Miriam Ast is a jazz vocalist, band leader and university lecturer living in London.
She released her debut album ‘Secret Songs’ in 2018, featuring the acclaimed British saxophonist Stan Sulzmann and played a following release tour in the UK and her home country Germany with pianist Victor Gutierrez. She won Best Vocalist Award in 2017 and was a semi-finalist of the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice competition that same year. Since 2017, Miriam is senior lecturer at Leeds College of Music, teaching jazz voice to the next generation of aspiring young vocalists in the country.
Miriam grew up in the south-west of Germany in a musical family, learning the saxophone, guitar and voice from an early age. She discovered her love of jazz at a jazz workshop in Germany, where she began transferring improvisational lines to her voice, which made her stand out as a vocal improviser early on. She continued to study a Bachelor's degree in both jazz singing and saxophone in Mainz, while also becoming a member of the German National Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzo) in 2012.
In 2014 she moved to London for her Masters at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, where her most important tutors were Pete Churchill, Nia Lynn and Norma Winstone. Graduating with distinction in 2016, she became part of the London Vocal Project under direction of Pete Churchill and started collaborating with British musicians Alex Merritt, Sam Leak, Tori Freestone and Stan Sulzmann beyond others, playing shows at the London Jazz Festival 2018 and 19. With her own band she performed at venues such as the 606 Club, Spice of Life, Vortex Jazz Club, The Lescar Sheffield, and the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
During lockdown, Miriam spends her time writing music for her first band album. She is setting music to modern poems and writes original compositions. Her music is strongly inspired by the sounds of modern jazz artists from Europe and the New York scene mingled with folk influences that draw the listener into her musical imagination. Her distinct style is transforming the traditional scat singing hailing from the swing and bebop area into a contemporary sound world, spanning the bridge between high-intensity moments and intimate and vocally quiet passages.
Miriam also collaborates with German pianist Daniel Prandl on a European folk music project, exploring and reinterpreting songs based on a diverse European musical heritage.