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.
Her style is known for its unique theatrical flavor, genre-bending, and virtuosic vocal improvisation. Simona’s current show ‘Bird Language’ blends bird sounds and uncanny vocal techniques into one intriguing performance. Her new concert explores an eclectic mix of ethnic scales, zither sounds, and improvisation colliding with the artist’s strong foundation in jazz and rock.
Her latest album, “A Hunger Artist," blends haunting vocals with elements of Lithuanian folk, jazz and even musical theater to convey the narrative of Franz Kafka's short story by the same title, which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and major streaming platforms, as well as physical CD's can be purchased here.
The most recent project of Simona is her original 81 min score written for the silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928). The score combines a live string quartet, kanklės and Simona's vocals. The score will be recorded and released as an album at the end of 2020.
Classically trained on Lithuanian zither, 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.
Simona is a current awardee of New Work Grant by Queens Council on the Arts and she is composing her new body of work, a chamber orchestra piece "Opera: Timeless Nomad" which will be premiered in February, 2021 at Laguardia Performing Arts Center, New York.