When you think of Sarah McLachlan you don’t usually think jazz, but to the delight of her many fans she’s making an appearance at this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
She says it’s been a while since she performed and she’s looking forward it. She spoke with Lynda Steele about the show and what people can expect.
“I’m not going to attempt to pretend to be a jazz artist at the show! I’m going to do the songs I usually do, hopefully the songs that everybody wants to hear.”
She’ll also be performing a new song that’s the first song she’s written in a while.
“It’s basically about moving from heartbreak to forgiveness.”
It may eventually make it on to an album, but not until she wraps up a Christmas album she’s been working on this year, something she says she’s loved doing,
LISTEN to the full interview here:
Her music school
Sarah also focuses on her music school, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, or SOM, which offers free music training for at-risk and under-served kids who don’t usually have the opportunity.
“We’re in our 15th year now, and we’ve got 1100 kids in Vancouver, and we opened up in Surrey. We do a pilot project in Surrey this year, and we’ll start full programming next year. And also in Edmonton we just opened up as well. So we are slowly expanding and broadening our reach.”
She says it’s so unfortunate that band programs may be forced to shut down in Vancouver elementary schools.
“We’re just doing our best to fill in some gaps, and give kids the opportunity to learn music. We all know what it does for us personally and emotionally, I think there are so many studies proving what it does for kids academically as well – they do better.”
She also says it gives them a sense of community, and a place where they belong and they can leave their labels at the door.
One of their graduating students this year is going to Berkeley School of Music on a full four year scholarship.
“There are so many stories like that, sometimes it’s music education, sometimes it’s kids off to engineering school at UBC…there’s one young man who is in second year at McGill. He started his own music school because of his experience at SOM, it’s pretty cool.”
As for expanding into other parts of Canada, she says that would big big picture dream and even though they have an amazing model, it’s about ensuring the quality and integrity of that model remains intact.
“And then it comes down to donors, because we’re one hundred per cent funded by donors, by individuals and companies and foundations.”
Sarah covers all of the admin costs for the Vancouver school, so every cent donated to that school has gone towards the kids’ education.
“It’s something that’s been very close to heart for a long time and I’m very involved in it, and we tend to move forward slowly and methodicallyu to ensure we can maintain the integrity of the program.”
Sarah McLachlan performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Monday, July 27th.