A native of Santa Cruz (and alum of the Stanford Jazz Workshop),
one might say that for
Dobson, singing jazz comes as naturally as breathing. Sasha’s
mother is jazz singer Gail Dobson and her father was the brilliant
late pianist Smith Dobson. Sasha spent her formative years
surrounded by jazz musicians—as she puts it, “your basic
everyday working jazz family.” A performer herself since the
of twelve, Sasha made her way to New York, interpreting the
standards of Ellington, Porter, Styne and Kern at jazz club Smoke.
After meeting Richard Julian and Jesse Harris, two songwriters/
guitarists enjoying popular success from their collaboration with
Norah Jones, Sasha began writing original songs with elements of
bossa nova, pop, jazz and folk. Named one of six “Jazz Singers
Worth A Listen” in a recent issue of Time
Magazine, her Stanford
concert will include songs from the American songbook, material
from her recent CD “Modern Romance” and even a few new
In order to get to know her better, we asked
Sasha to answer a few questions. Here’s
what she had to say:
What is the first recording
you remember hearing as a child?
Live at the Philharmonic—Ella
Born to Be Blue.
Who is your greatest musical influence?
My Dad, Smith
What’s the strangest experience you’ve
ever had on the bandstand?
“When I started playing
guitar and realized I was naked, except for the guitar. Not! Probably
early on when I was
singing with the “Dobson family band”, I can still hear
my Dad yelling on the stage while I’m
scat singing “Louder Sasha!!, sing into the mic!!”
If you could play
with any other musician, living or dead (with whom you have not
played), who would it be and why?
Carlos Jobim!!! I know we would
have hit it off, I still wish that
he were around and dream of meeting a writer like him someday, two
peas in a pod, like
favorite thing about being a Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty member?
I can be myself, and I know thats why I’m hired there. It’s
a rare and real and beautiful
favorite jazz venue?
The Village Vanguard.
If you were stranded
on a desert island and could only have three recordings with you,
what would they be?
Jobim / Regina—"Elis and Tom,” The
Kinks—”Victoria,” Grant Green—"Talkin’
How much do you practice each week?
Every day, just play
as much as possible, at least
and hour a day, sometimes if I’m touring then I’ll just
get a few minutes in, sometimes when
I’m home I’ll just practice/play all day.....!!! lots
When did you become
interested in music, and what circumstances or events led to your
becoming a professional musician?
Grew up in it. Pre determined
destination for me. My
whole life shapes my music every day. Definitely loosing my Dad
was the big one for me,
and now everything I do in music is a product of that, and my feelings
in writing are pouring
out from that experience… Our music is a manifestaion of our lives
and experience, at least
If you were to describe your music as a
color, what color would it be and why?
sometimes lots of fire, (I’m an Aries, and have a lot of energy!),
sometime blues and greens
cause I sing very watery… Like not sharp, lots of movement, and
that makes me think of the
ocean, green and blue.
Representing my heritage!!
Mexican all the way, and I love to
cook stir fry and salads as well!.
What’s the most exotic place you’ve
traveled to as a musician?
What’s the last book you’ve
“The Bell Jar" by Sylvia
Plath, (he he).
What hobbies do you have?
Yoga, Cooking, Writing, Laughing.
To read a feature profile of Sasha written by Andy Gilbert for the San Jose Mercury News, click here for our "Media Archives" page.
To find out more about Sasha, go to sashadobson.com