(CBS Local)– 2020 is going to be a big year for Sara Gazarek.

The jazz musician was nominated for a GRAMMY for the first time and got two nods in “Best Jazz Vocal Album” and “Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.” The Los Angeles based artist has come a long way since the start of her career.

“It’s all been really crazy. I’ve been doing this for a while and it doesn’t feel like it because it has been happening so fast,” said Gazarek in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Essentially, my path was really different from most muscians’ path. The last record I hope is indicative of where the music industry is now. An artist can self-produce and self-release music and shop it around to record labels. I self-released and ended up with two GRAMMY nominations. That couldn’t have happened 10 years ago.”


Social media has been a huge reason why Gazarek has had success as an independent artist. The jazz musician took control of her career, tour booking, and sound and that’s why she’s been able to take things to the next level.

“If I had continued down the same path I was on, I wouldn’t have had the same success with this record,” said Gazarek. “I was willing after my last record to ask if this was a reflection of who I really am. I had just recently been through a divorce and my mom was in this borderline catastrophic car accident. There were all these things that were a little bit darker and very human. It was a little bit darker than the young, happy go lucky female artist image that I was subscribing to. We ended up with a cover of Sam Smith tune, a Stevie Wonder song, and an arrangement of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, which got nominated for a GRAMMY.”

While a GRAMMY win could be a life-changer for Gazarek, she’s trying to remain cool through one of the wildest moments of her life.

“I’m very fortunate to have some friends that continue to remind me,” said Gazarek. “Some friends continue to text me ‘Good Morning GRAMMY nominated artist Sara Gazarek;” “It’s a huge honor. To think that my peers felt this way after listening to my record… it’s the biggest honor I could think of. The nomination is more special than people recognize. Every once in a while I’m jogging and I get to a hill I don’t want to run, I think to myself what if you win.”

The 62nd GRAMMYs are live on CBS at 8pm EST/PST on Sunday, January 26.


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