Biography

Velvety Voice Owner

“Do what you love, and love what you do”  ( Ray Bradbury )

New York City based Latvian singer, composer and arranger Arta Jēkabsone is recognized by her velvety tone. Arta engages listeners with emotional and honest, adventurous and joyful expression of music. Recently Arta was awarded with 1st prize at Montreux Shure Jazz Voice Competition in Switzerland (2016) and 2nd prize at Mid- Atlantic Jazz Voice competition (2017).  At the end of the year 2017 Jēkabsone released her debut album ”Light”. Recently her album with Erik Leuthäuser  “Yesterday Still Lies Between the Floorboards” came out with a support from the record label Unit Records.

Jēkabsone’s musical horizons start with simple Latvian folk song melodies, harmonies and structures and can reach to something more complex, more toward the world of improvisation. Arta believes that scat singing is another adventurous part of her, because it is always a challenge to create something in the moment. Quoting Arta “ Improvisation is like creating instant composition without a staff paper, taking risks and telling a story”.  She invites you to listen her story in jazz, funk/groove, RnB, Brazilian, international, instrumental and original music.

Unconditional love for music has been rooted in Jēkabsone’s childhood.  Alongside voice, violin has always been a part of Arta’s musical development, Arta calls it her heart instrument. Jēkabsone plays violin as the way she sings and vice versus, and approves that violin has been one of the major impacts of being capable of hearing the sounds the way she hears them.

Her musical perspective has been gained from artists such as Ella Fitzerald, Bobby Hutcherson, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Flora Purim, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Hermeto Pascoal, Itibere Zwarg, Kurt Rosenwinkel.

The bound with nature is a significant in Jēkabsone’s original music. She comes from a small countryside town Kandava, surrounded by forests and river, hearing and singing folk songs about the nature- sun, moon, birds and Latvian females often compared with blooming flowers. Arta is bonded with nature in her style of writing lyrics.

Arta has performed internationally – Enjoy Jazz Festival (2018), Užutrakio Vakarai (2018) Montreux Jazz Festival (2017), Berne Jazz Festival (2016). She has sung in a funk band, jazz trio and as backup singer for Sheila Ray Charles, daughter of Ray Charles. In March 2017 she took a part in Montreux Jazz Academy adventure featuring prestigious mentors like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Marcus Miller, Yaron Herman and etc. She was nominated for Best Concert Recording and Best Debut in Latvia’s Music Award of the Year “ Zelta Mikrofons” for her work and performance with Electric Combo (RDKS).

Arta defines herself as a part of music and is a vibrant color in the broad musical pallet.

Musical Education:

Riga Cathedral Choir School Jazz and Contemporary music department (2011-2015) – taught by Latvian jazz singer Inga Bērziņa

The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music (2015) –earned Full President Scholarship, taught by renowned artists including Janet Lawson, Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Andy Milne and many more.

Selected performances:

“Yesterday Still Lies Between the Floorboards” album release tour with Erik Leuthäuser in (2018)

Enjoy Jazz Festival (2018)

Arta Jēkabsone Quintet concert tour “Light” in Baltic States (2018)

Venstpils Groove (2018) – with Arta Jēkabsone Quintet

Užutrakio Vakarai (2018 ) with Arta Jēkabsone Quintet

JazzKukko Festival (2018)

Montreux Jazz Festival (2017) with Arta Jēkabsone Quintet

JazzKukko Festival (2017)

Montreux Jazz Academy (2017)

Saulkrasti Jazz Festival (2016) with Lady Jazz Trio

Bern Jazz Festival (2016) with Nick Dunston Quartet

Rīgas Ritmi (2015) with Bunch of Gentlemen

Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival (2014) with Sheila Ray Charles

Klaipeda Sea Festival (2013) with Bunch of Gentlemen