Primary Instrument: Vocal
So, who is this Elin, what is her music all about, and how did she end up on this journey?
Born and raised in Sweden by an Irish mother and a Peruvian father. Grew up in three distinct cultures and continents: Europe, North and South America. Oldest of six children, fluent in five languages, eight-year resident of New York City, instrumentalist and student of music since the age of seven, and utterly obsessed with Brazilian music! This should give you a start at understanding the colorful complexities and remarkable adventures from which Elin draws her inspirations and expressions.
It all began one lazy summer afternoon in Sweden when Elin was 15, in a moment she says altered the course of her life forever… “School was out for summer break and I’d entertain myself, among other things, by going through my parents’ huge record collection.” One day, she randomly picked one out and played it, not really knowing why, only to become mesmerized by a sound she had never heard before. It was João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. She assumed that this was jazz. Right then and there, she knew she was meant to sing this music. “I’m going to be a jazz singer!” she proclaimed. “Someday, I’m going to go to Brazil, learn to speak Portuguese, learn to play the guitar like that, and learn to sing this music!”
Although Elin had been studying music and playing instruments since she was seven, she never liked jazz nor considered being a singer. But after this, she started buying jazz albums of all the great female vocalists including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan, and got heavily into American jazz, without realizing it wasn’t exactly the same as the music that had originally put her on this path. It would be another seven years before Elin finally got back to her first passion: Brazilian jazz. “When my parents moved to the U.S., I was able to attend the University of Florida. It was during this time that I won a scholarship to attend a language course in Brazil where I could finally learn Portuguese and delve into the music of all the great Brazilian singers, such as Elis Regina, Leny Andrade, and Gal Costa.”
But the major turning point in Elin’s career as a singer came when she met Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman, Ph. D., voice teacher extraordinaire, and author of The Voice: A Spiritual Approach to Singing, Speaking and Communicating (3 editions). The day they met, Ms. Arman immediately asked one of her students to give up her lesson just so she could teach Elin on the spot. From the very first moment, she was convinced of Elin’s talent, and it was then or never, since Elin was scheduled to catch a flight back to NYC in just a few hours. From then on, they worked long distance between NYC and South Florida for several years before Dr. Arman finally moved to New York. “Now, seven years later, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have a career, or even a voice, if it wasn’t for Miriam. I owe her so much! She’s the only voice teacher I ever had that taught me how to use my voice in the right way. And the learning is ongoing.”
Elin continues to maintain a close connection to Brazil, the country who’s music she is so addicted to. Most recently, she spent a month in Rio de Janeiro where she performed with world-renowned Brazilian artists, including Durval Ferreira and Guinga. Based in New York City, she continues to perform both in the U.S. and overseas. Her debut album, Lazy Afternoon, showcasing a sublime mix of Brazilian and American classics combined with or iginal songs, was released on September 5th, 2006 to rave reviews from critics and radio stations across the country.
“Elin is not a dark singer. This is not a criticism. Brazilian jazz celebrates that which is radiant and joyous and moving and in this regard, Elin more than matches the material she sings.”
Down Beat Magazine (Jan ‘07):
“Zeal, ambition and musical ESP fire Elin’s Lazy Afternoon… [she] delivers a debut that has all the wonder of a magical discovery... Elin draws you in, turning familiar songs into an intimate and personal concert. Like a Frank Sinatra devotee, she controls the song’s tempo and demeanor through her lush phrasing and luxurious delivery, each word flowing like liquid chocolate.” Ken Micallef
AllMusic.com (Aug ’06):
“Elin's story is one of dogged determination…she's a Swede who fell in love with Brazilian music, then fell in love with jazz, decided she would learn Portuguese and immerse herself in Brazilian culture, and finally put it all together to become a singer of Brazilian jazz. Lazy Afternoon is the evidence that she succeeded beautifully in accomplishing her goal…Elin proves a skillful improviser, a clever manipulator of melody and a confident bandleader...this European with Brazil in her blood has thoroughly carried out her dream.” Jeff Tamarkin
GlobalRhythm.net (March ‘07):
“Lazy Afternoon has the sultry, laid-back feeling so frequently brought on by the smooth sounds of Brazilian jazz. [Elin] is also a strong songwriter, fitting her work well into this deceptively challenging genre. With a unique blend of cultural influences to incorporate and combine, and her biggest strength being her versatile vocal work, Elin could have a bright and musical future ahead of her.”
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