MP3 Sandra Locklear - Goddess Rising
With her own sure vision and band,Canadian composer-performer Sandra Locklear melds smooth jazz and easy-listening rock, Latin grooves and poignant solo ballads to set a fresh standard full of vitality and soul.
11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, EASY LISTENING: Mature
ARTISTIC BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA LOCKLEAR
Sandra Locklear is one of those musicians who defiantly eludes classification. On Goddess Rising, the Canadian singer-pianist pairs her rich alto voice with jazz piano stylings and powerhouse songwriting to present a collection of 11 original compositions.
Energetic and sensual, Goddess Rising melds smooth jazz and easy-listening rock, Latin grooves and poignant solo ballads that stretch beyond familiar musical terrain. As a songwriter, Sandra wraps jazz like harmonic and melodic sensibilities around tender and forthright feminine observations on life. Studio musicians from both the regional and national recording scene accompany her vocal journey.
On the opening cut of Goddess Rising, Sandra invites us into her private world on a masterful spin on shrink-wrapped urban reality. "A Long Time" beckons us with the lyrics: "Let me take you on a journey / Beware the price is high / For a moment stop the noise / Look inward with your eyes." Do we dare? With a kind of confident earthy commentary and raw emotion that lets you know she''s been there, we are motivated to engage her sacred domain.
Balancing family responsibilities with the demands of a musical career, “I write about modern life from a woman''s perspective,” says Sandra. "I write intuitively ... sometimes a song might take fifteen minutes ... other times, the melody or lyric might come first. My style sometimes differs from song to song because I try to be true to what’s being conveyed. You can''t do that if you''re stuck in a box."
Sandra''s dynamic career has taken her to Europe, Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. She began jazz and classical keyboard training in elementary school with her lifelong music mentor, Hollywood B-3 jazz organist Margo Beecher. The music of Ellington, Jobim and Bach was standard fare for her weekly lessons. By middle school Sandra was performing for parties, weddings, fashion shows and church. In high school, she won Yamaha’s Young Artists regional organ in Seattle and was sent on to compete in Carmel, CA.
Afterward, a year studying jazz organ in San Francisco inspired Sandra to enroll in a college music program back in Washington State. Bored and unable to resist the lure of the road, she soon accepted an offer to tour with a dance quartet. Between performing with bands, and regionally and overseas as a solo artist, she continued jazz studies at Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington.
Sandra eventually earned two music degrees Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. As a single parent, she often took her son on the road and financed her own college education. To satisfy her soul, Sandra went to Africa to study the roots of jazz with the internationally acclaimed Sierra Leone National Dance Troupe, who are still currently housed in a Guinean refugee camp seeking U.S. asylum.
At Cornish College of the Arts, notables such as NPR jazz producer Jim Wilke, bassist Gary Peacock, horn players Julian Priester and Jim Knapp, pianists Art Lande, Peggy Stern and pianist-singer Joni Metcalf, all influenced Sandra’s distinctive sound and understanding of the art of jazz. At the University of Washington, clarinetist William O. Smith guided her composition efforts while pianist Marc Seales continued to shape her playing. Along the way, Sandra studied with pianist Jerome Gray and upon hearing that singers Judy Collins and Anne and Nancy Wilson’s vocal coach lived in Seattle, she sought training from George Peckham.
Like Nina Simone and Shirley Horne, two of her inspirations, Sandra is both musician and singer with a natural gift for connecting with her audiences. In October 2005, she paid homage to Nina Simone in two special shows held at the Oak Room Cabaret in Seattle. Joined by Portland bassist Ken Anoe, who played bass with Shirley Horne in Washington, D.C., the duo came together in an effortless synergy that bolstered Sandra’s fluid interpretations of Simone’s work.
With her own sure vision, the unconventional road this dedicated artist travels only makes her music more resonant with the times. Ms. Locklear is available for bookings either as a solo singer-pianist or with her jazz group. For information and bookings contact: https://www.tradebit.com.
“There is a distinctive and precise narrative line that runs through every song on the CD and will make even casual listeners think twice.”
– Doug Pratt, NY Arts Review
“Your musicianship is amazing … but what moves me most is the words … you are, indeed, on a journey, and you bring us all along.” – Linda Allen, Singer-Songwriter
“Rockin’! A world-class production … energetic, melodic pop-rock with jazz, folk and Latin elements … killer musicianship, great graphics!”
- Neil Skok, Experience Music Project
“Passionate and purposeful, as she reaches into her stylistic toolbag to express the spirit of each song, her strength is in her versatility …”
– Kate Clark, Prof. of Communications, University of Ohio,