Sara Aldén is an up and rising vocalist on the Swedish jazz scene based in Gothenburg. With integrity and curiosity Sara explores the spaces existing within the jazz context and has a intimacy in her way of creating music, inviting the listener to a small place of stillness.
In contrast stands the rawness and the greatness to her voice where it echoes into large halls and great landscapes.
Sara is born and raised in a small village outside Sala, Västmanland, Sweden. At age 8 she started playing piano but started to sing soon after and became the singer of the local youth big band at age 12. She became the singer of Sala Storband at age 14 and performed with them for more than five years.
After that Sara started folk high school and later educated at the program of bachelor of Fine Arts in Music with Specialisation in Improvisation Performance at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg.
At the same time, her interest in gendering practices began to grow and in June 2021 she received a Degree of Bachelor of Arts
with a major in Gender Studies. In Gender studies Sara aims to research the field of jazz and gender from a jazz singers point of view and contextualise what was going on within jazz from a musical and social point of view. In her research she's asking questions with a stand point from previous gender equality researchers such as Judit Butler and Sara Ahmed creating discourses around questions such as "what is expected from a jazz singer in rooms where jazz is being performed?", "in what ways is jazz being performed?" and "what is the experience of position for a jazz singer in a room where jazz is being performed?".
In finalising her Degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music with Specialisation in Improvisation Performance at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg Sara wrote her thesis about the abilities to expressing oneself freely within the space of jazz and how to enable a creation of a room of one's own within the context, later naming her debut album.
In her thesis she explores how the room where jazz is being performed limits/enables her and in what ways she can create music without being bound to previous ways of performing jazz. In doing so she worked on the example of the Bill Evans song "Very Early", later naming her debut single.
Read the thesis "Too late for Very Early"
These questions came to her after years of conversations with fellow singers and musicians witnessing and experiencing that jazz vocalists where hard to include into practises in the same way as other instruments, where one reason could be since the instrument singing is integrated in the body and therefor doesn't work the same way as an instrument outside the body. This regarded both in teaching and at jam sessions but also socially. An expectance of nurturing and fostering the fellow band members was an experience that many witnessed, attaching conservative female values to the role of the singer, including her automatically becoming responsible for the atmosphere in concert in being the connections point and front person between audience and musicians. Read more about this in the Gendering Practises thesis under
Sara is currently a master student at both Master of Fine Arts in Music with Specialisation in Improvisation Performance at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg and a master student in Gendering Practices at the Master's Programme at University of Gothenburg.