Biography

Photo by Fabrizio Fenucci. Teatro de San Remo, Italy.

Tamar McLeod Sinclair is a New Zealand Ngāi Tahu Māori, Polynesian and European artist living in Barcelona.

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

As a vocalist, pianist and artist, she has been reviewed as “strong and flexible… romantic and effectively mysterious” and has been placed amongst “the young lions of jazz” (by Graham Reid of Elsewhere).

Tamar set out alone from New Zealand shores in 2005, with a one-way ticket, to learn from other cultures and to share her music on an international level.

Since then, Tamar has worked and sung with highly acclaimed international artists, teachers and festivals including: Anna Halprin in San Francisco (2016); Lisa Sokolov from the University of New York “The Experimental Wing” in the Stimmen (Voice) Festival of Germany (2008); Peter K Elkus and L`Association Art Musique Européenne in the south of France (2007-2010) and Ida Kelarova and the International School for Human Voice in the Czech Republic (2005-2009).  Tamar has gone well off the beaten track to seek her own freedom and to develop her unique expression of the human voice.  

While living in Barcelona, Tamar has performed for Amma (2018); the Rt Hon. Helen Clark and New Zealand Embassy officials for Spain in the Caixa Forum (2018); Māori Television (2016) and TVNZ (2015) in New Zealand; Jamboree Jazz Club (2011-2018); Festival Asia of Barcelona (Casa Asia 2013) and the Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona (2012).

Other international performance highlights have included singing at Berkley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive in San Francisco (2019), Ronnie Scott’s in London (2017) and El Teatro de San Remo as part of the Bianca d’Aponte Festival (2016) in Italy.

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

Her music has received air play 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: “The Heart Notes” (2010)
Tamar’s debut album, accompanied by many musicians from around the world.  Recorded and mixed at Sono Records in Prague, Czech Republic and Blind Records in Barcelona, Spain and the Red Barn in Scotland and 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)  “Evocative and lovely, the te reo adds a beautiful mystery and musicality to the performance”.
The album is a celebration of Tamar´s music and her unique pioneering ability to combine the worlds of te reo (the Māori language), jazz and music of today.  The recordings were completed in one take, played and sung live by Tamar in La Casa Mirada in Tarragona, mixed in Blind Records in Barcelona y mastered in Fluid Mastering in London.

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 playing a solo show or with her band:  piano, bass, samples and drums, Tamar transmits an authentic power and feminine sensitivity on stage.  

 “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.