Growing up in West London in a strong musical family, Sarah Tandy learned to play piano at an early age where she was surrounded by classical music. She eventually went on to study classical piano at a conservatoire and was subsequently a finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year. However, by the time she reached her early twenties, she was finding it increasingly difficult to function in the classical music world, and the language of classical music no longer seemed adequate to express her own experience.
Studying for an English literature degree at Cambridge University, she soon found solace in playing jazz and this period away from London gave her the time and space to work out who she was as a musician. She would spend hours listening to Coltrane, Mccoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau and many others, and working out how to play this exciting form of music that had taken a hold of her.
She has swiftly risen to become one of the most in-demand players of her generation, performing on keys for Jazz Jamaica, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Maisha, Mr Jukes, Yazmin Lacey, Camilla George, Nubya Garcia, Nerija, Daniel Casimir, Binker Golding, Clark Tracey and many more. She is also a member of Ronnie Scotts House Band, the W3 Collective.