With a sultry voice, button accordion, and baritone ukulele, chanteuse Tara Linda performs original jazzy blues, Latin torch, and American roots. Tara skirts global genres to blend multiple influences into a style uniquely her own with new tangos, waltzes, boleros. A vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Tara Linda's performances are described as "mesmerizing" (Bay Area Newsgroup /Oakland Tribune), her vocals “sultry" (San Francisco Chronicle), and her music "enchanting" (San Antonio Express). Tara is endorsed by Hohner Accordions and Lanakai Ukuleles for her "refreshingly unique" compositions.
Tara has gained critical acclaim with four CD releases of original music, reaching the top 20 on the US and E.U Americana charts and #29 on CMJ Top 40 Jazz charts with airplay on over 400 stations internationally. Tara is a regular headliner at the famed Yoshi's Oakland jazz club, performs frequently on NPR stations from Anchorage to the Rio Grande, and has toured Europe (at the invitation of NPR's KRCB), Asia (with Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs) and the West Coast.
Tara Linda came of age as a drummer in rock and punk bands in Austin Texas while soaking up the region’s rich musical influences. Inspired by the early torch singers of American and Latin American cultures, Tara writes music grounded in those Texas traditions she grew up with: jazz, blues, rock, and Tex-Mex. Stepping out from the drums to explore vocals, she fell in love with 1930’s Latin torch, and immersed herself in the button box accordion. "The accordion takes you around the world like no other instrument," Tara says, "from Argentine bodegas, through French cafés, and across the borderlands of South Texas. As a singer, the accordion is emotional and endlessly expressive."
To inspire songwriting for her 2012 release Torch and Sass, Tara’s turntable spun constantly with Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Augustin Lara, and Irving Berlin. “I was inspired by the way lyrics told stories, and by how prominent melodies were in the vocal jazz of the 30’s and 40’s. Hooks were well-placed with lyric lines and there seemed more irony and tongue and cheek humor.” With these vintage jazz sensibilities in mind,Tara Linda debuted her brand of vintage jazz on the famed Yoshi's Oakland stage. Sultry, upbeat, and eclectic, Tara Linda’s performances present a diverse repertoire of musical genres in one night infused with hooks you’ll be singing all the way home, “I’ve always loved how early jazz feels so live! You can hear fingers snapping and feet tapping on a wooden floor. I’m inspired by the sound of celebration in early jazz, how it made people want to sing, dance, and brew moonshine !”
Tara's 2010 CD Tortilla Western Serenade celebrates a journey that began with one desert-inspired song (Dream out Loud), and traveled from California across Arizona and into Texas. Tara let the tumbleweeds and dust devils take her across vistas, ghost towns, and Spanish Missions. This album embraces the Southwest in stories and reflects Tara's roots growing up in both Texas and Arizona; the landscape, people, cultures, and music- including traditional conjunto music of South Texas. These traditional song forms- the ranchera, waltz, bolero, cumbia, and haupango- are natural textures in the Western landscape. The CD was recorded at studios in Tucson and South Texas and features accordion legend Grammy winner Flaco Jimenez, Smithsonian Folkways Grammy winner Max Baca (bajo sexto), and Grammy winner Bobby Flores (steel guitar, violin & viola).
Currently based in Oakland California, Tara performs as a solo artist and with her bands "The Rumor Mill" and "Tortilla Western Trio".
Tara has appeared live on NBC Bay Area TV, Spanish National Television (RTVE), and many NPR, commercial and community radio stations across the U.S. She has shared the stage with Grammy winner Flaco Jimenez; Grammy nominee Alex Miexner; multiplatinum producer/blues guitarist Pete Anderson; Joey Santiago (Pixies); and toured China and Mongolia with 2010 Grammy Winners Los Texmaniacs.