* participating in Hear Her Song initiative
Singer/songwriter Sara Colman has enjoyed a successful and prolific career over the last twenty years and along the way has worked with some of the leading lights in British music including Laura Mvula, Liane Carroll and Mahalia.
As a vocalist she has made numerous festival appearances (Cheltenham, Manchester, Mostly Jazz, ReVoice, Sligo) and in 2016 was ‘featured vocalist’ with The National Youth Jazz Orchestra at the BBC Prom Night at The Royal Albert Hall. She is also one third of the CCB Trio with long time friends and musical partners Liane Carroll and Sophie Bancroft with whom she regularly performs.
As a writer she has recently received commissions to write the music for a musical about food crime called ‘The Hand that Feeds’ performed in Birmingham with a further performance scheduled for the summer of 2017 and from Lichfield Gospel Chorus to arrange a trio of songs in modern gospel style including songs by Michael McDonald/Beth Nielsen Chapman, The Duhks and Kelly Joe Phelps.
Sara’s debut album Spellbound was released in 2000, the same year that she started singing with ‘The Passion’ with Liane Carroll and Jacqui Dankworth, a collaboration that lasted 10 years and led to performances on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ and a live recorded performance from London’s Pizza Express. Jazz Club. In 2002 she received the Jerwood Rising Star award at Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
Alongside her flourishing career as a vocalist, Sara was establishing herself as a songwriter of note and since 2000 she has received several commissions by a capella vocal group ‘Black Voices’ to compose and arrange new works including vocal suite ‘Seven Songs for Seven Colours’. In 2004 she made the top ten from 15000 entries for the ‘Rock’ category in BBC Radio 2’s ‘Song on Song’ competition.
In 2006 when she won an award for the ‘Best Gig of the Year’ in the inaugural Birmingham Jazz (Jazzlines) award programme.
Sara deepened her understanding of the music industry in 2008 when she took on the role as administrator for indie label Q Note Records owned by
John Dankworth and Bucks Music Group. During this period she developed invaluable skills through the organization of promotional campaigns, album launches and liaising with artists. These skills were put to good use in 2013 when she curated a series of vocal performances from internationally renowned singers. Promoted and programmed by Jazzlines (Birmingham) Sara shared the stage in a double bill with artists such as Claire Martin OBE and Jose James.
2009 saw the release of her second solo album Ready (Q Note) from which her cover version of ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ was selected by Alyn Shipton for inclusion on a playlist for Emirates Airlines. In 2011 she co-wrote and sang on two tracks on a Colman Brothers album, which received airplay on BBC Radios 1, 2 & 6 and Jazz FM.
Turning her focus once more to writing, in 2010, Sara studied for a MA at Bath Spa Uni. Since then she has written and delivered a 10 week songwriting course in Birmingham, and composed the song ‘Up’ with Mahalia for her EP Never Change (Asylum Records). Sara currently has publishing agreements with Bucks Music Group and Cacophony.
In 2012 Sara was selected to give a special vocal showcase performance at Jazzahead exhibition and in 2014/15 she was featured Vocalist for Laura Mvula’s tour with Metropole Orkest, and gave a solo performance at London’s Revoice Festival.
In addition to her own singing and writing achievements, Sara is an inspirational educator, teacher and coach and is in much demand across a variety of educational media.
She works with BTFI, an artist based Learning and Development Consultancy to engage with management teams in the UK, US and Asia from a variety of industry and corporate scenarios, as a coach, facilitator, director and teacher.
Sara leads the Jazzlines Summer school with Percy Pursglove, is a tutor at Sligo Summer School and Montgomery Holloway music trust Summer school and co leads jazz vocal workshops around Europe with Liane Carroll, Sophie Bancroft, Fionna Duncan and Brian Kellock.
Sara is also a visiting tutor in contemporary vocal styles at both Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.