Aga Zaryan

Her singing style has been likened to female jazz vocalists such as Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae and Joni Mitchell - a distinctive style with a
characteristic lightness and warmth to her voice. Her tone bears all the semblance of classical jazz but tailored for a modern audience. Aga
Zaryan joined Blue Note records and counts herself among other prestigious names such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Dianne Reeves.  
She is the first Polish artist to have an album released by Blue Note.

All of her albums have gone either Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum. In 2008 she was presented with the Fryderyk Award, the most prestigious
honour in the Polish recording industry.  In the same year she was nominated Woman of the Year by Gazeta Wyborcza, Polands most widely
read newspaper.  In 2007, 2008 and 2009 consecutively, she was named Jazz Vocalist of The Year in the European Jazz Forum Magazine,
based on yearly Jazz Top Readers Polls.

Zaryan was inspired to become a jazz vocalist while still a teenager. After having heard the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, she
enrolled at the Fryderyk Chopin Public Secondary School of Music, followed by the Post Secondary Jazz Studies Program, and earning
scholarships for further study, and graduating with honours.

In 2002, Zaryans debut album was released. "My Lullaby" was recorded with Tomasz Szukalski, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Michał Tokaj and Łukasz
Żyta.   It brought her wide acclaim and hailed her as Poland's premier vocal talent.   Four years later she performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in
Warsaw, opening for Branford Marsalis - a great opportunity which gave her the needed exposure as a sophisticated jazz vocalist.  Since then,
she has performed in clubs and festivals in Poland, England, Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Portugal, Russia, Iceland,
Montenegro, Turkey, Israel, and the United States.

Her album, Picking Up The Pieces, was released in 2006, and presented the cream of international jazz greats such as Larry Koonse (on guitar),
Munyungo Jackson (on percussion), Nolan Shaheed (oncornet) and Dariusz Oleszkiewicz (on double-bass).  The album consists of eleven songs
which delve into the emotional and spiritual lives of woman. The recording was an artistic as well as commercial success, and was rated Platinum.

Zaryan performed in the United States in early 2007,  appearing at jazz venues such as Joe's Pub in New York City,  and Blues Alley in
Washington, D.C.  The concerts were a huge success with critics taking notice on both sides of the Atlantic.

The album Beauty Is Dying, recorded in 2007, was the first in which  Aga Zaryan's sang in Polish.  She is backed by a jazz piano trio,
complimented by a 17-piece string section including harp and oboe. Nine of the compositions were based on works of Polish poets,  describing
Warsaw at the time of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.  It has been described as pulsating with emotion.


August 4, 2007 marked an unforgettable year in which a one-of-a-kind concert took place at the Warsaw Uprising Museum in Liberty Park.
Aga Zaryan performed the songs from “Beauty is Dying” with entire ensemble of musicians who took part in its recording.

The concert will forever be remembered as a phenomenon. In attendance were four generations of Poles, many of them first-hand witnesses to
the Warsaw Uprising and who were honoured by Zaryan's dedication. The concert was broadcast live on Polish Public TV and Radio. The area
surrounding the park was gridlocked for hours as a steady stream of people continued to arrive. By the end of the concert there were over seven
thousand people in attendance - all listening to Zaryan's performance in rapt silence.

In 2008, Zaryan was awarded yet another honour for her album, Beauty is Dying - the highest: The Fryderyk Award - for the Best Poetic Album of
the year.


"Live at Palladium" is a double CD and DVD album which recorded one of her concerts in 2008 at Warsaws Palladium Club.  She was joined by
fellow jazz musicians who came from LA just for the occasion.  Among the guest performers were guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Darek
Oleszkiewicz, and Darryl Jackson on various percussion instruments. The album was a tremendous success and earned triple Platinum status.


In March 2010 she released her latest album 'Looking Walking Being'  under the Blue Note label.





Discography

2002 - 'My Lullaby' CD
2006 - 'Picking up the Pieces' CD
2007 - 'Beauty is Dying' '(Umiera Piękno)' CD
2008 - 'Live at the Palladium' CD/DVD
2010 - 'Looking Walking Being' CD
[edit] Awards and nominations

Awards

'Best Polish Female Jazz Vocalist' Jazz Forum's Readers Awards 2007 & 2008 & 2009
'Best Poetic Album' Fryderyk Award for 'Beauty is Dying' 2008
'50 Most Important Ladies of the Capital 2008' - Życie Warszawy (Warsaw press)
'Best New Artist' Mateusz Award - Polish National Radio 3 award for 'Picking up the Pieces' 2007
Second Prize at the International Jazz Vocalists' Competition in Zamość, PL - 1998

Nominations

'Woman of the Year 2008' - Gazeta Wyborcza magazine (Wysokie Obcasy)
'Wdechy' 2007 'Co Jest Grane' (Whats going on) magazine's Warsaw cultural awards
'Best Polish Jazz Vocalist' Jazz Forum's Reader's Awards 2004 and 2005
'Best Jazz Album' "My Lullaby" Fryderyk 2002





source: Wikipedia