Top 50 JAzz Blog

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fillin' the Void: 2. Un enKralled.

After all the sturm und drang nonsense I've been covering lately I figured I owed everyone something more pleasant and what could be more pleasant than compelling women at work on music? It would also be fun to provide some alternatives to Diana Krall's seeming press monopoly on the 'wimmin singin and playin pianna' scene. So for all you love lorn lonely guys who make up such a significant percentage of the Jazz constituency, I waded into my vast my space page and found several as yet undiscovered gifted women from the Eurasian continent who are doing the good work. Ms. Gulun employs a stunning integration of Turkish music elements into her vocalizations in addition to her adept applications of keyboardry. I wonder if she ran into Butch Morris when he was teaching in Istanbul?

Selen Gülün began her musical education at the age of 7 at Istanbul Municipality Conservatory part-time Piano Performance Division. After attaining a degree from Istanbul University Business Administration, she continued her musical education at Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory in 1992, studying Piano with Hülya Tarcan and Composition with Ercivan Saydam and Ilhan Usmanbas. She also studied jazz privately with Aydin Esen during 1993.

At the very beginning of 1996, Selen Gülün left for Berklee College of Music on a talent scholarship. There she studied Jazz Composition and formed the quintet Just About Jazz which performs her own original compositions. Their album Just About Jazz, Live has released at 2005 by DMC Jazz, and re-released by RecJazz, 2006 at Turkey. She graduated with a special degree in two years, with honors, from Berklee College of Music Jazz Composition Department.

During her career, she has received many awards for her musicianship such as the ..Bülent Tarcan Performance Award.., ..Charles Mingus Award and Scholarship,.. and ..British Council Visiting Arts, Creative Collaboration in Music Award.. for her unique compositional style.

Since the fall of 1998, Selen Gülün has been the music department faculty member of Istanbul Bilgi University. She finished her MA in Composition at Istanbul Technical University, MIAM program, studying with Pieter Snapper, Mark Wingate and Kamran Ince. Selen Gülün works actively as a composer and a performer in different styles of Contemporary Music. She regularly performs in Clubs and Festivals inside and outside of Turkey.

Her Music was performed around the world including England, Italy, France, Boston, New York, Chicago, Brazil, Pakistan, Lithuania and Russia. Her last album Selen Gulun Trio, Surprizler was published by Rec by Saatchi Jazz at 2006 .

Ms Knezevic has the most charming version of 'Shiny Stockings' I've run into in quite a while. And it is impressive to me that she managed to do so much to learn during the insanely chaotic run of civil conflict that attended the breakup of former Yugoslavia, no doubt dodging ordinance and other horrors while trying to master 9th chords. Sofija Knezevic Born 02.04.1990. Finished two secondary music schools in Belgrade . The first one is ,, Mokranjac ,, -where i was attending at two departments – theoretical and vocal and instrumental department for the piano. The second school is ,, Stankovic ,, the jazz singing department. I also finished general subjects of secondary music school . I finished Primary school ,, Vuk Karadzic ,, as well as primary music schools ,, Dr. Vojislav Vuckovic ,, and ,, Mokranjac ,, . I finished the exams for the final year of primary school in ahead of schedule - in one month total – because I had enrolled secondary music school ,, Mokranjac ,, in the previous year . I was awarded the title of the best pianist among all the candidates from Serbia and Montenegro . I finished both secondary schools a year earlier on the same way like I did with my primary school, because I passed the entrance examination in the University of music and dramatic arts Graz. I was also acting in the movie that was made for the Festival in Belgrade ,few years ago .And also was writing in a few fashion magazines , cause before that I was some of the top people in fashion.Have been performing in Europe since I was seven years old, both as a soloist and as a member of a group of singers . I had concerts in Italy and Slovenia . I sang at 10 concerts in the Kolarac Foundation , 4 concerts in the Sava Centre ,1 in jazz club ,, The bird ,, , 1 in ,, Movie bar ,, , 4 concerts in the National Theatre , 1 in the gallery ,, Progres ,, , one at the Republic Square and I also sang at numerous concerts in famous Serbian and Austrian concert halls and jazz clubs . I was the winner at the town singing competition ,, Golden Mermaid ,, . I was also the winner at the municipality competition ,, Golden Mermaid ,, , as the leading group singer . I recorded several CD – s with various groups and choirs . I sang in the choirs ,, Kolibri ,, , ,, Krsmanac ,, , ,, Obilic ,, , etc . I sang as a backup vocal at numerous performances . I played the piano at over 20 public classes and openings of exhibitions and galleries , and many other public performances . In 2005/2006 I had my last two soloist humanitarian concerts . I was a soloist in ,, Mokranjac ,, hall , the oldest hall in Belgrade ,, Stankovic ,, and in the Student Cultural Centre . I was an excellent student, scoring high marks at the end of each year . I sang at the opening of jazz club ,, Dizzy..s ,, in Belgrade in 2007 . I worked with many jazz musicians like Shawn Monteiro , Peter Herbolzheimer , Aria Hendrix , Jelena Revisin , Dusko Gojkovic , Stjepko Gut ,Anette Giesrigel, Sheila Cooper, Claus Raible, Fritz Pauer, Dena DeRose, Ed Partyka,Felipe Riveira, Chicco Renato, Sheila Jordan and many others . I sang at the jazz Festival in Novi Sad for Sheila Jordan in 2006 . Ms Vaczi doesn't play piano and is primarily a singer. The Magyar version of jazz often favors something like Sade and it is interesting as their folkloric music is loaded with pantonality, micro tonality and many other surprises. Western diatonicism must sound exotic to them. I remember the folk fiddler and musicologist Csaba Okros once mentioning that they like playing a bit sharp as it is spicer to their ears. Eszter Vaczi and the Szorp - The band was founded by Ivan Gatos jazz pianist, session musician and Eszter Vaczi, acknowledged Hungarian jazz vocalist together with 7 professional musicians. The members are all prolific musicians who play in several well known Hungarian bands such as Harshegy, HOBO Blues Band, Freeport, Studio 11 (Hungarian Radio's Big Band), Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.. The band regularly plays in Budapest and in other major cities of Hungary, feel free to drop in to any of the shows.


Chip Boaz said...

Thanks for the heads-up on these singers. We're so overwhelmed with the Kralls and Monheits that it's nice to get some different perspectives. Lists like this always remind me that I've got a lot of listening to do.

You know, I am always just amazed at the amount of creative and engaging jazz happening around the world. There's really more than any one person can keep track of. I find that in the Latin Jazz world alone, I see amazing stuff happening all over the world. When I look past the Latin Jazz scene, well, wow, there's an unbelievable amount of music.

We can still look back at the roots of jazz in the United States, but calling it American music. Just doesn't do jazz justice anymore. Jazz has long been adopted by the world; it's no longer just a symbol of American identity.

Thanks again for the listening suggestions, I'm off to explore!

Chris Rich said...

Actually Chip, later today I'm doing a special focus on Meso American Marimba and Harp players. I found some beautiful you tubes on both and it will give you a fun model to work with.

Cal Tjader might be seen as an early pioneer who brought the marimba sound into West Coast Jazz. Zappa used it extensively too.

Chip Boaz said...

Right on! I can't wait to read that one. That's another realm that really hasn't been explored enough. Have you heard Edmar Castaneda? Totallt amazing harpist that integrates Columbian music and jazz. Here's his website:

Funny you mention Tjader, I'll be posting something on him later this week too . . .

Colm O'Sullivan "Red", said...

One of the greatest singer-pianists of the lot, ever, is Meredith D'Ambrosio!