Possessing a rare versatility in timbre and range, vocalist Sandra Marlowe brings warmth, finesse, and yet, excitement and strength in her renditions of ballads to blues, bebop to Broadway belt. Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, she performed with pianists, jazz trios, ensembles, bands, theaters, and is an accomplished singer/musician with an expansive vocal repertoire. Her skills as a songstress and entertainer inspire memorable shows and timeless moments with audiences.
Born into a family of singers, musicians and poets on the plains of North Dakota, Marlowe’s solo career began at the tender age of six with a shy, but righteous rendition of “Do, Lord!” before an old-time, revival meeting congregation. A keen ear and a kernel of talent led to years of study, both academic and private, in voice, piano, opera, acting, drama, dance, composition and musicianship. While a student at DeAnza College and San Jose State University, she performed with San Jose Community Opera Theatre (now Opera San Jose) under the tutelage of Director Irene Dalis and Musical Director Dr. David Rohrbaugh. Marlowe also credits much of her interpretative and performing style to five years “hard labor!” with legendary vocal coach Judy Davis, whose A-list of former students included Sinatra, Streisand, Joplin. Always a fan of the Great American Songbook, Marlowe explored a lifelong love for big band and swing music. She appeared at festivals on both East and West coasts with the LA-based “Avalon Cats” swing band directed by Grammy-award winning producer, saxophonist and arranger Rusty Higgins. Marlowe was also a singer with South Bay Swing Band, a 17-piece traditional big band working California’s Bay Area and Central Coast, and recorded a CD, “Uptown Stomp,” with them.
The past decade, Marlowe has further explored the realm of jazz, improvisation, arranging and composition with studies at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. She has taken master classes with renowned vocalists/educators Rhiannon, Laurie Antonioli, Theo Bleckmann, Kitty Margolis, and celebrated pianist/producer Frank Martin. Marlowe released her debut jazz CD entitled “True Blue.” in July 2012, co-producing with acclaimed pianist Larry Dunlap, who has worked with such jazz and cabaret luminaries as Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Maureen McGovern and Nancy King, and was music director for jazz luminary Dame Cleo Laine. Dunlap crafted sumptuous arrangements and directed Bay Area A-list musicians on this CD to generously complement a songstress whose adventurous life embodies the art of reinvention. “True Blue.” garnered impressive reviews and received national and international radio play. Ms. Marlowe appeared at San Jose Jazz Summer Festival in August 2012 for a CD release concert. Working with Dunlap as co-producer/pianist/arranger again during 2019 to release her newest CD, “The Heart Always Remembers,” Marlowe shares her skill as a songwriter in several originals – Corner Store Blues, A Sweet Wind and The Heart Always Remembers, a duet with singer/songwriter and frequent musical collaborator, Robin Hambey. "The Heart Always Remembers" released on September 25, 2020 and is available at all major digital download and streaming sites.
Ms. Marlowe currently performs jazz, blues, and swing music for events, festivals, clubs throughout the U.S. She draws on classical and religious roots, with vocal/artistic versatility, as a featured soloist/pianist of inspirational and sacred music for church parishes, while also leading chant and sound workshops. Sandra tends the creative fire in others with both teaching and directorial work. She has provided vocal and music direction for college and community theater companies – working with children, teens and aspiring singers – and been a vocal consultant for bands and professional performers. She teaches vocal technique and performance through private practice. Relocation to Idaho’s “Panhandle” in 2018 has brought new perspective and opportunities.