”, and the legendary “Montreal Bistro & Jazz Club”. Performances at concert venues across Ontario include the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, The Mississauga Living Arts Center, and The Dofasco Center for the Arts. Sarah has also headlined at the 2012 and 2009 Lakefield Jazz Festival and the 2007 Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival club venue, “The Central”. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s jazz performance program, Sarah has studied with some of Canada’s most in-demand musicians, including Andrew Downing, Heather Bambrick, Lisa Martinelli, Christine Duncan, Terry Promane, and Phil Nimmons. Sarah attended the 2008 Banff International Program for Jazz and Creative Music under the direction of Dave Douglas.
Sarah has worked as a music educator in post-secondary, secondary, and primary levels as well as teaching private lessons. She has conducted several jazz and concert choirs in the Greater Toronto Area. Her vocal jazz choir arrangements have been performed nationwide. Sarah was on the vocal faculty at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Chennai, India for the 2010 summer semester.
Tracks: Skylark; Dusty Nugget; Illumination; Lush Life; Do It the Hard Way; Stompin' at the Savoy; Angel Eyes; Wild Garden; Oh Lonesome Me; Heather on the Hill.
Personnel: Sarah Jerrom: vocals. Stu Harrison: piano. Jamie Reynolds: piano. Harley Card: guitar. Mark McIntyre: bass. David MacDougall: drums. Mike Murley: tenor saxophone. Alison Young: alto saxophone. Rebecca Hennessy: trumpet/fluegel. Joel Green: trombone. Liana Berube: violin. Phoebe Tsang: violin. Anthony Rapoport: viola. Rafael Hoekman: cello.
Songs of Life
University of Toronto Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Tracks: Fascinating Rhythm; All Blues; 500 Miles High; Morning; Way of the World; Song of Life; I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You; Stolen Moments; Giant Steps; Ballad of the Sad Young Men.
Personnel: Sarah Jerrom, Katherine Bates, Anna Mastin, Corrinne Prevost, Carla Klassen, Kari van der Kloot, Ianjai Mounsey, David Ioannou, Brian Chetwynd, Mark Pellizzer, John McMillan: vocals. Chris Donnelly: piano. Mark Pellizzer: guitar. Mike Smith, Dan Churchill: bass. Ethan Ardelli, Phil Takaoka: drums.
BetterBaking.com, "Music and Dance Reviews", May 2009
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"I first heard Sarah Jerrom on Sirius XM and then again on CBC. Her rendition of Heather on the Hill..."I first heard Sarah Jerrom on Sirius XM and then again on CBC. Her rendition of Heather on the Hill is riveting but her take on Skylark is exceptional. A relaxed, mellow style - with awesome backup in Jamie Reynolds, Harley Card, Mark McIntyre, Mike Murley and Alison Young (tenor and alto sax respectively) plus others makes this a singer to watch."
IAJE Canada Newsletter, "CD Reviews", Fall 2007
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Diverse and sophisticated are two words that repeatedly come to mind when listening to Toronto-based...Diverse and sophisticated are two words that repeatedly come to mind when listening to Toronto-based vocalist Sarah Jerrom's debut album, Illuminations. Diversity is perhaps most apparent in song selection; tried and tune tunes such as "Skylark" and "Lush Life" find a place among offerings written by country stalwart Don Gibson and by more contemporary artists such as Brad Mehldau (to whose music Jerrom provides lyrics), Swedish jazz vocalist Josefine Cronholm, and Jerrom herself. Each tune seems equally at home here, and this owes largely to the infusion of Jerrom's sophisticated touch as an arranger.
Harmonically compelling, with creative and engaging accents, Jerrom sets a personal touch on these tunes. This skill is particularly evident in her treatment of Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me", where, with a mix of horns and acoustic guitar, she makes it her own- with a tip of the hat to Neil Young's treatment of the same tune. Diversity also comes to mind when speaking of the album's orchestration. From the duo format of "Lush Life" to the 9-piece ensemble- complete with strings- that performs Cronholm's "Wild Garden", Jerrom is not afraid to explore a variety of timbres and moods. The album benefits greatly from this willingness to explore, as Jerrom orchestrates the album in a manner that coaxes the most from each tune.
Sophistication is again evident on the part of the musicians appearing on this album. Jerrom's rhythm section performs deftly throughout much of the album, and is in particularly fine form on "Stompin' at the Savoy". They underpin each song with a concise and refined style that is perfectly suited to this music. Saxophonist Mike Murley is stellar throughout the album, and the band as a whole, in its various permutations, shines. This is a strong album that will leave you eager to hear more.
Justin Litun - IAJE Canada Newsletter
"A Web of Fine Music"- Mike's Picks, Nov. 3, 2007
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SARAH JERROM – ILLUMINATIONS Back in March, St. Catharines ' own Sarah Jerrom launched her self-pro...SARAH JERROM – ILLUMINATIONS
Back in March, St. Catharines ' own Sarah Jerrom launched her self-produced debut CD titled "Illuminations" in Toronto and in her home town. The local performance at her alma mater, Laura Secord Secondary School , brought the house down. Sarah is young, as can be heard in her voice, but the talent is great and she surrounds herself with some tremendous young talent, most of whom also appear on the CD. The material ranges from original compositions including the title track to such jazz classics as "Skylark" and "Stompin' at the Savoy". Contemporary with a connection to the jazz masters who went before her, Sarah shows great promise and will be a talent to watch in the future.
Toronto Star, "What's On Disc", April 5, 2007
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Sarah Jerrom, a U of T jazz program grad, takes risks. Sweet and clear tones in high registers are o...Sarah Jerrom, a U of T jazz program grad, takes risks. Sweet and clear tones in high registers are one of her ten-cut album strengths, alongside using her own lyrics, arranging songs and recruiting talented young colleagues. She draws from musical theatre, standards and jazz chestnuts, making an appealing job of most... She wrote the smart title track, there's a good take on "Angel Eyes" and a droll "Oh Lonesome Me". Top track: a really interesting "Wild Garden" (by Sweden's Josefine Cronholm) with neat band solos and a string quartet as a bonus.
Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star
Midtown Town Crier, "Singer's Album Carves Place for Her in City's Jazz Scene", April 2007
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Who says Sesame Street can't be inspirational? Certainly not Sarah Jerrom. It was while watching an ...Who says Sesame Street can't be inspirational? Certainly not Sarah Jerrom. It was while watching an episode of the popular children's show, which starred Diana Ross, that a 3-year-old Jerrom decided singing would be in her future. Twenty-four years later, the University of Toronto jazz program grad has followed through with her musical passion. Having just released her debut album, Illuminations, in early March, the midtown resident is slowly but surely making a name for herself as a singer in Toronto's jazz scene.
The St. Catharines native's self-produced CD was recorded in August. It features both up-and-coming and established musicians, including tenor saxophonist Mike Murley, guitarist Harley Card and pianists Stu Harrison and Jamie Reynolds. Two of the 10 songs were penned by Jerrom; other tracks she arranged. The rest were chosen because they each meant something special to her. The self-penned "Dusty Nugget", about a homeless person dealing with a newfound freedom, is a version of the song "Dusty McNugget" from Brad Mehldau's Largo. "The lyrics are written from the perspective of a homeless person, but it can apply to anyone who, when face-to-face with an offer of freedom and happiness, feels that they don't deserve anything good," Jerrom wrote in the liner notes for her CD. "Sometimes when you have an opportunity in life, you're not ready to take it," she elaborated in early April, a month after her CD's release at the west-end Lula Lounge. "The song is indirectly about myself."
While she grew up in a musical family, jazz wasn't Jerrom's first choice. She moved to Toronto in 1999 to study classical music at U of T, but soon realized the jazz students at the university seemed to be having a much better time. "I wasn't very happy in the program, and I was looking at the jazz musicians, going `They look really happy. What's up with that?'" Jerrom recalled, with a laugh. "So I decided at the end of that year to go into the (jazz) program." Her original jazz audition was a disaster, but Jerrom didn't give up. She began taking private lessons, and re-auditioned two years later. Her second time around was a success.
Since graduation Jerrom has been striving to get her name out there. She supplements her solo career with singing with the Debonaires, a fun country/jazz/experimental that improvises old Hank Williams tunes. Jerrom's friends Mark Laver (saxophone/vocals), Mike Smith (bass/vocals) and Ryan Driver (piano/vocals) round out the band. But it's jazz she loves. "You can sing a song differently every time," Jerrom says. "You're not locked to a page." Although she has upcoming gigs with the Debonaires and as a soloist at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival in May and June, Jerrom admits she's still trying to figure what Toronto's music scene is all about. She is confident, however, about her place in it. "I'm just trying to do my own thing, and do the music that I love," she said. "I'm trying to put my own stamp on things and see what that'll bring with it. I'm not going to try and be anybody I'm not just to be different."
Big Bird (and Ross) would be proud.
SNAP! St. Catharines, "Sarah Jerrom Launches her New CD", April 2007
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Talented young jazz vocalist and composer Sarah Jerrom, recently launched her new CD, "Illuminations...Talented young jazz vocalist and composer Sarah Jerrom, recently launched her new CD, "Illuminations" at The Laura Secord Secondary School (her alma mater!) Sarah, local to St. Catharines,who was accompanied by her band, put on a great show, and judging by the audience response, Sarah has a great career ahead of her. Good luck Sarah!
"O's Place Review", Summer Issue 13.2
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Sarah's voice is natural and uncolored. It works well with this band, whether it's the large ensembl...Sarah's voice is natural and uncolored. It works well with this band, whether it's the large ensemble on "Oh Lonesome Me" or a simple duet with pianist Stu Harrison on "Lush Life". These are daring arrangements that capture the imagination and Jerrom pushes blue vocal tones on them as well to make it an interesting palate. Among the best is "Stompin' At The Savoy" which opens with a cool bass solo from Mark McIntyre and strong guitar work from Harley Card."
There are no upcoming dates at this time.