Born: July 20, 1977 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Lela Kaplowitz was born in a little town of Sisak in a former Yugoslavia, today Croatia. She began professionally singing at 16 years of age. Lela studied the vocal improvisation with Sheila Jordan (www.sheilajordan.com) at the Jazz Conservatorium in Graz (Austria), and later in New York with world-renowned jazz musicians like Jay Clayton (www.jayclayton.com), Mark Murphy (www.markmurphy.com), Barry Harris (www.barryharris.com), and Kate McGarry (www.katemcgarry.com). Lela also attended the Berklee Summer Music Workshop in Perugia, Italy, and studied at the New School in New York while living there. She performed with world renowned musicians like Arturo Farrill and his ‘Chico’ O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Doug Carn, Miles Griffith, Bill Saxton, Harry Whittaker, Dick Griffin, Charles Tolliver, Craig Handy, Gary Fritz, Mark Rapp, Bob Alberti, Ben Tucker, Ratko Divjak, Elvis Stanic, Darko Jurkovic and many others. During the five years of her life in New York City, Lela was heard and seen at the most prominent places of the American musical history: Madison Square Garden (International Music Festival, 2003.), Birdland, The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Detour, Smalls, Joe Franklin’s Memory Lane Restaurant, Cleopatra’s Needle, the Central Park Summer Stage, Miles Jaye’s Jazz Festival, in Atlantic City and Miami, Philadelphia, and Savannah (Savannah Music Festival, 2004., Savannah, Georgia). Together with her husband Joe Kaplowitz she captured third place in the competition for best jazz band at the Bucharest Jazz Festival in 2008, and won the title “Lady Summertime” at the one of the largest vocal jazz competitions in the world in Finland in summer of 2009.
Awards:New York International Music Festival USA - 2003 (finals) Savannah Music Festival USA - 2004 (finals) Bucharest Jazz Festival Romania - 2008 (finals) Lady Summertime Finland - 2009 (1st prize grand jury and public vote)
I found Lela to be an extremely talented vocalist... By Sheila Jordan
I appreciate Lela's radiant talent, creativity and individuality. With her sensibility and intelligence, Lela avoids the pitfalls of imitation and servile reproduction, and gives the songs a perfectly personal interpretation. By Miles Griffith
Lela Kaplowitz has a remarkable tone, great timing and essentially gives a vocal... By Brent Black (Criticaljazz.com)
Anyone who has ever seen her perform live is sure to remember her unique, brilliant voice, her immense charisma and her charm, grace and exotic beauty. Even when she sings jazz standards, Lela goes well beyond fine interpretation, embodying each song, giving it new life, new meanings, deeper siginificance... By Juan F. Merino (El Diario La Prensa)
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