As a multi-instrumentalist, award winning vocalist, and songwriter spanning the folk and jazz genres, Sadie Gustafson-Zook is a bit of a shape shifter. Her witty and charming songs provide a much-needed breath of optimism and realism to audiences across the United States.
Since moving to Boston from Indiana in 2017, Sadie has been mingling with leading musicians of the New England acoustic music scene. She aims to take inspiration from jazz and inject it into her own personal writing. Most recently she released a duo of music videos of her original songs “Alewife” and “Please Stop,” featuring a backing band including some of the best in the bluegrass world: Julian Pinelli (fiddle player of Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native), Ethan Setiawan (national mandolin champion), and Dan Klingsberg (bassist of Ruthless Moon).
Her collaborations have included 2018 and 2015 tours with folk trio Theory Expats (Gustafson-Zook, Setiawan and Andrew Pauls-Thomas), a 2015 tour with acoustic string trio The Leafless (Jacob Warren, Grant Flick, Setiawan), and a 2015 performance on “Prairie Home Companion” with host Garrison Keillor.
Sadie’s first original album, “I’m Not Here,” released in September 2017, explores the meaning of being present through a sea of swing guitar chords, the gentle hum of pizzicato fiddle, and heartfelt vocals.
In the summer of 2018, Sadie was asked to join a delegation of visual, music, theater, and literary artists on a learning tour of the border between the United States and Mexico. There she learned from members of nonprofits, government agencies, activists, artists, and immigrants to gain a more complete understanding of the complexity of immigration issues. As a result, she wrote a number of songs on the topic.
Sadie also took part in the training to becoming a Certified Music Practitioner through the Music for Healing and Transition program, which offers therapeutic music for individuals in hospitals and nursing facilities. As a young person in the field of end-of-life services, Sadie is interested in what it means to slow down and lean into life.
Currently pursuing a Masters in Jazz and Contemporary Music at Longy School of Music of Bard College and working at historic folk venue Club Passim in Harvard Square, Sadie spends her free time scatting, thinking about being in nature, listening to music, and trying out new pens.