Proclaiming her crafts as a composer, arranger and vocalist, Sarah Jerrom’s latest album, The Yeats Project, is an exciting and imaginative follow up to her critically acclaimed debut CD, Illuminations. Featuring her original compositions set to the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Jerrom orchestrated the music for a unique nine-piece chamber jazz instrumentation comprised of strings, woodwinds, brass and a traditional jazz rhythm section, with Jerrom herself on vocals. After gathering a group of Toronto’s top established and emerging musicians, the music was recorded live at two concert venues in Toronto and the Niagara region. The featured poems reflect upon themes such as spirituality, life as an artist, death, defeat and love.
Blending the elements of jazz, improvisation and classical music, The Yeats Project presents the words of W.B. Yeats set to music in a completely unprecedented style and approach. This distinctive interpretation and the ensemble’s unique combination of instruments played by a specially formed group of top-flight, multi-influenced musicians makes The Yeats Project a rarity in terms of concept and sound.
- Sarah Jerrom (vocals/compositions/arrangements)
- Ernesto Cervini (drums)
- Andrew Downing (cello)
- Aleksandar Gajic (viola)
- Johnny Griffith (bass clarinet)
- Tara Kannangara (flugelhorn)
- Rob McBride (double bass)
- Carissa Neufeld (piano)
- Tom Richards (conductor)
- Linnea Thacker (violin)
“Sarah Jerrom has an almost otherworldly approach to her ethereal compositions, combining jazz, improvised, contemporary and classical music. These are detailed, well-thought-out settings to ten Yeats’ poems, which fit her vocal stylings with complex melodies, wide pitch jumps and subtle tonal colours. She has arranged her work for an all-star nine member chamber band of strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section, each member an improvising star in their own right. By treating her instrumentalists as equals, Jerrom creates perfect poetic musical settings…”
– Tiina Kiik – Listening Room, the Whole Note Magazine
“It was the arranging which struck me when I first heard the (Yeats Project’s) music back in 2012; the poems lend themselves to beautiful, lush treatments, and Sarah uses the ensemble’s nine instruments to great effect. The result is contemporary sounding but still tuneful, an interesting mix of chamber music and improvisation; Sarah’s impressive vocals soar over top.”
– Josh Grossman – Artistic Director, Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival
“Vocalist/composer/arranger Sarah Jerrom has a strong voice to go with her cerebral approach to jazz. Her embracing of chamber jazz melds her firm, but airy voice with compositions that bandy about contrasting notes to find a kind of balance in the midst of it all. It’s an approach to music that’s poetic, which is why it so fits with the work of William Butler Yeats, a man who found balance in contrasts bearing from his Irish soul. Thus, for her latest album, Jerrom has composed songs for some of Yeats’ poetry, arranged it for a nine-piece group of fine Toronto musicians, and set it all up to greet the world…”
– Anthony Dean-Harris, Editor-in-Chief, NextBop.com
“Composer/singer Jerrom working with some of Toronto’s most esteemed jazz and classical musicians, including the remarkable cellist Andrew Downing and drummer Ernesto Cervini, uses elements of Celtic music of course, but also explodes into swinging commentary, edgy minor key syncopated riffs, and recurrent melodic undulations, ebbs and swells. Pianist Carissa Neufeld links the classical string section and the jazz ensemble together to create seamless transitions between genres. The poem “Adam’s Curse” is a profound feminist commentary exquisitely performed. Also standout arrangements include “Stream and Sun at Glendalough” and “Sailing to Byzantium”.
– Hobart Taylor, KUCI 88.9FM, University of California in Irvine
Oct. 31, 2017 – The Listening Room: Tiina Kiik, The Whole Note Magazine
Oct. 19, 2017 – New in the KUCI Jazz Library: Hobart Taylor, KUCI 88.9FM, University of California in Irvine
Sept. 19, 2017 – The Next Generation of Jazz: Anthony Dean-Harris, Editor-in-Chief, NextBop.com
March 5, 2015 – It’s Special Projects Time!: Josh Grossman, Artistic Director, Toronto Downtown Jazz
February 26, 2015 – Lots To See And Do In Niagara This Weekend!: Mike Saunders’ Fine Music Blog
February 25, 2015 – Sarah Jerrom’s Poetic Jazz Comes To Brock: John Law, St. Catharines Standard
March 2013 – TO Jazz News From Josh: Toronto Jazz E-News
March 2013 – Five Things To Do In Toronto On The Weekend Of Mar. 15 – 17: Toronto Life
February 2013 – And The Winners Are… Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival News
No shows booked at the moment.
|03/11/15||Toronto, ON||Array Space|
|Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15. Address: 155 Walnut Ave.. Conductor: Tom Richards. Vocals and music: Sarah Jerrom. With Ernesto Cervini (drums), Andrew Downing (cello), Aleksandar Gajic (viola), Johnny Griffith (bass clarinet), Tara Kannangara (flugelhorn, trumpet), Rob McBride (double bass), Carissa Neufeld (piano), and Linnea Thacker (violin). Show info. More information|
|02/27/15||St. Catharines, ON||Brock University’s Centre For The Arts|
|Time: 7:30pm. Admission: $28.50 adults; $22.50 seniors/students; $5 eyeGo high school program.. Box office: (905) 688 5550 x3257. Address: 500 Glenridge Ave.. Conductor: Tom Richards. Vocals and music: Sarah Jerrom. With Ernesto Cervini (drums), Andrew Downing (cello), Aleksandar Gajic (viola), Johnny Griffith (bass clarinet), Tara Kannangara (flugelhorn, trumpet), Rob McBride (double bass), Carissa Neufeld (piano), and Linnea Thacker (violin). Presented by Brock University’s Centre for the Arts Encore! Professional Concert Series.|
|03/16/13||Toronto, Ontario||The Music Gallery|
| Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $25/$15 for members/$20 in advance. Box office: 416.204.1080. Address: 197 John Street. Venue phone: 416.204.1080. |
A TDJ Special ProjectThe Yeats Project makes its debut at this St. Patrick’s-themed concert. With Ernesto Cervini (drums), Andrew Downing (cello), Aleksandar Gajic (viola), Julia Hambleton (bass clarinet), Rob McBride (double bass), Carissa Neufeld (piano), Tom Richards (conductor), Linnea Thacker (violin), and Kevin Turcotte (flugelhorn).
Doors open at 7pm. Show info. More information
|11/30/12||Toronto, ON||Hart House|
|Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free admission. Address: 7 Hart House Circle. With Ernesto Cervini (drums), Chris Donnelly (piano), Julia Hambleton (bass clarinet), Rob McBride (bass), and Amanda Penner (viola). Featuring a special sneak-peek performance of The Yeats Project as a six-piece ensemble.|