.Ariel Marin performs Sade

The Bay Area’s own Ariel Marin and her tribute to Sade to play two intimate shows at Blue Note in Napa.  January 19. 

Although “Smooth Operator” singer Sade doesn’t tour these days, fans can rejoice and revel in her music again at singer Ariel Marin’s upcoming show. The daughter of a professional rock singer, Marin spent much of her youth in the company of countless Bay Area royalty. As evidenced by her four-octave voice, she can tackle pretty much any genre.

Her upcoming shows will feature music from Sade’s storied back catalog, including (but not limited to) ‘Diamond Life,’ ‘Promise,’  ‘Stronger Than Pride,’ ‘Love Deluxe,’ and ‘Lovers Rock’ with a band led by powerhouse producer James “Jae E” Earley.  

Expect to hear hit songs and fan favorites such as “Smooth Operator,” “No Ordinary Love,” “Paradise,” “Is It A Crime,” “Your Love Is King,” “Sweetest Taboo,” and much more. 

For the uninitiated, The Ariel Marin Band has played all around the area and has 30 years of combined performance experience between the members. Once more, they’ve excelled at playing Motown, Top 40 classics, rock, pop, folk, country, R&B, gospel, & jazz.

We caught up with Ariel during preparation for her upcoming show in Napa. 

Bohemian: What about Sade’s music inspired you to embark on a tribute? 

Ariel Marin: I’ve been enamored with Sade since I was a child. Her unique smoky tone, timeless sound, and stunning features had me at hello. Since I favor her physically, serendipity stepped in and I was offered the opportunity to honor her in concert. I graciously accepted.

Bohemian: How long has this tribute been playing live?

Ariel Marin: I launched it in 2020. Originally we had a live show planned, but quickly pivoted to a streaming concert. Needless to say it was a hit! Once the world re-opened, the show has been booked regularly at premiere venues including Yoshi’s (Oakland) and the Blue Note, as well as various festivals and resorts.

Bohemian: Do you have more shows planned in 2024?

Ariel Marin: Absolutely! We’re expanding the tour nationally. Locations are in the works as we speak. We’d love to bring it to Sonoma County.

Bohemian: Have you and the rest of the band actually seen Sade live when she toured?

Ariel Marin: Short answer; Yes! My viola player Keith Lawrence toured with Sade & John 

Legend as well as Amy Winehouse. My percussionist is Juan Escovedo (Sheila E’s brother) from the famed Escovedo family. They’ve toured with Prince and countless other world-renowned artists. My musical director, James “Jae-E” Earley, was a multi-Platinum producer for MC Hammer. He also produced En Vogue, One Voice, David Bowie, and my most recent single called “Supa Supa.” The video is on YouTube now. We’re completing my premiere album this year. My sax player Jimmie Weaver toured professionally in Japan for years and my current drummer, Pierre Parker, tours with Lenny Williams (Tower or Power). This show at Blue Note will be epic. 

Ariel Marin’s tribute to Sade plays Friday, January 19, at Blue Note located at 1030 Main Street in Napa. The early show starts at 6:30pm and the late show kicks off promptly at 9pm. Tickets range from $35 to $65 advance and can be purchased at www.bluenotejazz.com. Ages 8 and over are welcome. 


  1. Ariel Marin is absolutely fantastic … her performance along with 3 backup singers and a band so good …was better than great

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