A Jazz Gem From Germany’s Cultural Capital

Dresden has long been one of my favorite cities, ever since I passed through in summer 1991, on my way from Prague to Berlin. Previously, I had often traveled around Western Germany, where pretty much everything had been bombed during the War and replaced with modern cities. Likewise, I knew that Dresden had been pulverized in a similar horrifying fashion.

What I didn’t know, as the train from Prague pulled into the central station, was that large sections of Dresden’s historic center had been rebuilt after the War. The Saxon city, which for centuries had been a gem in Germany’s glorious crown of arts and culture, arose from the ashes, and today it once again stands as a thriving center of art, architecture, music, design and more.

So, I couldn’t conceal my delight, when about seven years ago, I discovered one of contemporary Dresden’s spectacular modern musical gems — Lidia Valenta. Serendipity brought us together. We ‘met’ in autumn 2014, brought together by Facebook’s algorithm because my profile page featured a photo with a view of the Konigstein Castle, which is just a short drive south of her home in Dresden

Why did I have this photo? Because I had visited the castle and the Elbe River region earlier that year, just a few months before Lidia’s existence became known to me. That trip was so delightful, highly memorable and I loved that view from the Konigstein Castle. And so, I decided to attach the photo (below) to my Facebook profile. Good thing I did!

View from Konigstein Castle, Saxony, Germany

What great fortune and immense pleasure to meet Lidia. I quickly became enamored with her extraordinary voice, and have closely followed her career over the past seven years. In fact, we finally got the chance to meet in person in early winter 2015, when I returned to Saxony.

Lidia is an extraordinarily versatile singer, known for her poetic Russian album “Oblaka“, as well as for her album of songs, “Weihnachten“, which is popular in Germany for jazz interpretations of the traditional German Christmas carols.

Lidia works with many different international singers, musicians and poets. She performs at major music venues in various countries, writes songs and draws inspiration from Russian, German, British, and American poetry. She is always on the move, eager to explore art forms, innovate musically, pursue project after project with vigorous enthusiasm and originality.

Lidia in concert

Now, this month, she has a new music album, “Love“, which has surprised me again. I’m one of the few lucky ones to have the chance to hear these new songs. Her voice’s high recognition, with its warm, intimate and yet crystal clear timbre reaches a scale that ranges from soft tones to energetic passion. Her voice definitely evokes authentic feelings which are so integral when listening to any sound or song.

I can certainly say that this excellent combination of 13 different and professionally composed songs is a tremendous success. The light melodic jazz that she conjures up with her seductive voice, along with a refined art-pop beat, are complemented with sensitive ballads. The musical arrangements and the band’s score perfectly close the circle of this sophisticated new album. This album was done with Love, and that’s why you want to listen to it over and over again.

In short, there are few jazz singers like Lidia Valenta, and her artistic career is as an ever-evolving and beautiful mosaic. I commend her on this new album and look forward to many more in the years to come.

credit: Rene Gaens

One thought on “A Jazz Gem From Germany’s Cultural Capital”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s