Biography

Tamar (Lee McLeod St Clair) is an international artist from New Zealand, with roots from the Māori (Ngāi Tahu), Polynesia and Europe.

She is a professional singer, pianist, performer, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, vocal coach, teacher, writer, mediator, warrior and leader.

She is one of the first pioneering New Zealand artists to combine the worlds of the Māori language and songs (te reo / waiata) with jazz (current social music). 

After graduating from the Massey Conservatorium of Music in Wellington, Tamar left New Zealand shores in 2005 (with a one-way ticket,) to learn from other cultures and to share her music on an international level.  Ever since, she has gone well off the beaten track to seek her own freedom and to develop her unique expression of the human voice.  Over the last two decades, Tamar has taught singing students from over 30 countries, helping them all to bring out what she calls:  The Hidden Voice.

She has sung with internationally acclaimed artists and festivals including:  Anna Halprin in San Francisco; Lisa Sokolov from the University of New York “The Experimental Wing” in the Stimmen Festival of Germany; Peter K Elkus and L`Association Art Musique Européenne in the south of France and Ida Kelarova and the International School for Human Voice in the Czech Republic.

Tamar has performed for Amma in Granollers Sports Stadium; for the Rt Hon. Helen Clark and the New Zealand Embassy of Spain in Caixa Forum Barcelona; Māori Television and TVNZ in New Zealand; Festival Casa Asia in the Ateneu of Barcelona and the Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona.  

Other performance highlights have included singing at el petite Palau de La Música, Barcelona (2021); Sala Clamores, Madrid (2019); Jamboree Jazz Club (2011-2018); Casa Arabe and for Ambassadors of the Arabian Embassies of Spain, Madrid (2019); Berkley Art Museum in San Francisco (2019), Ronnie Scott’s in London (2017) and El Teatro de San Remo (2016) in Italy.

“Hypnotic” is the word most frequently used to describe the voice of Tamar.  Her music is a rich combination of world music, jazz, rock, r’n’b, electronic, classical and experimental music.
She likes to call it:  WORLD SOUL MUSIC.

As a vocalist, pianist and recording artist, Tamar has been reviewed as “strong and flexible... romantic and effectively mysterious”.

Her music has reached the air on Radio 3, National Radio of Spain and Concert National Radio of New Zealand.  In 2016 Māori Television came to visit Tamar in Barcelona and featured her on the Native Affairs Programme. 

Tamar has produced two albums and an EP:

“The Heart Notes” (2010)
Tamar was accompanied by 40 musicians (including many friends from her travels) from 12 different countries.  The album was recorded and mixed at Sono Records in Prague, Czech Republic; Blind Records in Barcelona, Spain and the Red Barn in Scotland.  It was mastered on the grounds of Real World for CD and The Exchange for Double Vinyl in England.  “An impressive and ambitious debut”. 

“The Naked Sessions” (2017)
This album is a celebration of Tamar´s music and her unique pioneering ability to combine the worlds of Te Reo (Māori language of New Zealand) and Jazz.  The recordings are live, in some cases one take only, played and sung by Tamar in La Casa Murada in Tarragona.  The album was mixed in Blind Records in Barcelona y mastered in Fluid Mastering in London. “Evocative and lovely, beautiful musicality”.

"Karanga" (2007)
Tamar´s first EP in Te Reo Māori.  Recorded, mixed and mastered in Weiswell, Germany, can be found in the National Library of New Zealand.

Finally, Tamar’s music reaches the hearts of a wide audience, young and old.  She shares her story in a very honest and personal way and those who listen to Tamar are led on an extraordinary journey through geographical, emotional and spiritual landscapes.  

Whether standing alone or playing accompanied; Tamar embodies, channels and transmits with grace and elegance, loud, strong and clear:
Beauty and the "Sacred Feminine".

 “Tamar’s most important attributes are those of her intelligence, her drive, her integrity and her humanity, all of which she expresses with passion through her music.

I feel that she definitely has the potential of being ‘star material’ and of being an important ambassador of New Zealand Culture to the world.”

Peter K Elkus  
L’Association Art Musique Européenne.