SABRINA CHAP is a Brooklyn based songwriter, composer and performer. She’s got classical piano skills, the ballad lyrics of Tom Waits, the onstage antics of Phyllis Diller and the voice of a whiskey angel. Described as ‘Rousing!’ by the New Yorker, her sets are a ragtime stompin’ good time, full of laughs, heartbreaks, and just plain good songwriting.
Chap’s debut album was the ragtime-infused release, OOMPA! Called “Guaranteeably vaudevillian and undeniably impressive” by Go Magazine, it quickly found its foothold in the burgeoning neo-burlesque and vaudeville scene, with performers using Chap’s music in burlesque and cabaret shows nationwide.
Her second album, the riotous horn explosion WE ARE THE PARADE, positioned her as a new contemporary of the American standard, “Joyous!... [We Are the Parade] channels the raw energy of ragtime and an old-school musical, with lyrics that evoke a contemporary Cole Porter or Tom Lehrer.” (The Advocate).
Chap has toured nationally and internationally as a cabaret chanteuse and raconteur. Noted for her live shows, where she mixes high theatricality with gut punches of truth, she has graced some of the biggest stages and the smallest barrooms a broad could find, including The Lowry (Manchester), Café de Paris (London), Theatre Bizarre (Detroit), Spiegeltent (NY, with Bindlestiff Cirkus) and more. “In her stage show she draws you in, disarms you with humour, and then makes you sit up and listen to what she has to say. The end result is intoxicating.” (Polari Magazine, UK)
As a composer, Chap was commissioned to score four silent films for New York’s noted avant-garde film event, Cinema 16 (other commissions include members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). She also performed original songs and incidental music for the theatrical piece File:Under, a series of short plays from award winning playwright, Bekah Brunstetter produced by the theatrical company SUPERWOLF. She regularly scores acts and is a featured performer with the infamous Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.
Her Lambda nominated book, Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction, came out in its second edition on Seven Stories Press in 2012. The book is a collection of essays from artists who’ve used art to deal with self-destructive tendencies, and includes an introduction by Amanda Palmer, and essays by Margaret Cho, Swoon, Nan Goldin, bell hooks, Kate Bornstein and more. Chap has lectured widely on the book, presenting at the Brooklyn Museum, New York University, the Art Institute of Chicago and featuring on KEXP.
Currently, Chap’s taking a break from touring to work on a one-woman radio musical entitled Postcards from Nevermore, slated to be released in late 2014. She is currently in collaboration with Broadway veterans Karen Giombetti (producer) and Donna Drake (director) on a musical revue featuring her original songs.