SFJAZZ.org | 5 Things Sasha Masakowski

On The Corner Masthead


August 5, 2019 | by Rusty Aceves

Sasha Masakowski

Vocalist Sasha Masakowski returns to the Joe Henderson Lab this Saturday (8/10) as part of our “New Orleans Now” series, with music from her new album. Here are five things you should know about her:

  1. Sasha is among the busiest and most acclaimed vocalists and songwriters on the scene, and a leading light among the young generation of artists to emerge from New Orleans. She’s performing music from her newest Ropeadope release, Art Market, with a band including guitarist Cliff Hines, pianist Jason Butler, bassist Max Moran, and drummer James Small.
  2. Art Market balances the spirit of the classic New Orleans second line with the city’s infectious bounce music culture and the angular modern jazz inspired by adopted New York home, bound by her ethereal vocals, loops, and synthesizers. The album is a dizzying collection of what she calls “edgy, enlightened party music,” featuring electronically-inspired takes on New Orleans chestnuts “Jockamo (Iko Iko)” and “Struttin’ with some Barbecue” along with a multi-layered a capella version of Bill Evans’ “Interplay,” covers of songs by St. Vincent and her father, as well as some deeply funky originals.
  3. Among her many accolades: Vanity Fair listed Sasha as one of the top jazz musicians in the world in their feature “The Jazz Youth-Quake,” and the December 2015 issue of DownBeat named her among the most innovative musicians in New Orleans. She made her first major splash in 2009, named “Best Emerging Artist” by the Big Easy Association.
  4. She leads multiple distinctively diverse bands that range from traditional New Orleans jazz (Sidewalk Strutters) and contemporary jazz and world music (Musical Playground) to experimental electronic art-rock (Hildegard, Tra$h Magnolia).
  5. She’s the daughter of celebrated jazz guitar innovator Steve Masakowksi, and worked with her father in the family band Nova NOLA along with her brother, bassist Martin Masakowski. They released the album Wetland in 2009, and in 2017 recorded N.O. Escape under the group name Masakowski Family