Singer and songwriter in local band Secret Beach, Sarah Diamond is one of the coolest DC Jews we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Get to know her…
Allie: What brought you to DC?
Sarah: I’m originally from California, but I was born in India, and lived in Ghana in high school. When it came time to go to college, I wanted to live in an international city and study international relations. I went to American University and was planning to go back to California, but ended up getting an internship in DC at NPR and decided to stay here.
Allie: Describe your dream day in DC from start to finish (assuming money is no object).
Sarah: OH my goodness. Are we allowed outside the official DC borders? Hypotheticals are hard! I’d wake up, go for a bike ride to the Takoma Farmer’s Market, and get a bunch of fresh ingredients for brunch. Then, I’d hire a private chef at an outdoor kitchen to help my friends and me cook up a big brunch, and then we’d all eat together. After that, I’d sunbathe and read a good book.
In the evening, we’d put on an intimate, outdoor, backyard, concert with my favorite bands. My band would play as well, and it would be catered by Timber Pizza. We’d dance all night and stargaze through a telescope brought to the event by a member of the DC Astrological Society (not sure this exists) so they can explain all things celestial.
Allie: I hear you perform with a local acapella group. Has music always been a big part of your life?
Sarah: I grew up playing music. My dad was my music and drama teacher in school, and I would play and listen to music with him a lot. That was our bonding thing. I was also the only Jewish kid in my choir growing up, so I had to sing the token Hanukkah songs by myself at holiday time. It was mortifying.
Allie: What is the acapella group that you’re part of in DC?
Sarah: It’s called Makela and is really fun! I also sing in a band and write music, so [acapella] really helps me improve my voice and think about cool and different arrangements for songs. [Editor’s note: Check out Makela on YouTube!]
Allie: Ohh…tell me about this band.
Sarah: We’re called Secret Beach. I’m the singer and guitarist, so acapella is really helpful for keeping my voice fit and ready to perform.
Allie: What kind of music do you play?
Sarah: We play 50% originals and 50% covers. Our repertoire includes everything from Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, to Aerosmith, Billie Eilish, and Yebba. We like to genre-bend and put our own spin on covers. We’re playing June 2nd at Velvet Lounge, come dance with us!
Allie: Do you have a favorite type of music you like to sing?
Sarah: I like jazz and folk singing. I especially like jazz because it’s challenging and vocally, goes places you don’t expect. Female jazz singers are badass and my inspirations.
Allie: I heard that you recently went on GatherDC’s Beyond the Tent retreat. What was that like?
Sarah: Beyond the Tent was really eye-opening. It gives you a different way of thinking about Judaism. I still think about it and talk about it.
Allie: What was your favorite memory from Beyond the Tent?
Sarah: Playing music. A bunch of us just got together to play, and at the time I thought we sounded really good. We were very enthusiastic.
Allie: If you could invite three people to your Shabbat dinner, who would you invite and why?
Sarah: Dead or alive? Do they have to come if I invite them? Important stipulations. Regardless, I would invite my mom, dad, and sister because I really really like them.
Allie: Complete this sentence, when Jews of DC Gather…
Sarah: They play Jewish jeopardy and ultimately have at least one friend in common.
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