Sandra Hempel was born in Pinneberg, Germany and started playing the guitar at the age of 16 after numerous years of studying the accordeon and classical piano.
After finishing Highschool she studied Jazzguitar at the College of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (NL) and at Queens College / New York City, where she received her Master of Music in 2001.
Sandra has performed with Herb Geller, Danny Gottlieb, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Swallow, Will Vinson, Nils Landgren, Wolfgang Schlüter, Seamus Blake, Rick Margitza, NDR Bigband, Bundesjazzorchester „Bujazzo“ (cond. Peter Herbolzheimer) and the New Cool Collective Big Band/NL (cond. Ben Herman, Willem Friede).
At the moment she is playing with Dan Gottshalls „Artful Earfull“, Jonas Schoen Sextett, Buggy Braune Group, Tadeusz Jakubowski Group, Herb Geller Quartet, Lutz Krajenski Group, Kosmischer Souverän and
her own project „Sandra Hempel 4-tett“.
In 2001 she won the „Sisters in Jazz“ competition of the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators). In addition she received the Louis Armstrong Award of the ASCAP Foundation in 2002. In 2007 she won the „Jazzförderpreis“ of the Kulturforum Schleswig-Holstein and in 2011 the „Kulturförderpreis“ Pinneberg.