[members-announce] Latvia's Top Jazz Singer INGA BERZINA to perform at Cobi's Place

Toni Ballard toniballard at townisp.com
Mon Apr 2 12:47:44 EDT 2007


Latvia's Top Jazz Singer Inga Berzina to perform in NYC during first trip to


Riga/New York City -- Latvia's top jazz vocalist, Inga Berzina, who makes
her first visit to the United States in April, will perform an exclusive New
York City engagement on Saturday, April 28, 2007, beginning at 7pm at Cobi's
Place, 158 W. 48th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), as a special guest
of Billy Harper's Vocal Ensemble, comprised of fifteen outstanding musicians
from The New School University who Harper calls "up-and-coming musical
phenomena."  Following the music, there will be a reception for Ms. Berzina
at approximately 10pm. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students w/ID) and are
available by calling 516-922-2010.  Reservations are required for Cobi's
Place, and the entrance to the 50-seat venue is a green door located between
Manny's and Sam Ash music stores. Jazz producer Cobi Narita, who founded
Women in Jazz and Universal Jazz Coalition/Jazz Center of New York in the
'70s, has been a champion of jazz and jazz artists in New York for over four


Performing with leader and saxophonist Billy Harper's Vocal Ensemble will be
Anthony Coleman (trumpet), Vasil Vasilev (piano), Jarod Kashkin (piano),
Jasper Leak (bass), and Lance "Chris" Croucher (drums).  Vocalists include
Masa Yamamoto, Yeahwon Shin, Chelsea Baratz, Anthony Coleman, Ragga Grondal,
Naka Tsukamoto, Rigdzin Collins, Ilana Worrell, Jeffrey Kay, Lenart Krecic,
and Kristin Trotta.


Jazz vocalist Inga Berzina was born in the small village of Smiltene,
Latvia, in 1963.  Her father was a saxophonist who played in Smiltene's big
band.  At age ten, Berzina began singing in pop and jazz bands as a soloist.
Her first music studies were a piano class, and later, choir conducting.  In
1991, she graduated, with a focus on jazz and pop, from Gnesin Music
Education Academy in Moscow.  She is currently a doctoral candidate,
specializing in jazz education.  Besides performing and teaching in Latvia's
TTEMA (Teacher Training Academy) jazz department and jazz camps, Berzina has
performed in many European countries, including Estonia, Lithuania, Germany,
Finland, Austria, Spain, and Poland, with the top jazz instrumentalists of
her country:  Madars Kalnins, Andris Grunte, Niks Gotham, Deniss Paskevics,
Viktors Ritovs, big band leader Gunars Rozenbergs, and the late, legendary
saxophonist, Raimonds Raubisko.  Her discography includes Wave (2002) with
the B-Trio, and 4.30 AM (2002) and Gentle Rain (2007) with the band


Consummate tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, who grew up in Houston, received
a saxophone for Christmas at age 11. In his teens, he played in R&B bands,
and at age 14 formed his own quartet. With a Bachelor of Music degree from
North Texas State University, where he was a member of the school's
prestigious One O'Clock Lab Band, and some post-graduate work under his
belt, he moved to New York in 1966 and started playing with well-known
bandleaders. In 1967 he began a long-lasting association with
bandleader/arranger Gil Evans. Harper also played with Art Blakey's Jazz
Messengers (1968-1970), Elvin Jones (1970), and Max Roach (late '70s), and
became a regular member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. In the '70s,
he began recording the first of over 15 albums under his own name. Black
Saint (1975), named Jazz Record of the Year by the Modern Jazz League of
Tokyo, was the first recording issued by the label of the same name. In
Europe (1979) inaugurated the Soul Note label. His most recent outing was
the critically acclaimed Soul of an Angel (Metropolitan, 2000). While
actively performing, Harper has enjoyed a parallel career as a music
educator, and has received numerous grants, including two from the National
Endowment of the Arts.


For more information, high res photos, or interview requests, please

Toni Ballard, 508-633-8583, toniballard at townisp.com





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