Voice Competition Participants

BRUECKER Franziska (Switzerland)(1989)

Born 1989, she grew up surrounded by mountains and classical music in Central Switzerland. Purely by chance, she found her way from classical singing to jazz, which she now declares her musical home. Her main interests lie in an unconventional use of her voice and an instrumental approach to improvisation and interpretation.

She has been working, touring and recording with her own projects as well as a sideman. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences. After starting her Master’s Degree at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern she was awarded with a scholarship by the Albert Köchlin Stiftung and is currently deepening her knowledge of composition and performance at the New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.

DAUJOTAITE Rugile (Lithuania)(1988)

In 2013 Rugile will start her Masters Degree in Jazz Vocals in the Conservatory of either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Her vision is to develop a style of vocal jazz in a spiritual direction: healing body, mind and soul through the combination of intention, sound and deep-in-meaning words. Currently Rugile performs with different musical projects (more about that in the section “Projects”). She sings as a band leader or a guest singer in The Netherlands and ocasionally abroad.

GRANDE Paula (Spain)(1986)

Paula Grande was born in the beautiful city of Girona, in Catalonia, Spain. Since childhood, she has deeply felt the need to share her passion for music with the world, using her voice as a channel of expression and introspection, to live her dream. She is a self‐taught artist, blessed with a beautiful voice.

MUNKACSY Eszter (Hungary)(1991)

Eszter Munkácsy is a 22 years old jazz singer from Hungary. She started to sing when she was very young, because she was playing a lot together with her father in a guitar-voice duo in her childhood. In 2010 she was admitted to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music Budapest, then in 2012 she got a scholarship for the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

MYRCZEK Wojciech (Poland)(1987)

Wojciech Myrczek is Polish vocalist born in 1987. Since he has been raised in the family of musicians, his musical journey has begun early with learning cello and classical piano playing basics. During college he turned his interests to jazz and graduated from The Academy of Music in Katowice (Poland) in the class of jazz singing. In his music, Myrczek refers to both instrumental approach to human voice, as well as the great song singing tradition.

RICCI Walter (Italy)(1989)

Walter Ricci was born in 1989 in Naples. Beginning professional carreer at the young age of fourteen he already won many awards such as “Massimo Urbani” prize for Best Voice (2006). In 2008 he met Stefano Di Battista, whereby he has performed as a guest in his Tour in Italy and abroad. He also perfomed with Mario Biondi in the last two tours and in his album “Due”.He also performed as special guest at “DIZZY’S CLUB COCA COLA” in Lincoln Center, New York in October 2012.

SMITH Emma (UK)(1990)

Emma Smith has been described as ‘a confident and mature artist and composer’ and ‘a great new talent,  possessed of a marvellous voice with technique to burn’ by British press. With a nomination for ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ under her belt by the age of 19, she has already shared the stage with British jazz legends such as Guy Barker, Dame Cleo Laine and the late Sir John Dankworth amongst others.

Her performances have included her debut at the BBC Proms as a featured soloist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, on national BBC television in 2012 plus regular appearances at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club and Pizza Express Jazz Club and internationally.

VOLOKITINA Anastasiya (Russia)(1989)

Anastasiya started to be trained at the piano at the age of 5. Later on she graduated at the Vladimir College of Music, specialising on Jazz Vocals. Beginning in 2009 until present she studies at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar, Germany with Prof. Michael Schiefel, Prof. Jeff Cascaro and Prof. Leonid Chizhik. Furtheron she is composing a lot of her own music and performing it in Russia and Europe.

WESLEY Kenny (USA)(1982)

With an acclaimed EP, multiple collaborations, compilation and TV/film features, Kenny Wesley has firmly placed his stamp on the modern music movement with his whimsical, improvisational stylings. Known for his impressive vocal range and high-octane live shows, he has shared the stage with various artists such as Maysa, Alice Smith, and Leela James and has performed at coveted venues including The Kennedy Center and The Blue Note.

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