Simona Smirnova is a Lithuanian born jazz vocalist, composer and kanklės player based in New York City. She is regularly performing locally in New York venues with her quartet, as well as touring in different parts of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Simona's style is known for its unique theatrical flavor, genre-bending, and uncanny vocal improvisation techniques.
Her performance is a musical controversy between chamber music, Lithuanian zither - kanklės and folkloric chants incorporated into urban musical styles such as jazz and rock. Simona's latest album is a string quartet score originally written as a soundtrack for a silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928). The album combines classical string quartet with elements of jazz and folklore.
Classically trained on Lithuanian zither - kanklės, Simona earned her BA in jazz vocals at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater. Shortly after receiving the European Touring Scholarship, she moved to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music where she majored in Contemporary Composition and Production and graduated in 2015.
Photo by Diana Liminovic