Madame Z combines a joie de vivre attitude with provocative lyricism. Her previous music projects have been described as “softly haunting” by the SF Deli Magazine, and “world traveling... a sound that tells a story, fluttering from intimate to intense” by the SF Bay Guardian. But this new direction is something entirely fresh. Madame Z now presents an alternative cabaret act accompanied by an eclectic backing band of jazz and Balkan brass musicians. She’s exploring the edge of jazz and finding the bridge to an ancient world sound. Influenced by the great voices of Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday, and the compositions of Gershwin, Madame Z explores jazz roots while adding contemporary relevance.
Coming off her 2-year North American tour as a solo artist, Madame Z is returning home to celebrate the release of her newest album. Born and raised in San Francisco by artists and writers, Madame Z received her BFA from San Francisco State where she studied world music and dance. In this latest endeavor, Z has worked with co-composer Jonah Udall and jazz guitarist of internationally touring trio Sound Underground. Jonah Udall explored the world of traditional Balkan music touring throughout Eastern Europe during his vacation summers, while acquiring a degree in jazz and composition. Madame Z and Jonah Udall met at a Balkan folk dance retreat in California. From their first collaboration of recreating Gershwin’s “Summertime” acoustically improvised around a campfire at the retreat, to 6 years later recording original music with a 17-piece big band in Miami, this duo of band leaders has a unique sound you won’t find anywhere else in the world.