Sarah Chaplin grew up in Lancaster and while all her friends were into punk and new wave music, she had a secret passion for jazz (even though her parents only owned two jazz albums). She played trombone during her teens, then took up the saxophone at the age of 21 while at university. By then she had decided to become an architect and spent the next 20 years working in architectural practice and in academia, becoming a professor at Kingston University in 2007. During that time she also had three children, so the saxophone took a back seat.
Seeking more of a creative challenge, she underwent a complete career change in 2012 and started writing and playing music full-time, embarking upon her new dual existence as an author and a jazz musician. She completed the three year jazz programme at Citylit in central London, and is currently taking a composition course with a view to writing choral pieces and instrumental arrangements for larger ensembles.
Having played gigs with many other line-ups across London, she now leads her own trio and septet, and has released her debut album ‘Firehorse’ featuring 11 of her own tunes, which was launched at the Pheasantry in Chelsea in March 2016.
Sarah plays saxes and flutes, and is also a vocalist. She has hosted several jazz jams including the OSO jazz jam in Barnes, Surbiton Jazz Jam at Casa Viva and the jam sessions at Sligo Jazz Festival. She writes occasional reviews for Jazzwise, LondonJazzNews and MOBO, and is co-Founder of JazzLondonLive, the new listings site for London and the South East.