ALEXANDRINA SIMEON QUINTETT meets Benny Brown
Alexandrina Simeon: a singer and composer born in beautiful Varna on the verge of the Black Sea, at home between Bulgaria and Germany and living in Augsburg for many years now. In jazz she found the music that her heart desires – as it is honest and pure, it makes the perfect foundation for her cultural roots. With the sound of the first record “roots & influence”, the top-class „Alexandrina Simeon Quintet“ left quite an impression on the audience when performing on various festival and concert stages throughout Germany and Bulgaria. Especially on her latest record „OCEAN TALES“, released by Unit Records in early 2018, she takes the audience back to her home country: The Bulgarian language, melodies and rhythms from former times, the musical legacy of the eastern edge of Europe, skillfully combined with western European Jazz and completed with a brilliant guest performance of Benny Brown from Hamburg. Surrounding the powerful Bulgarian vocalist, the band creates true fireworks of melodies and atmospheres – Bulgarian vocal jazz at its best.
Not only her music is at home between the worlds. She was born into a family of musicians – her parents orchestra musicians, her grandmother an opera singer – and started playing the violin at the age of 5. After a classical singing education she focused on her jazz singing studies with Harriet Lewis, Karen Edwards and Sandy Patton.
Quite soon she started singing in various jazz ensembles and not only showcased her powerful voice in local bands, but was also performing with musicians like Njamy Sitson, Rhani Krija, Wolfgang Lackerschmid, Gerd Dudek, Ryan Carniaux and Andrej Bielow on international stages in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Bulgaria.
For her solo project, the extraordinary vocalist collaborates with just as brilliant musicians. Stephan Holstein (cl, sax), Daniel Mark Eberhard (p, arr.), Andi Bauer (b) and Tom Steppich (dr, perc.) perform alongside her. Stephan Holstein, an internationally recognized jazz clarinetist, can be seen as a crossover artist. He started his career at the age of 13 in various jazz clubs and was awarded one of the sought-after “Bayerische Staatsförderpreis” for his jazz clarinet playing. Daniel Mark Eberhard, an award-winning jazz pianist, shines in Alexandrina Simeon’s compositions and plays a big part in arranging the songs. The rhythmic foundation is set by bassist Andi Bauer and drummer Tom Steppich. Andi Bauer is a graduate of the BassSchool Munich and the Berklee College of Music and already acquired a lot of experience while touring through Europe for various music projects (Jazz, World-Music, Funk, Pop). Tom Steppich was trained at the Los Angeles Music Academy, was touring through Europe and took part in TV and radio productions.
Among other stages, the Alexandrina Simeon Quintet performed at the German Embassy in Sofia, the international jazz festival in Bansko and Varna (Bulgaria), the jazzweekend in Regensburg, the Tollwood Summer Festival in Munich, the Parktheater Augsburg as a choreographic production of “Flight Connections” and on various concert stages like Burgwedel (Amtshof), Braunschweig (Schimmel-Auswahlcentrum), Künstlerhaus München (Jazz and beyond), Jazznight Lüneburg and Hamburg (Jazzclub Stellwerk), Jazzstudio Nürnberg, Theater Gütersloh/Skylobby.