Shows and Events Calendar
Vocalist Sarah Partridge
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Acclaimed vocalist Sarah Partridge performs "I'll Take Romance," A Journey of Love through Songs from the Great American Songbook... and beyond.
With Tomoko Ohno on Piano
Singing along to a karaoke machine on a dare is not the way most aspiring singers begin their careers; however, this is how jazz singer Sarah Partridge got her start. While enjoying a successful and busy career as an actress, Partridge went to the Improv in Los Angeles with friends, to enjoy a night out. A karaoke contest began and her chums urged her to participate, "just for fun." Partridge, a jazz enthusiast, reluctantly agreed and eventually found an "elevators only" version of Summertime. Her beautiful, rich voice captivated an L.A. booker, who assumed that she was a professional jazz singer. Before she could say "help" she found herself billed as the featured vocalist in a live jazz salute. This was not an easy accomplishment considering that she knew only ten songs all the way through. Yet, she was a smashing success and hasn't taken a backward step from that evening on.
Spending most of her childhood in Boston and attending high school in Alabama, Sarah claims that her father is responsible for her love of jazz. From the time she was born, the only music Sarah heard around the house was Ella Fitzgerald, Chris Connor, Dakota Staton, Irene Kral and of course, Sarah Vaughan. While other kids were singing nursery rhymes, Sarah was humming "Lush Life." She couldn't have avoided this music if she tried.
Partridge also developed a keen interest in acting at a young age. After receiving her Theater degree from Northwestern University, Partridge stayed in Chicago and landed her first feature film role -- opposite Tom Cruise in the smash hit, Risky Business. She then headed west to L.A., where she acted in several film roles and became actively involved in doing commercials and voice-overs. Throughout the late eighties and early nineties, Partridge could be seen guest starring in many TV series, sitcoms and soap operas... then came that fateful night at the Improv; an old dream reawakened, she soon shifted the focus of her life back to music.
Sarah has been spotted entertaining audiences at many notable haunts on both coasts such as, New York's fabled Oak Room at The Algonquin Hotel, The Hideaway, Delmonico's, The Jazz Standard, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. and L.A. jazz spots like Catalina's Bar & Grill, The Jazz Bakery Spazio, The Vic and the former Hollywood landmark, the Cinegrill. She is consistently pegged as "pick of the week" in newspapers on both coasts.
Until his death in early June of 1997, Sarah could often be found sharing the bandstand with her pal, legendary jazz giant, Doc Cheatham. She was a fixture at his Sunday afternoon jazz brunches at New York's Sweet Basil Restaurant. They also teamed at other local clubs such as Metropolis and New Jersey's, Trumpets. He affectionately referred to her as "A woman of high voltage!"
Tomoko Ohno, born in Tokyo, began piano studies at the age of 4. As a teenager, she began playing professionally in the Tokyo area jazz scene. After graduating from Rikkyo University in Law and Politics, Miss Ohno moved to the United States and entered the Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson University in New Jersey, where she studied with Harold Mabern and Rufus Reid. During this time she had the opportunity to perform with such artists as Jerome Richardson, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson and Joe Henderson. A recipient of the Student Award of Outstanding Performance and a member of the Dean's List, Miss Ohno graduated with a B.A. in Jazz Studies.
She has performed at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, Sweet Basil and The Lenox Lounge in Harlem, in addition to appearing on live radio broadcasts by WBGO and WNYC, and ABC TV's Good Morning America. She has performed and/or recorded with Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, James Spaulding, Rufus Reid, The John Lee Quartet, The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band and Sherry Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra, as well as working as a side musician with such diverse musical ensembles as the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble and The Spirit of Life Ensemble.
Miss Ohno also leads her own group, and has released three CDs on the Japan-based Tokuma label. In 1997 her first album, "Powder Blue," was released, and in 1999 her second album, "Affirmation," was released, followed in 2000 by the album "Natural Woman." Her album "Shadows of Spring" (recorded in Argentina) was released by MDR Records in 2005.
Her latest album, "Tomoko Ohno in Buenos Aires," was also released by MDR Records in 2007. Her new album is scheduled to be released in 2011 spring.
Miss Ohno is also active as a composer, and has been the recipient of a grant from The Meet The Composer Foundation. Commissioned works include pieces written for the Englewinds Chamber Ensemble.