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SIMONA SMIRNOVA: bird language album review

There is an aura of mystique to Smirnova's Bird Language, a stunning blend of Baltic folklore, jazz, pop, and rock, infused with nature- themed sounds. The album was brought to life through the ethereal sound of Lithuanian kanklės, Smirnova's virtuosic, sultry signature vocals, and mimicked bird shrieks, interpolated with jazz piano-driven solos, and sinuous, enticing arrangements. 

 

Giulia Bianchi 

"All About Jazz"

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Otago daily times: a language of her own

From an idyllic childhood in a Lithuanian village surrounded by nature and animals to busking on the New York subway and singing jazz on the street for money for food and rent, Simona Smirnova has quite a story.

 

Rebecca Fox

"Otago Daily Times"

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New Zealand musician: ON TOUR WITH BIRDS, KANKLÉS AND JAZZ EXOTICA

New York City-based, Lithuania-born jazz-fusion artiste Simona Smirnova has just arrived in Aotearoa to tour the length of the country for the fourth time since 2018. Enthralled by her latest release ‘Bird Language’, Silke Hartung was inspired to find out more about Simona, her captivating work, birds, Bjork, archaic selves, and of course what kanklés are.

 

Silke Hartung

"New Zealand Musician Magazine"

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radio New Zealand : inside out

Nick previews a NZ tour by Lithuanian-born jazz vocalist and kanklés player Simona Smirnova, plus tracks by Kenny Garrett and Christian McBride.

 

Nick Tipping

"Radio New Zealand"

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SIMONA SMIRNOVA: bird language at lovebird

She narrates her story minstrel-like, fingering the strings of her kanklės (a Lithuanian zither) to invite us into a world of magic and the power of nature: a reconnection with the mother Earth.
Her fresh and vibrant voice flows like a mighty and pure river, bringing hope, clarity, and strength to the hearts of the audience. The exotic sounds of her ancient instrument commune with jazz harmonies to create a bridge between eras and lifestyles.

 

Charlie Queen

"Jazz Wellington"

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SIMONA SMIRNOVA listed among Atwood magazine's 2022 artists to watch

"I am especially encouraged by the Eastern European spin she brings to the genre, including by way of playing the kanklės, a Lithuanian plucked string instrument, and belting a few Baltic folklore chants along the way. She provides some unique flavoring to jazz and chamber music, and I’ll be greatly pleased to receive a full sampling of it once Bird Language arrives in three months’ time."

 

Josh Weiner

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JOAN OF ARC ALBUM REVIEW AT FANFARE MAGAZINE

"Smirnova’s music has a timeless aspect while able to reference a wide range of modes of expression; and her own voice, too, has that otherwordly quality."

 

Colin Clarke 

"Fanfare Magazine" 

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mic.lt: the quest
for
[...]
archaic identity

 

"On the whole, her new album is a somewhat extraordinary and mostly unfamiliar blend of the diverse musical phenomena. Any attempt to fit it into a certain stylistic and genre framework is both complicated and entirely unnecessary [...]"

MIC.LT 

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JAZZLOCAL32:

A HUNGER ARTIST

"She is billed as a Jazz Singer, composer, arranger and artistic director, and she is unafraid to mash up or blend genres. All of the above descriptors were on show when she performed at the Backbeat Bar and everything she did, communicated an innate sense of fun and adventure."

JazzLocal32.com

John Fenton 

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BOSTON HASSLE:

A HUNGER ARTIST

"Each performer crosses disciplines, bringing voice and gesture where you might not expect. This adds a kind of lopsided tapestry to the show; framing top notch musicianship and refined dance against new, sometimes awkward expressions"

Boston Hassle

Emily Cobb 

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LONDON JAZZ NEWS: ROCK & FOLK WERE NOT ENOUGH

"London inspires me with its buzz and gives me more strength. This environment and the Olympic excitement is stimulating my creativity in a wonderful way and gives me even more social context for my creative work. My musical vision is to perceive the audience and to reflect it. Probably there is no better place for me to warm up before my studies in the USA."

London Jazz News, Interview