A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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The renowned violinist Mark O’Connor says of Sara Caswell, “Jazz violin needs a universal ambassador…a player who can pick up where the last generation left off. Sara Caswell is well on her way to extending that tradition to touch new audiences.”

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Sara and her sister Rachel (now a jazz vocalist) were reared by musicologist parents in a town where they were exposed to everything from Celtic music to opera. Also an accomplished classical violinist, Sara began her studies of the repertoire at the tender age of five, and her parents made sure that she received the best training: instruction from Mimi Zweig. Sara took up jazz shortly thereafter; by eight, she was studying with Dr. David Baker, who describes her as “a brilliant, world-class violinist…one of the very best of the present generation of emerging young jazz stars.”

After receiving Undergraduate degrees with high distinction in both classical and jazz performance from Indiana University, Sara moved to New York to earn her Master’s degree in Jazz Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. An in-demand sideperson, Sara has performed and recorded with a breadth of artists including Roseanna Vitro, Esperanza Spalding, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Clayton, and Alan Ferber, among many others.

Sara has released two albums as a leader, First Song (Double-Time) and But Beautiful (Arbors), both of which have garnered numerous accolades including features on NPR’s Morning Edition. She and her sister are also working on a new album with the pianist Fred Hersch.

Sara has performed here recently with the likes of Alexis Cuadrado and Nadje Noordhuis, and we look forward to hearing her own music on our stage on Thursday night as a part of our debut series. The band features the guitarist Jesse Lewis, the bassist Ike Sturm, and the drummer Jared Schonig.

Watch videos from Sara’s recent Jazz Gallery performances with Alexis and Nadje.