Sarah Klenes

A singer who through her various jazz bands and projects shows that the young generation of vocalists thoroughly renews and refreshes the genre.

9.07, 19.00, Brosella
Sarah Klenes & OakTree + special guests

Who is… Sarah Klenes?

As double bassist André Klenes's daughter, there is hardly no getting away from a musical career for Sarah (°1983).
However, she first tries her luck in the ballet world, a dream which she puts on hold temporarily after three years of intensive dancing. Nowadays, she is nonetheless working on a new musical project involving dance.

She eventually trades dance for jazz when she enrols at the famous Lemmensinstituut (Leuven) where she studies with Pierre Van Dormael and Dré Pallemaerts amongst others. The next steps are the Royal Conservatory in Brussels (David Linx, Kris Defoort) and the CNSM (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse) in Paris (Riccardo Del Fra).

A full-scholarship offers her the opportunity to participate in the Jazz and Creative Music workshop directed by American trumpeter Dave Douglas.

In 2009, she founds her own trio (OakTree) and releases a first CD entitled ‘À dos d’âmes’ (Mogno, 2012). The most recent record is ‘Well’ (HomeRecords, 2014). The combination of singing, cello and accordion wards off any sort of preconception.

In addition, there is her contribution to the international SaLLma’s Moles quartet with Belgian double bass player Lennart Heyndels, Italian violinist Ludovica Burtone and Latvian guitarist Matiss Cudars. This collaboration also marks the beginning of another now highly successful band: How Town. The band currently consists of Sarah, Lennart, Matisse and two other vocalists. A first CD is issued by the small but exquisite Belgian label Spookhuis.

Then, there is also her duo with bass clarinettist Yann Lecollaire.

Besides, she takes on musical theatre (with Les Superluettes) and is part of the Brussels soundpainting collective Matters.

And Sarah Klenes can be heard on ‘Strange Fruit’ (Blue Note) by Fabrizio Cassol.

For her concert during the Brosella festival, she received carte blanche and succeeded in snaring none other than Magic Malik, Tcha Limberger and Michel Massot.

What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

It is not a specific spot but rather a walking route. I live just a step away from Manneken Pis, hence in a tourist area. What I love most, is to take a stroll from here via rue des Tanneurs to place du Jeu de Balle where I have a nice cup of coffee. Then, I walk further via rue Haute and Sablon and go back home along Église de la Chapelle. When I come off an international tour, it is always an unmissable ritual. Only then do I really feel at home.

… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I very often go to the Muntpunt library which has a fine CD collection. Every week, I borrow at least five albums. So for instance, one of my most recent discoveries is ‘Savanne’ by Malian Ali Farka Touré. However, I recently purchased ‘69•96’ by Magic Malik. I already had some of his records but since I invited him for my carte blanche during Brosella, I want to fully explore his work.

… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

I'd say it was a double bill featuring David Thomaere and Fabian Fiorini in Dendermonde. For me, a double discovery as well. I was deeply impressed by Fiorini's performance. It almost seemed like a religious experience. The way in which he handled the piano, it was as if he were playing an organ. I have yet to assess the impact this concert will have on me; it was truly overwhelming.

… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is one by Antoine Lavoisier, an 18th-century scientist. “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. A very spiritual issue. On a personal note, I have a morning mantra which I use every day to try to become one with what is happening in the world and in the life around me.