In session: Zara McFarlane

Zara McFarlane

If you keep an ear on the most exciting sounds to emerge out of UK jazz, you’ll definitely be familiar with the genre-hopping shapes of Zara McFarlane.

Rising through Gary Crosby’s Tomorrow’s Warriors initiative as an early teen, Londoner Zara has been breeding a new form of jazz based on her Jamaican musical roots and urban upbringing for the last decade.

With a deep love of everything from Pharoah Sanders to Studio One, Zara mixes nostalgia with innovation, producing two lauded LPs, Until Tomorrow (2011) and If You Knew Her (2014) for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label.

Following the release of her 2017 album Arise, Zara joined us at a recent PRS Presents in London to take us on a musical trip through her lavish and eclectic style.

Watch Freedom Chain, taken from her set.