Renowned for her complex musical sensibility and supple sound, Croatian vocalist, arranger and composer Astrid Kuljanic has immersed herself in an eclectic variety of musical traditions. Her love for jazz brought her to New York, where she had the opportunity to study and perform with world-class musicians, including Theo Bleckman, Gretchen Parlato and Rogerio Boccato at Manhattan School of Music, obtaining Master of Music in Jazz Performance. Astrid’s wide range of interests led her to study Brazilian percussion, Indian classical music, and live performance with electronics. With her quintet ‘Mildreds’ she released two albums for the major Croatian label Aquarius Records, and with her new band Transatlantic Exploration Company she released the new recording Riva for OneTrickDog* Records in NY, followed by a sold out concert release show at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Astrid performs regularly throughout Europe and USA, including such venues and festivals as Gramercy Theatre, Waldorf Astoria and Brooklyn Museum in New York, Mendocino Music Festival in California, Teatro O’Nariz in Portugal, Lent Festival in Maribor, Slovenia, Lisinski Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Croatia and JZ Jazz Club in Hangzhou, China. Astrid’s mission is to cross cultural boundaries within and outside of music. To that end, she founded Crescendo Music Festival (Croatia) which has been connecting local audiences with a diverse array of artists for 10 years.
Astrid and her players sound like they’re having a blast and the music is again hard to classify, but the whole thing is head-spinning good.
(World Music Central)
A concomitant substantive force… Kuljanic has a transcendent way of connecting with her audience.
(The Jazz Word)
Behemoth personality with matching voice and talent!
…flowing between Caribbean and Brazilian beats and racy Croatian ditties, between heartfelt ballads and upbeat romps.
(Republic of Jazz, Spain)
Astrid leads us through the musical labyrinth of this world,
her music is direct, full of emotion, diverse to dissolve the soul of every honest and open minded listener
Incredibly exotic… Fun stuff that hits all the right notes, this is solid proof that music is the universal language. Well done.
…impressive and broad range and color of vocal jazz palette as well as a seminal talent for coherent improvisation, and above all, the absolute control.
(Novi List, Croatia)
Soul-baring vocals… she breathes life, meaning, and emotion into the lyrics.
ASTRID KULJANIC TRANSATLANTIC EXPLORATION COMPANY
Hailing from Croatia, Brazil, Seattle and New York City, USA, the Astrid Kuljanic Transatlantic Exploration Company unites four musical worlds, bound by a shared dedication and curiosity for music. Astrid’s instinct for exploration brought her to New York, where she quickly became immersed in musical communities from India and Brazil, Klezmer music, avant-garde improvisation, and electronic experimentation. She carefully drew from these circles her new band members: percussionist Rogerio Boccato, accordionist Benjamin Rosenblum and bassist Mat Muntz. The band developed a strong connection through regular performances of Astrid’s original music, arrangements of jazz and Brazilian standards, and traditional and popular songs from Eastern Europe. Performance highlights include Gramercy Theatre and Waldorf Astoria in New York City, and each performance is charged with interactive improvisation and rhythmic intensity. The band recently celebrated their first album – an energetic set of music with rolling momentum – with a sold out concert release party at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and will be on tour in Europe in the summer of 2018.
LIVE ELECTRONICS DUO AND SOLO
Astrid’s duo project with bassist Mat Muntz seeks to create a new kind of concert experience within the jazz idiom. Through their careful curation of standard repertoire and the implementation of live electronic performance, Muntz and Kuljanic transform conventional jazz sets into immersive soundscapes. Kuljanic’s command of musical software allows the duo to manipulate sounds made in the moment – with no prerecorded samples – into arrangements and improvisations.
Mat MuntzKnown in New York for his intense, energetic stage presence and a personal expressiveness on the bass, Mat Muntz is proving a promising presence in the city’s creative music communities. He has performed at some of New York’s most prestigious venues, including the Jazz Gallery, Avery Fisher Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In addition, Mat has toured in Asia and Europe, playing at Blue Note Beijing, JZ Shanghai, JZ Hangzhou, Umbria Jazz Festival, Liburnia Jazz Festival, and Beijing Nine Gates Jazz Festival. Both as a leader and a sideman, Mat brings to the music a diverse range of influences, a willingness to experiment and explore, and above all a sense of joy and playfulness.
Mildreds are, as you all know, stuck up ladies dressed in tweed, drinking their 5 o’clock tea: Astrid Mildred Kuljanic – voice, Uros Mildred Rakovec – guitars and mandolin, Ziga Mildred Golob – double bass and bass guitar, Blaz Mildred Celarec – percussion and clarinet, and Kruno Mildred Levacic – drums. After they successfully wiped the dust off their favorite old songs (CD «Brisaci prasine», Aquairus Records, 2007.) they have decided to put their home made cookies on the shelves. Again, with no mainstream glitter, only melodies and words, tea and biscuits, the performance is outstanding, ingredients above all natural. The concert of Mildreds, the Croatian – Slovenian group, is also recommended by the Department of the Institute for Division of Association for Individuals and Congregations.