Born: April 14, 1978 Primary Instrument: Piano
Born in England, raised in MA and based in NYC, Anna Dagmar creates piano-woven art-pop songs that will surprise and move you. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she has been influenced by artists including Debussy, Keith Jarrett, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel and Anais Mitchell. She has released three CD’s and the Anna Dagmar Songbook. Let the Waves Come in Threes (2009), was produced by Ben Wittman (Patty Larkin, Jonatha Brooke) and charted #6 on the Roots Music Report. It features string trio, guitarist Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega), bassist Richard Hammond (Dar Williams), vocalist Theo Bleckmann (Laurie Anderson) and trumpeter Shane Endsley (Ani DiFranco). WVIA DJ George Graham named it, “one of the best singer-songwriter albums of the year, in a crowded field.” Dagmar has performed and recorded with Lucy Kaplansky, Ellis Paul, Natalia Zukerman, Joe Crookston and The Lascivious Biddies. She has been selected for the A-list on HPPR, the UN Day of Peace, FODfest, and WFUV’s “On Your Radar” series, five awards in the Mid-Atlantic Contest and composer-in-residence at The Nightingale School. She continues to tour and is recording her 4th album, propelled by fans, who doubled her fundraising goal on Kickstarter.com.
Her love of words was born at a tiny desk, in a tiny room, just north of London. The St. Albans' Cathedral choir, her father's classical radio, and her mother's lullabies echoed all around. And at age seven, she perched on the steps of a new home in Massachusetts, on lookout, for the piano delivery truck.
While many young students turn their noses up at classical music, as they would at Brussels sprouts, Dagmar devoured Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy like chocolate cake. It was the surprises in the music that fascinated her. At fourteen, she discovered the tender, mystical poetry of Joni Mitchell alongside the breathtaking improvisations of Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, who transformed the piano into a choir of tiny voices. By the end of her training at The Eastman School of Music, Dagmar had found a way to weave her passions and influences together into surprising songs of her own.
Now based in New York City, she has rapidly become known across the US and all the way to Stockholm for her virtuosity as a pianist, singer and songwriter. She has released three full-length albums and published the Anna Dagmar Songbook. Her newest album, Let the Waves Come in Threes, was produced by drummer Ben Wittman (of Patty Larkin and Jonatha Brooke). The title track is an upbeat sea shanty that tells the vivid tale of a girl whose treasured diary has been swept up in a storm. As she looks out across the ocean for meaning and direction, a mysterious voice rises up from the waves. The album held Top 20 positions in Roots Music Report for 6 consecutive weeks, peaking at #6, and was given #1 Airplay on WVIA and a “Graham Award” for Top Albums of 2009. DJ George Graham credited it as “one of the best singer-songwriter albums of the year, in a crowded field.
Dagmar has performed and recorded with many other artists including Nadine Goellner, Natalia Zukerman, Joe Crookston, Ellis Paul, Lucy Kaplansky, and The Lascivious Biddies. Her newest album features string trio, guitarist Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega), bassist Richard Hammond (Dar Williams), genre-bending vocalist Theo Bleckmann (Laurie Anderson) and trumpeter Shane Endsley (Ani DiFranco). Dagmar has been selected for the A-list Artist Feature on HPPR, the UN Day of Peace, FODfest, September Concerts and for WFUV’s “On Your Radar” series.
Five songs from Let the Waves Come in Threes received awards in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. Dagmar’s songs have also been recognized in Collected Sounds Magazine, The Unisong International Song Writing Contest, The Williamsburg Song Writing Contest, and the ASCAP Expo Listening Panel and have been featured on compilations for Peace-Driven Songs and Children's International. Her soulful ballad, Amazed, was chosen by British conductor Alex Douglas for a gospel arrangement and was premiered in Bristol by Lifted Voices Choir. 2011 will be her second year as composer-in-residence for a six-week songwriting program at The Nightingale School in NYC. She continues to tour and is recording her 4th album, propelled by fans, who doubled her fundraising goal on Kickstarter.com.
Awards:5 Awards in the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest ASCAP Expo Listening Panel ASCAP Plus Award Top Albums of 2009 Collected Sounds Magazine "Graham Award" on WVIA 2009 NERFA Tri-Centric Showcase Unisong International Contest - Honorable Mentions
Anna Dagmar...has more craft, soul and passion than a lot of the top bods in music crammed together. Simon Smith - Review of Let the Waves Come in Threes, High Plain Music UK
...one of the best new singer-songwriter recordings of the year so far, in a crowded field. George Graham - Review of Let the Waves Come in Threes, WVIA
Anna Dagmar's album showcases her gorgeous voice, lyrical piano stylings and lovely, intelligent songs. Lucy Kaplansky, singer/songwriter - Review of Let the Waves Come in Threes
From the opening moments of 'Let the Waves Come in Threes,' her piano spills out over the band in these fantastic hooky cascading lines and I'm swept in. It's a beautiful ride. Jennifer Kimball, singer/songwriter - Review of Let the Waves Come in Threes
Anna Dagmar has an unique voice for pop music...but with the rising popularity of Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer...there is definitely a place in the mainstream for Dagmar. Andrew Marx - Review of Let the Waves Come in Threes, Smart ReMarx
Let the Waves Come in Threes astounds and astonishes me with the beauty and quality therein. Anna Dagmar has rare gifts and is one in a thousand. I as I am listening, I ask myself, How can these songs possibly be this good, one after another, from start to finish? Ron Goad, Songwriters Association of Washington- Review of Let the Waves
...a lush and welcome instrumentation, including Dagmar's string arrangements, and a, warm production that catches the listener's ear immediately... Matt Mrowicki - Review of Anna Dagmar EP, Chorus and Verse
Musically refreshing. Like a breath of fresh air! Anna Dagmar showers us with a boatload of musical talent... Duss Rodgers - Review of Anna Dagmar EP, Catsask Magazine
Great live and equally as fabulous on cd!...I was so taken with Anna Dagmar and her band... Jules Cohen - Review of Anna Dagmar EP, Jules RedjMusic
One More Time in the Air
Anna Dagmar EP
As A Side Musician
Across Two Rivers
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
BM from Eastman School of Music in Jazz Piano Performance and Music Education. Currently booked with beginners/weekly afterschool. Open to taking adult students, scheduling lesson-to-lessons. Special topics include composition, theory, jazz improvisation, song writing.
Experience teaching clinics at: Southern Vermont College Sonatina School of Piano Mamaroneck High School Penfield High School Eastman Community Outreach Nazarath College University of New Hampshire Simsbury Public School (CT)