From the beginning, Brigitte Zarie has been as unforgettable as her music. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, she had the benefit of being raised in a home that thrummed with the rhythms and melodies that shaped her into the artist she would become. With parents originally from Casablanca, Morocco—her father was a multi-instrumentalist while her mother was a singer—she was exposed to the world of jazz at an early age, and developed a love for classic artists like Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz. “I used to go to sleep listening to ‘Strangers In The Night’ or break up with a boyfriend and cry myself to sleep with the music of Stan Getz in the background,” she says. And as one of ten children, there was no shortage of other people to play and sing with. “My brother Joe used to play guitar and make me sing and make up words to everything he would play,” says Brigitte. “So I was writing songs since day one.”
A defining moment for Brigitte occurred when her family traveled to Buffalo, NY when she was a child. “My parents had a big van so we slept in it one night, and across the street was a jazz club. I remember hearing this be bop music, and loving it while my folks were asleep. I was really stunned by what I heard. I tried to stay up and listen to every note that was played. I can still hear and see that night as clear as day. I know I was supposed to be in that exact spot, listening to that music for a reason.”
From that moment on, Brigitte answered her calling, knowing exactly what she wanted to do with her life: devote it to creating the music that she was so struck by as a young girl. She kept singing and crafting songs, many of which were recorded by other artists. She played in bands and was a featured vocalist in films and commercials. She even explored other musical genres. But throughout it all, jazz remained her utmost passion, and soon she chose to focus exclusively on her own material.
“Douglas Cross wrote ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” she states, unabashedly, “but it was his heart that he left, not mine.” Seeking to express the experiences of her own life, she penned the songs that would become her debut CD “Make Room For Me,” a searingly emotional collection that offers a freshness and originality uncommon in the world of jazz.
Brigitte Zarie carries forth the classic jazz musical tradition in her own unique and distincive way. She brings bold determination, sassiness, originality, and unwavering insight to every song she writes. The result is a listening experience that is warm and uplifting. And a work of art that is timeless.
Brigitte Zarie. A songwriter who moves the heart, stirs the soul, and is the voice of whole new generation of jazz.