Sara Wheeler's luminous folk-pop beckons with an exotic allure that is both worldly and otherworldly. Her voice - a gossamer soprano with a Celtic-sounding lilt - fuses the classical with the ethereal, yielding enticing melodies that glide over her rich acoustic guitar voicings, and on ballads, elegant piano figures.
Wheeler grew up in Michigan, exposed to the melodic sounds of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and the big band swing records her parents spun at home. Her musical life began in Michigan at age ten with the trumpet, before segueing to piano and guitar. Although she writes on guitar or piano, Wheeler claims it's her formative trumpet training that still influences her approach to crafting melodies. Wheeler continued her pursuit of music at Berklee College of Music in Boston where her enchanting voice, found recognition among Boston's vibrant acoustic scene. Wheeler says that living in a Mecca for singer-songwriters raised the bar for her musically, and helped her refine her artistic voice.
"Some of the most talented people on the planet were playing music around me," she says. "It put pressure on me, but it was inspiring when I'd go out and hear a whole group of singer-songwriters and they'd all be good."
Her acoustic pop sound has become well known on the New England coffeehouse circuit. Wheeler earned the 2000 nomination as College Coffeehouse Performer of the Year. She has also toured internationally, playing to receptive crowds throughout Europe and Japan. Wheeler's wanderlust has led her through India, Thailand, Nepal, Hong Kong, and other exotic settings, coloring her life palette with a wealth of experiences and insights that have inspired her song's themes and given them an enlightened voice. She says living and traveling abroad has taught her to relish living in the moment, and to cultivate a clear awareness of the rich possibilities that life presents to those who pay attention. Wheeler has lived in Japan and Switzerland and toured extensively throughout Europe and Japan. She has busked the streets of Tokyo, meditated with Buddhist monks, performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and recorded vocals with the London Session Orchestra at legendary Abbey Road Studios.