March 1st - 3rd 2013
A Festival Celebrating Women in Jazz Music & Dance
Out of the great city of New Orleans, where music is as important, delicious and rich as its food and jazz music seeps through the walls and cracks of every historical building and sidewalk, vocalist Sasha Masakowski is blossoming as a very impressive key figure in the newest generation of jazz musicians destined to keep the musical legend of the city and her family afloat and ever-expanding.
Sasha’s musicality can be seen as a direct influence of her mother and father. Ulrike and Steve Masakowski are both virtuoso professional musicians. Ulrike, her mother, is a concert pianist and author of highly acclaimed piano-method series of books and publications, “Reeka Rules.” Steve Masakowski, world-renowned 7-string jazz guitarist, has done two albums under the Blue Note label and toured with the likes of Bobby McFerrin and Dianne Reeves, among others. Steve is currently the Coca-Cola endowed chair of the Jazz Studies department at the University of New Orleans and plays with one of New Orleans’ greatest modern jazz quartets, Astral Project.
Since beginning her career as a professional jazz musician in her early 20s, Sasha Masakowski has received vast acclaim from critics, fellow musicians, and general audiences alike throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her training from NOCCA as well as UNO's Jazz Studies Program have helped shape her cutting-edge, sophisticated style and the ease with which she presents herself on stage and captivates audiences worldwide. Her reputation as a daring, fearless improviser and charming, creative interpreter has lead to reviews such "Masakowski's marvelous voice...can be sly, sexy, exotic and arresting as she works her way through an incredibly diverse array of music that crosses cultural and stylistic lines in interesting ways " (All About Jazz, 2011). In 2009, after the debut of her first album Musical Playground, Sasha was awarded the prestigious Big Easy Music Award for "Best Emerging Artist of the Year," and has been nominated every year thereafter in categories such as "Best Female Entertainer,", "Best Contemporary Jazz Artist," and "Best Female Vocalist" from both Offbeat Magazine as well as the Big Easy Music Awards Committee. Her latest release, Wishes, has brought international recognition to Masakowski, and after a successful residency performance in the top nightclub in Beijing, China, she has recently returned home to to perform major festivals and nightclubs throughout the U.S., continuing to shape the American modern jazz scene with her eclectic influences and fundamental New Orleans passion and spirit.