Eloquent and provocative singer-songwriter, Zara McFarlane, is the UK’s Black British foremost Jazz Vocalist. With two critically acclaimed albums to her name, she inhabits an unusual musical landscape, fearlessly exploring original material & reworking well known classics from the worlds of Jazz and Jamaican music. September 2017 sees her return with her third studio album “ARISE” which traces her musical heritage of the Caribbean and explores her take on the musical possibilities of British-Jamaican identity.
Zara’s music is seductive and earthy. As a performer she is uniquely engaging, deftly combining the intricacies of jazz with a deep soulfulness, melding multiple influences from reggae to pop, folk and blues with both her originals and choice of covers. Her breakthrough 2012 jazz cover of Junior Murvin’s ‘Police and Thieves’, provided a jumping off point to further explore the blurred, colourful territory in between jazz and roots-reggae. On “ARISE” we see her continue to explore her Jamaican roots covering Nora Dean’s “PEACE BEGINS WITHIN” and a beautifully poised version of the Congos’ “FISHERMAN” teases out the poignant lyrical content of the 1977 classic. This time her originals have a socio-political lilt, inspired by the political reggae movement of 70’s Jamaica, as well as her trademark compelling self-reflections and observations.