SACHA BOUTROS in “HOLLY JOLLY HOLIDAY”
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Grammy-nominated Jazz recording artist Sacha Boutros returns to MA4 for an evening of holiday music in “Holly Jolly Holiday.”
Recognized by music critics, peers, celebrities, and musical legends, Sacha is one of the top jazz artists today. Introduced by the great American entertainer Frankie Laine as his “ingénue,” and as Protege of the Legendary Red Holloway Sacha has opened for and performed with Patti Austin, James Moody, Karrin Allyson, Julio Iglesias, Marvin Hamlisch, Chubby Checker, Ann Hampton Callaway, Patti Page, Kay Starr, and so many others.
San Diego native, Sacha, has gone from gigging at a few San Diego clubs and U.S. festivals to touring the world and back, to having her recordings hit the top of the charts in Japan and on e-music, to even receiving a Grammy nod for best jazz and Latin jazz album in 2008 and 2013.
GET TO KNOW THE ARTIST
Growing up in San Diego, Boutros had music coursing through her veins. Her grandparents instilled a love of music and a facility for composition and harmonies at an early age. Her mother once marveled, “She has been singing from the time she was two.” At four, she’d sit on a pillow for her first piano lessons. She sang in church with her grandfather, who taught her how to play with lyrics and harmonies. And, she learned fast, adding songwriting to her piano and vocal skills.
Unbelievably, she didn’t pursue singing as a career until the last year of her studies at the University of San Diego, there on a sports and academic scholarship. “I finished My business and marketing degree and flipped over to music,” she explained. “I always felt like I was born in the wrong time. Growing up, I loved Sinatra, the ‘20s, ‘30s and the whole golden age of Hollywood. I always fantasized about the music and living in those times.”
By age 20, Boutros jumped headlong into singing professionally, and watched her burgeoning, ingénue career flourish like a seasoned, established veteran in short order. She honed that amazing voice at clubs and festivals around town, including one of her first testing grounds—the Red Fox Room, while taking the local jazz community by storm with her sensual, Latin-kissed vocals. Soon, she would attract the attention of larger crowds outside of San Diego, with a voice that called to mind the glamorous, golden age of Hollywood starlets and tropical Brazilian beaches, an intuitive ability to make any song and any style uniquely her own, perfect pitch, whether scatting or belting, and an amazing, four-octave range. By the time 2006 almost rolled out, Riviera magazine editors crowned her one of “the hottest music artists to come out of San Diego.”
A major part of Boutros’ appeal is her natural charm, sensual beauty, and an effortless versatility with standards, covers, and originals, opera, jazz, crossing generations. She can sing just about anything, make it a work of art, and reach audiences of all ages. She sings in 10 languages, speaking five of these languages fluently. Trained in classical music and Bel Canto opera, yet at ease in the world of pop, jazz, and Latin jazz, her voice is at once innocent and otherworldly, capable of wrapping itself around the heart of any tune and lingering well after a show has wrapped. She has an effortless, bountiful energy that’s especially fetching with the younger generation, who’ve discovered and embraced jazz through her engaging, fresh, crossover renditions.
2007 brought Boutros to Bruxelles, Belgium for the Young Jazz Singers competition, as a U.S. representative-finalist. Her September 2008 breakthrough album, “Simply Sacha” — a mix of standards and originals touching on jazz, Latin jazz, bossa nova, swing, and pop, and sung in five languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French) — showcased the singer’s incredible musical and linguistic range, as well as compositional skills. She wrote half of the songs on this debut album, including one with four-time Grammy winner, Afro-Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdés. In addition to Valdés, the album featured plenty of other top-notch musicians, including Geoffrey Keezer, Red Holloway, Bob Magnusson, Mike Wofford – Sarah Vaughan’s pianist, Peter Sprague and was honored to have Concord Recording Artist and Grammy-nominated Karrin Allyson providing the liner notes. Boutros would return the favor for Holloway by appearing as a special guest on the saxophonist’s album, “Something Old Something New: Introducing Sacha Boutros,” in 2009, which resulted in a 2009 tour of Japan, winning even more fans. “Simply Sacha” would become the vocalist’s calling card to the world. It was the most downloaded Latin jazz release on emusic.com, was nominated for two Los Angeles Music Awards as “Best Latin Vocal” for her original song, “Amor Imposible,” and “Best Vocal,” hit number seven on the Japanese music charts, enjoyed heavy airplay at Japanese Airlines, and earned a Grammy nod as best new jazz album. To this day, the album’s considered among the top 10 jazz and Latin jazz albums of 2008 in the U.S. and Japan.
While visiting Hawaii two years later, Boutros recorded her first live album, “Sacha, Live In Hawaii” in 2010 at the Waikiki Hawaii Public Radio Atherton Studio. She would release the live album in 2011, in the midst of a major international tour from Bruxelles back to the islands. In 2013 “Sacha: NY After Dark,” Sacha Boutros’ long awaited third Album was released. Featuring and recorded in New York with Jazz greats Lewis Nash, Peter Washington, Terell Stafford, John di Martino and mixed by the legendary Al Schmitt at Capitol Records with a book to follow entitled, “NY After Dark.”
Sacha Boutros can be found doing shows in California, Hawaii, New York, London, Paris, and all points in between. When she’s not writing, performing, or recording, she splits her time between San Diego and New York City and is heavily involved in philanthropic projects close to her heart.
Recently Sacha was given a great honor of receiving Jazz Musician of the Year by the SoCal Jazz Society.