Sari Kessler

Sari Kessler’s debut album, Do Right, was released in 2016. She is quickly becoming a major force in jazz. Critics have praised her live performances and recorded material. All About Jazz called her “a first rate interpreter, (able to) tap into the marrow a lyric to bring its essence to forefront.” JazzTimes stated, “It’s almost impossible to say enough about Sari Kessel’s talent and dedication to jazz vocals,” and praised Do Right as “a splendid instance of what a debut record should and can be.” It is not a metaphor to say that Sari has traveled a long distance in her shoes. New York-based jazz singer, composer, and arranger, is also an avid runner. It was only after she completed her first half marathon that she realized anything was possible. Kessler gave up her career as a psychologist to become a jazz singer. She has a deep, personal, and soulful voice. Sari is a captivating storyteller and an excellent improviser. She exudes joy and warmth on and off stage. She said, “I know both my stories and myself.” Being an effective jazz singer means finding myself in the lyric and investing each word with meaning.” Looking at a list of Kessler’s influences–including Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, and Ray Charles–highlights a tradition of great storytellers, each of whom carved an unbeaten path across the landscape of the Great American Songbook. Although Sari has a background in soul and pop music gave her the ability to use her voice for expressive purposes, Kate McGarry, a Grammy-nominated singer/teacher, helped her explore the rhythmic and harmonic aspects that jazz tradition offers in order to tell the story. Kessler has performed on stage alongside the great talents of Gene Bertoncini and Houston Person. She has recorded and performed with renowned jazzmen Harvie S, Tootie Hart, Harvie Heath, John di Martino, Freddie Bryant, and Harvie S. Kessler has performed in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as at top Manhattan venues like Jazz at Kitano and 55 Bar, Somethin’ Jazz club, Zeb’s, and Zeb’s. She’s appeared at Shelter Island Jazzfest and LI Winterfest in the Hamptons. Sari has a wide range of experience, including studio work providing background and lead vocals for Miramax and other corporate marketing ventures. All these experiences helped her to create her debut album, Do Right. This album celebrates Kessler’s modern spirit and honors the greats that inspire her. You can listen to preview tracks on her Music Page.

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