Biography

photo by Daniel Perez

Sabrina Lastman (Uruguay / Israel) is a vocalist, performer, songwriter and educator born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Drawing from jazz, Latin American, and contemporary music, she often integrates extended vocal techniques. Described as “perennially eclectic and innovative,” Sabrina leads the Sabrina Lastman Quintet, and creates and performs interdisciplinary new music projects incorporating voice, sound, movement, and visuals –these include Dialogues of Silence, On Becoming (with SoCorpo, album released 2009)River of Painted Birds, An Encounter with El Duende, Inelement (with SoCorpo, album released 2013) and Double Helix Collective (with visual artist Petronio Bendito).

The Sabrina Lastman Quintet is a creative musical project that brings together jazz, South American rhythms and contemporary music. This project reflects the many influences that Sabrina has experienced while living in her home country Uruguay, in Israel, and since 2005 through 2013 in New York City. The Quartet plays original compositions and arrangements of music by Latin American composers like Ruben Rada, and Egberto Gismonti, being some of her compositions inspired by the poetry of renowned South American writers. She brings those experiences –so far away from each other– to an artistic unity, showing that cultural bridges can be built.  As a vocalist, Sabrina expands the possibilities of the voice, finding a rich variety of sonorities, colors, and textures.  Sabrina sings in Spanish, English, Hebrew and Portuguese, keeping in each language a deep meaning of text and voice quality.  Her latest album with the SLQ, The Candombe Jazz Sessions (ZOHO Music) was released in March 2012.

Her album The Folds of the Soul was nominated by the Graffiti Award 2008 as one of the best jazz albums of the year, and it was considered of cultural interest by the Ministry of Culture and Education in Uruguay.  She was invited to sing her compositions based on the poems of Uruguayan poet Idea Vilariño at the presentation of the book Idea Vilariño: La Vida Escrita.  Sabrina was awarded grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) & New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Sabrina has played with musicians such as Fernando Otero (Grammy Winner), Bakithi Kumalo, Meredith Monk (Grammy Nominee), Tali Roth, Pablo Aslán (Grammy Award Nominee), Emilio Solla (Grammy Award Nominee), Pedro Giraudo, David Silliman, Daphna Mor, Dave Eggar (Grammy Award Winner), Gustavo Casenave (Grammy Award Winner), Alexis Cuadrado, Alexander Norris, Meg Okura, Sasha Bogdanowitsch, The M6, Philip Hamilton’s VOICES, Victor Prieto, Edward Perez, Eddy Khaimovich, Leonardo Suárez-Paz, Beledo, Don Harris, Arturo Prendez, Franco Pinna, Quintino Cinalli, The Shul Band, Villa-Lobos Brothers, Kaia String Quartet, Elbio Barilari, josh Ramos, Juan Pastor,  Jamie Newman, Scott Pazera, Mo Trout, Arthur Reiner, Jorge Trasante,  Andrés Bedó, Roberto De Bellis, Pablo Somma, Ora Boasson, Dvir Katz, Giori Politi, Yarden Erez, Abe Doron, Julia Feldman, Milka Laks, Keren Hadar, Avi Berman, Ehud Horev, Haim Peskoff, and Shahar Choir, among others.

Sabrina has toured internationally & performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall (NY), Blue Note (NY), Joe’s Pub (NY), La Mama Moves Festival at La Mama Theatre (NY), Latin Jazz Series Festival at Blues Alley Jazz (Washington DC), ISSUE Project Room (NY), Juilliard (NY), New York University, Roulette (NY), Yale University (CT), Rutgers University (NJ), The Bronx Museum of The Arts (NY), Cervantes Institute (Chicago), Latino Music Festival of Chicago (IL), Old Town School of Music (Chicago), Museo del Barrio (NY), Harvard University, City University of New York, Classical Guitar Association of New York, Latino Cultural Festival at Queens Theatre in the Park (NY), Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival (IN), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Association Concerts (Israel), Abu Gosh Vocal Festival (Israel), Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music (Israel), Felicja Blumental Music Center (Israel), Teatro Solis (Uruguay), Cafe Vinilo (Argentina), Centro Cultural de España (Uruguay), Sala Zitarrosa (Uruguay), Milestone Jazz Club (Israel), Master Class Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic at Jerusalem Music Centre, Shablul Jazz (Israel), Diaspora Museum of Tel Aviv (Israel), and PPA Festival (Poland).

She is the Co-Artistic Director of Vital Vox: A Vocal Festival (www.vitalvoxfest.com) that explores the myriad power of the human voice in its solo and ensemble forms across a multitude of genres. It celebrates composer-performers in the vocal arts that stretch and expand the voice in new and original ways.

She graduated from The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel, and The Feldenkrais Institute in New York City. She currently lives in West Lafayette, IN.

Selected Quotes

Sabrina Lastman embraces the audience with the sweetness of her voice. It doesn’t matter if she sings in Spanish, English or Portuguese; her vocal timber, her powerful voice, her gesticulation and her concentration say a lot about this singer. Sabrina improvises very naturally, in a rhythmical and spontaneous way. She is unpredictable… Is not just ‘the voice as an instrument’, Sabrina is an instrument herself.
-Rodrigo Ribeiro. delUruguaY.net (Uruguay)

Perennially eclectic and innovative
-Alan Young. Lucid Culture (USA)

The Candombe Jazz Sessions reflects Sabrina Lastman gift of storytelling. It does not matter if it is an improvised wordless tale, a poetic interpretation sung in Spanish or Portuguese, or her thoughts put to music. It is always a vivid story, full of passionate dramatic nuances, elegance and charm and with a touch of irony.
-Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz (Israel/ USA)

Outstanding singer and composer. The ‘Folds of the Soul’ offers, from a very powerful individual perspective, original compositions and standards. Comprehending a wide musical spectrum…it reaches a cohesive discourse of solid creative rigour, with a clear orientation to avant-garde jazz. Sabrina sings with irreproachable technical display, and unusual expressive intensity.
-Sergio Piccirilli. El Intruso (Argentina/ USA)

A very unusual recording is found in The Candombe Jazz Sessions. Featuring vocalist extraordinaire Sabrina Lastman, The Candombe Jazz Session is a mixture of various musical styles. But mainly it is Sabrina Lastman’s story and she spins quite a tale with vocals like that. Lastman’s creativity really flows when she is in front of the microphone. Whether she is using her voice as an instrument of percussion or just making unique musical sounds, one thing is for certain –Lastman possesses a very exclusive vocal style.
-The Birmingham Times (USA)

Uruguayan born singer/composer Sabrina Lastman possesses an exceptional voice and a fearless sense of daring. The combination is a compelling amalgam that is on showcase on her latest release The Candombe Jazz Sessions.
-Ralph A. Miriello. NotesonJazz (USA)

The Candombe Jazz Sessions not only demonstrates her passion for that genre of music [Candombe], but also shows Lastman’s skill in musical storytelling, both with and without words.
-Smooth Jazz (Germany)

Rich and beautiful…with versatile compositions. The ‘Candombe Jazz Session’ is a fully satisfying record to discover.
-JazzThing (Germany)

Ms. Lastman explores all the different colors and timbres the human voice can create without modification through electronics…a great exploration in what sounds a single person can make.
-Open Source Music (USA)

Sabrina Lastman premiered…River of Painted Birds, which she sang accompanied by electronics, some video and some drumming from David Silliman. The sound was rich, evocative and frequently lovely, with Lastman singing with mellifluous phrasing…
-George Grella. The Big City (USA)

Her imaginative sounds, her rich range of sound, her musical vocabulary, and her creativity are vital and profound.
-Anat Shamgar. Faculty at The Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance (Israel)

Sabrina has a strong, powerful and expressive voice. It is possible to recognize in her music, so strong and so freely modern, eastern sonorities. Her composition based on my poem ‘Cilada Verbal’ is a slash, a samurai sword hit.
-Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna. Poet/ Literature Professor (Brazil)

I have been deeply moved and impressed by her performance of different styles of music from jazz improvisation to tango and Brazilian tunes. I would honestly say that her level of musicianship and technical facility, apart from being world class, is both exceptional and rare. She has a unique approach and puts her own mark on every piece she plays whether she improvises or interprets an original composition.
-Tali Roth. Classical Guitar Player. Faculty at The Juilliard School of Music (USA)

The ‘Folds of the Soul’ is a truly amazing album. The combination of jazz, vocals and chants were truly inspired.
-Harry Schnipper. Executive Director of Blues Alley Jazz & Blues Alley Jazz Society (USA)

She is a talented vocalist with an eclectic background in classical and jazz singing, very free and experimental, combining various genres in a personal and unusual way.
-Jean Claude Jones. Double bass/ electronics (Israel)