Young and talented vocalist, composer and lyricist, a New York resident, Monika Heidemann, usually introducing herself as Monika H., is praised for her warm, expressive voice and refreshing original style, twisting together new jazz, progressive rock, avant-garde and poetry. Her musical world resonates with mystical melodies, sometimes bordering atonality, enriched with melo-declamation and inventive improvisations, layered into polyphonic vocal texture or accompanied by thrifty rhythmical gestures. Her emotional and lyric compositions leave one simultaneously entranced with joy and sadness, peace and humour.
Monika Heidemann’s musical endeavours started with the saxophone in the elementary school band. In her teens she sang and played saxophone in local rock bands. She graduated from the New England Conservatory where she studied jazz voice, improvisation, and composition. She spent time in Brazil, studying local musical traditions. For some time, Monika H. sang in ethnic music group The Animal Channel and electro-pop group The Bunkbeds, played in the all female Afro-beat band FemmNameless; she also has appeared with various a cappella, rock and reggae groups, led a choral, collaborated with her patron saxophonist Steve Lacy, who considered Monika one of the most promising and talented young musicians.
Having tried her hand in various contexts, last year Monika H. released a debut album Bright, where she introduced herself as a vocalist, leader and songwriter. The album earned enthusiastic recognition – Boston Phoenix praised Monika H. for musical material, vocal control and tone, and nominated Bright the Debut of the Year.
Monika Heidemann is proud to have Lithuanian roots (her mother was born near Kaunas) and is happy and excited to come and perform in Lithuania. She opens a new stage in Vilnius Jazz – Vilnius Jazz Extra Line, where she will appear with her Monika Heidemann Band.
Guitarist Jonathan Goldberger is exceptionally active creative personality, well known in both jazz and film music circles. He composed music for numerous films, including award-winning Trans and the Hawk is Dying. Jonathan Goldberger also works as a recording engineer.
Residing in Brooklyn, musician regularly appears with James “Blood” Ulmer, Andrew D’angelo, Art Lande, Ron Miles, Leni Stern, Erik Friedlander, Todd Sickafoose, Jenny Scheinman, Curtis Hasselbring, DJ Logic, and Jessica Lurie among others; plays in Jeff Davis’ ensemble, Bizingas Trio, Jonathan Moritz’s Amalgam, Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob, and group Rocket Engine, exploring links between early heavy metal and free jazz; is a founding member of Fat Mama, a widely recognised exponent of jamband movement.
Bassist Rob Jost has started playing music when he was child. He is well known on New York rock and jazz scene. He collaborates and records with Ursa Minor, Tony Scherr, Imogen Heap, Bjork, Matisyahu, Marshall Crenshaw, Richard Julian, Sasha Dobson, etc. Rob Jost is a multi-instrumentalist, beside the bass playing French horn, and singing. He regularly collaborates with a popular ska group Skavoovie & the Epitones. In 2005, he made a debut as a leader with his first album Everything Changes.
For the past ten years, the drummer Dave Treut has been actively involved in New York rock and jazz scene. He performed and recorded with Butch Morris, Kaki King, Spankrock, Ben Monder, Sean Lennon, Tim Berne, Cuong Vu, Dave Ballou, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Kenny Wollesen, Drew Gress, and Loren Stillman among others. While collaborating with Monika Heidemann, he has composed and performed TipBucket Opera. This year saw the release of his album Dear Life EP.
Dave Treut started playing piano at the age six, at ten took up the guitar and the drums. Skilled on several instruments, the versatile musician now and then trades drums for clarinet or keyboards, and sings once in a while.
© Jūratė Kučinskaitė