“Today I finally feel like writing a paragraph to you, and so it goes…” (Letter from the year 1981)
Letters to Home is a multidisciplinary and bilingual concert performance that combines the elements of music, video projections, and storytelling. These stories in Arta Jēkabsone’s original music are based on the letters that Latvian people sent to each other across time. Each letter will reveal different insights into life as an immigrant, longing for a homeland, broken families, love and friendship, and ultimately, a sense of belonging.
Letters to Home will create an emotional and personal experience that will allow different generations to come together. As a special feature of the performance, the Letters to Home team will encourage you to write your own special handwritten letter to someone…
The performance will be held at Arta’s one of the favorite music in venues in NYC – The Jazz Gallery. Mark your calendars and support Arta and her new project ” Letters to Home” on March 26,2020.
Meet the team…
Arta Jēkabsone is a New York City-based Latvian singer, composer, and arranger that is recognized by her velvety tone. Arta engages listeners with an emotional and honest, adventurous and joyful expression of music. Arta has been awarded 1st prize at Montreux Shure Jazz Voice Competition in Switzerland (2016), 2nd prize at Mid- Atlantic Jazz Voice competition (2017) and 3rd prize at Ella Fitzgerald International Voice Competition (2019). Jēkabsone has been invited to perform in well-acclaimed international jazz festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Enjoy Jazz Festival, Nikolaisaal Potsdam and many more. Recently Jēkabsone performed in Latvia with several different projects, including performance together with Big Band Rīga lead by Valdis Butāns and with her fellow musician friends Edgars Cīrulis, Jānis Rubiks, Rūdolfs Dankfelds and a string quartet in her newest project Reflections, that was nominated for the Annual Year Concert 2019. Arta defines herself as a part of the music and is a vibrant color in the broad musical pallet.
Theo Walentiny is a New Jersey-born pianist, composer, and improviser that grew up in an artistic home, his father an abstract painter and his mother an art therapist. Theo is at the heart of this new scene of up and coming composers/improvisers, which at this point has become more of a close-knit family than anything else. He is a founding member of the Aurelia Trio alongside bassist Nick Dunston and drummer Connor Parks. As an active performer, Theo Walentiny has appeared at such notable venues as The Jazz Gallery, The Stone, Dizzy’s Club Coca- Cola, The Blue Note, Huanglou JZ Club, and festivals Bern Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Beit Ha’amundim, Tri-C Jazz Festival. Additionally, he has a passion for composing to picture as well as other forms of multimedia content. He is an active contributor to the Speak Low Sync Library (based in Beijing). Currently, Theo is working on his solo album, which will be released in the year 2020. He has now relocated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn where he continues to write, perform and teach.
Tal Yahalom is an Israeli guitarist, composer, and bandleader currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Driven by his fascination with jazz, alternative-rock, improvised and impressionist music, Yahalom seeks to develop a versatile and personal vocabulary – committed to engaging storytelling, adventurous interplay and the element of surprise, while expanding on the traditional uses of the guitar. Tal regularly performs at many of NYC’s notable venues as a solo artist, bandleader and as a sideman. He also presents his work worldwide, co-leading the experimental trio ‘KADAWA’ in tours across Europe. Yahalom was selected to perform as a semifinalist at the 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute International Guitar Competition, was awarded 1st prize at the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival National Guitar Competition and 3rd prize at the 2016 Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Competition.
Hwansu Kang is a New York-based bassist, writer, and improviser. He grew up being around music with a desire to get involved in a deeper level of music that gravitated him to New York. He has shared the stage with Billy Harper, Francesca Tanksley, Aaron Scott, Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hendrix. In addition to Kang’s original work, which he calls ‘We Go Forward’, messaging towards audiences and young artists, he has been involved in the widest types of music, from traditional jazz group to contemporary jazz and hip-hop, R&B. Kang’s contribution to music as a featuring artist can be also found on a few different albums a few of which are ‘Movement’ (Youngjae Kim Trio), ‘Make it Happen’ (Sangho Oh Nonet), ‘Meanings’ (Sunhyun Yoo),
Connor Parks is from Orlando, FL, where he began studying drums & percussion with Beth and Danny Gottlieb. He performed often in the Jazz and Improvised Music community, being mentored by local hero Benoit Glazer. Upon arriving in New York City, Connor has performed with Rodney Jones, Vic Juris, Linda Briceño, Dave Glasser, Ingrid Jensen, Mcklopedia, and Kandace Springs, among many others. He has appeared at venues ranging from the Blue Note to Madison Square Garden and often performs at Music Festivals both internationally and in the United States. As a composer, Connor has written music for ensembles ranging from solo performers to nonets with strings and has collaborated with Cameron McKinney (Kizuna Dance) & the Joffrey School of Ballet. He is an endorsee of Innovative Percussion sticks & mallets, Canopus Drums and Paiste Cymbals.
Baiba Rulle is a Latvian designer, that has been dedicating her energy to creating beautiful design Linen Lamps. Baiba also has been collaborating with multiple artists and creating for them a stage design – scenography and promotion materials.
Māra Bula is an upcoming Latvian video and movie editor. As a musician, she is inspired to explore how visual language and sound design interact.Māra has made multiple short films that cover such genres as a documentary, experimental and music video, etc. She also has made a bunch of promo videos for local festivals. Bula has graduated from Rigas Stradiņš university where she majored in Multimedia communications and at the moment she is studying in RISEBA where she develops her knowledge in movie editing.
Listen to the first song “Gratitude”