Sara Serpa Residency Concert: Intimate Strangers
Award-winning singer, composer, improviser and NEC alum Sara Serpa and NEC students will perform excerpts from Intimate Strangers, Serpa’s acclaimed multi-media work offering musical insight into the journeys and experiences of migrants, refugees and displaced people. Together they’ll create vivid soundscapes based on Nigerian author Emmanuel Iduma’s book A Stranger’s Pose. Serpa’s 2021 album Intimate Strangers earned a place as one of the best albums of 2021 from The New York Times, The Nation, Rimas e Batidas, ArtsFuse, and Jazz.pt. For the second part of the concert, Serpa and NEC students will be joined by NEC alums guitarist André Matos and pianist Dov Manski performing a range of repertoire including music from their new album Night Birds.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live
6:30 PM ET | Eben Jordan Ensemble Room
NEC alumni, students, faculty, and staff: Join us before the concert for refreshments and a chance to connect with Jazz Studies Co-Chair Ken Schaphorst '84 MM, Sara Serpa '08 MM, Andre Matos '08 MM, Dov Manski '07, and fellow NEC alumni. The concert will follow at 8:00 pm featuring Sara, Andre, Dov, and current Jazz students.
A native from Lisboa, Portuguese Sara Serpa explores the use of the voice as an instrument. Serpa has been working in the field of jazz, improvised and experimental music, since moving to New York in 2008. Literature, film, visual arts, nature and history inspire Serpa in the creative process and development of her music. Described by the New York Times as “a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook,” and by the JazzTimes magazine as “a master of wordless landscapes,” Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy-nominated pianist, Danilo Perez, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist, Ran Blake, and Greg Osby.
Her ethereal music draws from a broad variety of inspirations including literature, film, visual arts as well as history and nature. As a leader, she has produced and released ten albums, the latest being Intimate Strangers (2021) and Recognition (2020).
Serpa was voted 2020 NPR Jazz Vocalist, Rising Star-Female Vocalist 2019 by the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll, and teaches at The New School and New Jersey City University. Currently Serpa is Artist-In-Residence at Park Avenue Armory, in New York and a recipient of New York City Women’s Fund 2020, Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant 2019, New Music USA 2019 Grant, 2021 USArtists Grant from Mid-Atlantic Foundation for the Arts, and 2021 Herb Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Composition.
Photograph by Carlos Ramos
All compositions by Sara Serpa
Excerpts from Intimate Strangers:
How do you know where to go?
In due course
I dream you leaving
I must become a tree
Monique Van Willingh, spoken word
Elizabeth Embser, Aviana Gedler, Ariel Vera, Yifan Yue, Yifei Zhou, Sara Serpa, voice
Jake Walters, piano
Nico Daglio-Fine, electronics
Caleb Montague, projection assistant
All compositions written and arranged by Sara Serpa and André Matos
Yuwei Luo, Jillian Moore, Rania Toli, Sara Serpa, voice
Kira Daglio-Fine, soprano saxophone
Lemuel Marc, trumpet
Cooper Malinowski, trombone
Jonah Kernis, cello
André Matos, guitar
George Maclaurin, Dov Manski, piano
Daniel Mayer, double bass
Caleb Montague, drums