About Lara Solnicki
Honoured as a "world class jazz singer" for her "spellbinding voice", "boldly unique style", "exceptional tonal control and mastery of inflection" (-Everett. R. Davis, All About Jazz), Toronto-born jazz vocalist, composer and poet Lara Solnicki enjoys something of a chameleonic career. Her repertoire ranges from straight ahead and contemporary jazz to genre bending experiments, to her chamber jazz compositions that blur the distinction between the sung lyric and spoken poetry. A classically trained singer with a four octave range, Lara originally intended a career in opera, receiving a BA from The Glenn Gould School/ Royal Conservatory of Music where she was the recipient of numerous scholarships, studying voice and piano in the Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma programs. Principal classical and jazz instructors include the esteemed Canadian musicians Jean MacPhail, Steven Philcox, Daryl Irvine, Christine Duncan, Shannon Gunn, Frank Falco and Bonnie Brett. She has released two internationally acclaimed CDs with #1 songs on Canadian jazz charts, and top 20 songs on international jazz web radio charts: "A Meadow in December" (2010, Independent) a collection of jazz standards, and "Whose Shadow?" (2014) on Greg Osby's Inner Circle Music label.
"Whose Shadow? " is a fanciful, eclectic album featuring Lara's original compositions, along with more traditional jazz fare, jazz arrangements of classical music- Maurice Ravel and Henry Purcell, art pop- Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Norma Winstone/Jimmy Rowles and more. Produced by celebrated Canadian bassist and producer George Koller, "'Whose Shadow?' manages to artfully straddle the fence of expectation and genre identification, while creating a framework for what is artistically possible." (-Greg Osby).
It was recorded by Grammy nominated engineer Jeremy Darby at The Canterbury Music Company, with beautiful performances by many of Canada's finest jazz instrumentalists: George Koller, Ted Quinlan, Mark Kieswetter, Nick Fraser, John Johnson, Lina Allemano, Ernie Tollar and Davide DiRenzo.
Praised for her "stylish and sensual interpretation of The Great American Songbook" (-Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio) for "the purity of her voice, her understanding of the most subtle nuances in lyrics and melody, and the freshness, intelligence and wit she invests in every interpretation"
(-Stanley Péan, Host, Quand le jazz est là, Radio Canada), she was 1 of 3 finalists in the Révélations Radio-Canada 2014 competition, jazz artist category.
A published poet born into a family of writers, Lara launched her first book of poems and experimental prose in fall 2006, "Disassembled Stars" (Lyrical Myrical Press). Her poetry has since appeared in international and national anthologies and magazines. Lara has been a member of Christine Duncan's Toronto-based improvising Element Choir since 2009. She is fluent in French.
"She has emerged from the Canadian scene with a spellbinding voice... with boldly unique style and a vocal attitude of her own. Solnicki has been rightfully labeled a vocal purist and naturally sings any jazz arrangement with relative ease. 'Whose Shadow?' features many of Canada's world class jazz musicians while Lara Solnicki does her thing vocally as only she can. With exceptional tonal control and her mastery of inflection, Lara Solnicki has without doubt, charted her vocal journey, affirming her position as a world class jazz singer." -Everett. R. Davis, All About Jazz
"Lara Solnicki's 'Whose Shadow?' is equal parts explorative as it is provocative. She has managed to funnel her experience and capabilities into a work that is an unselfish exhibition of her total breadth as an artist. 'Whose Shadow?' manages to artfully straddle the fence of expectation and genre identification, while creating a framework for what is artistically possible. This is absolutely a work for the times." -Greg Osby, saxophonist/composer, president Inner Circle Music label
"Her superb vocal technique is the only obvious remnant of her [classical training]. She should strongly consider a US tour. She could gain many new fans with her outstanding musicianship and fresh repertoire." -Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online
"Moody, understated renditions of jazz standards... and an easy connection with the songs' content. Solnicki's impressionistic imagery wends throughout her evocative 'Jim the Dancer' included here [in the JAZZIZ Spring 2015 CD compilation] " -JAZZIZ Magazine, Spring 2015
"Lara Solnicki's voice is dark and sweet and invites you in with such ease you find yourself changing plans for the rest of the night." -Tom Allen, Musician, Broadcaster, Host of Shift, CBC Radio 2
"And it's with lyrics that Solnicki also excels... a playfulness of poetry improvising on sound. Solnicki's vocals takes us mystically into nature's nuances." -Carol Martin, All Jazz Radio, South Africa
"Among the ranks of singers, numerous these days, the discovery of the month comes to us from Canada..." -Thierry Giard, Culture Jazz, France
"It's a great record. Different. Daring. Divine. Awesome talented band topped with stunning vocal performance. This is art at its best." -Jeremy Darby, Grammy Nominated Engineer and Owner, The Canterbury Music Company