Jazz Vocalist Astrid Kuljanic Releases New Album Riva
Accomplished jazz vocalist Astrid Kuljanic will release her new project of traditional folk and jazz-influenced work October 24th with a cross-cultural group of musicians, Transatlantic Exploration Company. Taking advantage of the diverse musical cultures in New York City, Kuljanic has explored Jazz, Klezmer, Brazilian and Indian classical music. With Riva she returns to her roots, exploring the unique folk music of coastal Croatia and its islands. Riva features Croatian folk songs to frenetic Caribbean grooves and standards interpreted through Balkan odd meters, enhanced with atmospheric electronic effects, or stripped to the heartbreaking minimalism of bass and voice. Riva represents the intersection and fusion of the diverse musical traditions in Kuljanic's earlier work, and it is a testament to her belief in the power of music to forge connections across geographic and cultural divides. Kuljanic quotes Maria Schneider in describing what she feels is "the universal force for good that music is. … it is the most underutilized resource for peace, progress, child development and diplomacy in the world." The tracks on Riva are charged with the interactive improvisation and rhythmic intensity created by the unusual instrumentation and diverse musical influences of the band members themselves.
The Transatlantic Exploration Company represent such a fusion of diverse music traditions. Its members hail from Croatia, Brazil, Seattle, and New York, yet through regular performances of Kuljanic's original music, arrangements of jazz and Brazilian standards, and traditional and popular songs from Eastern Europe, the band has developed a unified cross-cultural style and a strong musical connection. Transatlantic Exploration Company features accordionist Ben Rosenblum, bassist Mat Muntz, percussionist Rogerio Boccato and vocalist Astrid Kuljanic.
Kuljanic performs regularly throughout Europe and America at music venues and at festivals, including such venues as the Gramercy Theater, the Waldorf Astoria and Golden Festival (New York), the Mendocino Music Festival (California), Earshot Jazz Series (Seattle), JZ Jazz Club (China), Kapoics Valley of Arts Festival and Ordogktatlan (Hungary), Teatro O'Nariz (Portugal), Lent Festival (Slovenia), Lisinski Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art of Zagreb, Spancirfest and Liburnia Jazz (Croatia). Her earlier work includes two albums with the Mildreds (Brisaci prasine, 2007 & Zivot u usima, 2009), Spart Jazz's Nekoliko rijeci (2013), her first album as a leader entitled Manhattan Dream of Music (2013) and an album with Asaran Earth Trio entitled Foreign Lander (2017).
OneTrickDog* is a small independent label specializing in jazz, fusion and blues. The members are a collective of recording artists, sound designers, engineers, arrangers and composers. The label is affiliated with Avidon Audio Labs, which has tracked, mixed and mastered numerous contemporary jazz, classical and blues albums. Dev Avidon, the senior engineer at AVAL, has also produced a number of the artists on OneTrickDog*. Recent albums include Tom Larsen's Loving/Losing, Wayne Tucker's When I Was a Child, and Peruvian drummer Juan Carlos Polo's Insomnio. In 2017, OneTrickDog* released jazz pianist Ben Rosenblum's debut trio album Instead (with Grammy winning bassist Curtis Lundy and legendary drummer Billy Hart) to critical acclaim in Europe and the United States, including four stars from DownBeat Magazine. Scheduled 2017 releases include SaRon Crenshaw's first studio blues album, Drivin' (which has already received enthusiastic press in Europe), Wayne Tucker's second jazz/fusion album Wake Up and See the Sun (including hip hop artist Mark Nieves), jazz vocalist Astrid Kuljanic's Transatlantic Exploration Company (to debut at Carnegie Hall), and Americana artists The Good Morning Nags.
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