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Honoured as a "world class jazz singer" for her "spellbinding voice" and "boldly unique style" (−Everett. R. Davis, All About Jazz), Canadian jazz vocalist, composer and poet Lara Solnicki enjoys a busy schedule, performing and recording with many of Canada's finest musicians, with #1 songs on Canadian jazz radio and web charts (Radio Canada, CBC), garnering rave reviews from 4 continents.

A classically trained singer with a four octave range, Lara originally intended a career in opera. She holds a BA from The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music where she was the recipient of numerous scholarships, studying voice and piano in the Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma programs. Since 2010, she has been a very active jazz and creative music performer. Primary teachers include Jean MacPhail, Steven Philcox, Daryl Irvine, Christine Duncan, Shannon Gunn, Frank Falco and Bonnie Brett. She has been awarded two residencies in New York City from the Ontario Arts Council− The Chalmers Professional Development Project Grant, to develop under alto sax celebrity Greg Osby (2017), and The National and International Residency Grant, to study later in 2018 with mentor Finnish pianist and composer Frank Carlberg, an artist who specializes in setting poetry.

Praised for "her outstanding musicianship" and "superb vocal technique" (−Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online), for "the purity of her voice, her understanding of the most subtle nuances in lyrics and melody, and the freshness, intelligence and wit she invests in every interpretation" (−Stanley Péan, Host, Quand le jazz est là, Espace Musique), Lara was a finalist in the Révélations Radio-Canada 2014 competition, jazz artist category. She has been featured in CD compilations produced by JAZZIZ magazine (USA), and "For Jazz Vocal Fans Only vol. 1" (Japan), produced by renowned Japanese jazz historian and writer, Mr. Yasukuni Terashima.

She has released two internationally acclaimed CDs; "A Meadow in December" (2010, Independent), a dreamy collection of jazz standards, called "an unusually compelling debut" (−Stuart Broomer, The WholeNote), featuring saxophone great Pat LaBarbera, along with a cast of top flight Canadian musicians.

Her sophomore album "Whose Shadow?" (2014/2015), on Greg Osby's New York based label, Inner Circle Music, was listed in January 2016 as one of the Best Vocal Jazz releases of 2015 (Jazz History Online). A fanciful, eclectic contemporary jazz project, the album features Lara's compositions, along with more traditional jazz fare, jazz arrangements of classical music − Maurice Ravel and Henry Purcell − art pop− Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush − and more.

Produced by multi-instrumentalist George Koller, the album features: Ted Quinlan- guitar, Mark Kieswetter- piano, rhodes and arrangements, George Koller- bass, Nick Fraser- drums, John Johnson- saxophones, flute and bass clarinet, Lina Allemano- trumpet, Ernie Tollar- bansuri flute, and Davide DiRenzo- percussion. The bilingual liner notes were written by Stanley Péan, French Canada's premier jazz host (Quand le jazz est là, Espace Musique).

A published poet born into a family of professional writers, Lara launched her first book of poems and experimental prose in fall 2006, "Disassembled Stars" (Lyrical Myrical Press). Lara was a member of The Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association (ORMTA) from 2006-2013, and runs a busy private teaching studio.

Professional Grants and Awards

2017- The Ontario Arts Council National and International Residency Projects Grant
2017- The Ontario Arts Council Music Creation Projects Grant
2016- The Ontario Arts Council Popular Music Recording Grant
2016- The Toronto Arts Council Audio Recording Grant
2016- The Foundation Supporting Canadian Talent on Record (FACTOR) Artist Development Grant
2016- The FACTOR Demo Grant
2015- The Chalmers Foundation/Ontario Arts Council Professional Development Projects Grant
2014- The Toronto Arts Council Creation Grant
2014- Finalist in the Révélations Radio-Canada 2014 competition, jazz artist category

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Bo Huang