An Article by Brenda Germany
Photos by Stephen Anderson
For many, the mention of Kiln, MS brings to mind a certain well-known football hero. However, “The Kiln” as it is referred to locally, is also home to another resident of note, quite literally. Sera Buras, known professionally as Serabee, is a prolific songwriter, vocalist, and musician who achieved nationwide recognition as a finalist in the opening season of NBC’s vocal competition, “The Voice” in 2011.
Sera’s musical inclination began early in life as the youngest of five children born to Roland Buras, her bluesman father who became a Pentecostal minister, and Charlotte Buras, her singer/songwriter mother who earlier in life pursued a musical career on the West Coast. Growing up performing in her family’s gospel band during her father’s tent revivals Sera learned to play acoustic and steel guitars, keyboards, Hammond organs and drums. As Sera states, “Music had just as much an impact on my life and my father’s life, as well, as the Gospel, because music is part of our religion. When you come to the Pentecostal church, it is not like any other experience. You come in and it’s like, tambourines, guitars, bass…I mean, when you say make a joyful noise, we definitely know how to make a joyful noise!”
By age 12, she was singing lead in her family’s gospel band, Sera and the Blue Jays, as they traveled throughout the South with her father’s ministry. Following the dissolution of their band as her siblings married and began families of their own; Sera became interested in the music industry associated with Gulf Coast Casinos and was soon performing with a new band at locations across the region. As her popularity increased, recording contracts ( EMI/Azera, Universal, Sony, Cash Money Records), four CDs and EPs, two of which were produced by the award winning Gary Katz (known for his work with Steely Dan, Diana Ross and Joe Cocker), a U.K. chart topping hit “Crazy Chick” sung by Charlotte Church and multiple collaborations including Peter Gabriel who mixed and co-produced her recording “Open on Sunday” all brought her high regard far beyond her small Mississippi hometown.
Sera’s musical journey, first rising to life in her father’s church services, came full circle in 2018 when she recorded her fifth CD “That Woman” at New Orleans’ famed Esplande Studios situated in an historic 1847 Gothic Revival church. Comprised of all original compositions, “That Woman” favors her listeners with 10 tracks of spiritedly soulful vocals interwoven with relatable lyrics complemented by her talents on the keyboard. There are touches of gospel exuberance, soaring vocals and just plain joy throughout this newest release, especially evident in the title track “That Woman” and “Sunday Morning. Sera feels this album is the first one to fully represent her true sound. “It’s all about the soul for me and regardless of whether it’s a country song I write, a pop song or gospel song that I write, I think that when it’s soulful, it doesn’t matter what genre it is because it’s from the heart; it’s from the soul. So when I write songs, I think a lot of them are testimonials about life experiences.”
Serabee (Sera Buras) with Jennifer Buras at Satchmo’s Jazz Cafe
Sera likens her return to the Gulf Coast as “the prodigal daughter coming home” to share the truest expression of herself and her music with her family and fans. Her lyrics in “Sunday Morning” describe the feeling quite aptly, “If it’s meant to be, it’ll feel like church on Sunday morning;…it’ll feel like home!” Welcome home, Sera!
Serabee recently performed at a relatively new venue on the Gulf Coast, Satchmo’s Jazz Café. Located in D’Iberville, MS, beneath moss-draped oaks, Satchmo’s grand staircase welcomes visitors into a first floor dining room reminiscent of the relaxed elegance of a 1920s New Orleans jazz club. Owners Walter and Lavonne Shah opened Satchmo’s with the desire to provide customers the opportunity to take pleasure in a jazz themed menu while enjoying performances by Jazz and Blues musicians at the intimately located stage which includes a custom sound system and in-house technician to enrich each musical event. Lavonne’s warm hospitality, personal attention to her guests and Walter’s love of Jazz as a former trumpet player combine to make a visit to Satchmo’s a memorable occasion. Beginning September 16, Satchmo’s will also offer a Sunday Jazz Brunch from 11:00 a. m. – 4:00 p.m.
Satchmo’s Jazz Cafe in D’Iberville, MS
CLICK HERE for more photos of Serabee at Satchmo’s by Stephen Anderson.
Click Here to learn more about Satchmo’s in D’Iberville, MS
.Satchmo’s Jazz Cafe at 10206 Seymour Ave. in D’Iberville, MS Ph # (228) 207-2812
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