Born: November 24 Primary Instrument: Violin
“I’m very vulnerable on this album,” says violinist, producer, and singer-songwriter Roswitha. “I want to create a shift from negative to empowering messages and inspire people to live their dreams because I know how much strength it takes.” On her latest album, Destiny, the renowned jazz and classical artist lives her own dreams, making the bold move to step out as a singer-songwriter. Here, she embraces her total musicality and tastefully integrates her instrumental virtuosity within a musical style Roswitha started to describe as Jazz Rock Pop. It’s an elegantly eclectic blend of jazz, classical, R&B, hip-hop, rock and pop that showcases her gorgeous compositions and soulfully angelic vocals.
Previously, Roswitha has had an esteemed career as “Queen Rose,” a topflight violinist. She has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, in the movie August Rush, at the Latin Grammy’s, and was featured on MTV’s Unplugged with Trey Songz. As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, she has performed with the likes of John Legend, Santana, Gloria Estefan and Patti LaBelle. Under the name “Rose Bartu,” she’s also built a highly respected jazz profile sharing stages with such icons as Abbey Lincoln, Billy Hart, Joanne Brackeen and Butch Morris and issued the delightfully exotic Cherchez la Verité, a silky jazz album with violin, sensual vocals, and limber Afro Cuban grooves. She lead her own bands performing at celebrated venues like The Blue Note, Knitting Factory and touring Europe. She has notched over 50 production, arrangement, composition and performance credits on over 19 released albums, videos and film soundtracks.
“This change in my career represents coming into my own, presenting myself authentically. I’m embracing all my musical influences and aspects of my creativity, my singing, songwriting, violin playing, and producing,” Roswitha says of her creative breakthrough, her Jazz Rock Pop – album Destiny. “I had no style in mind, I just wanted to create an album you can listen through from beginning to end. My focus was on creating the best songs and delivering them in a way that the message gets heard. It was all about what each song needed, that’s why my violin playing is not so featured. I am surprised of what people hear in it,” Roswitha continues: “In recent years I mostly listened to Soul music. But Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Sting and Prince have been my first popular music influences, maybe it should not surprise me that people hear rock and pop in it.”
Though the album has garnered favorable comparisons to such diverse artists as Sia, Sade, Florence and the Machine, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Tracy Chapman, Stevie Nicks, Les Nubians, Zap Mama and Björk, it‘s purely Roswitha. She organically inhabits a broad array of styles, tying them together with her euphoric and liberating message. “The general theme is live your dreams; free yourself from any external influences and seek answers from within,” she explains.
The 13-song album luminously opens with the mystical, Eastern-flavored hip-hop fusion of “Desire.” Its shimmering beauty and exotic flourishes set the mood of the album. The spiritually centered “Destiny” majestically melds Afro-Cuban grooves with concise soul-pop hooks. “This is a song to inspire others to seek their destiny,” she reveals. “I sing on the bridge ‘seek your destiny, it will set you free,’ I truly believe that. I sing from a female perspective, but it is a universal theme.” The multi-national hip-hop-rock of “My Life” makes its message universal, pulling diverse music cultures together with a euphorically emboldening perspective. “This song speaks about owning your life, living it the way you think is right for you,” Roswitha says. The album also includes the gracefully poignant “One of us” which was written after the murder of Trayvon Martin and speaks out against gun violence.
One dollar per every Destiny album sold will go to the Windows of Opportunities’ music program “Rock Ur Heart Out.” She first started supporting that initiative during her highly successful PledgeMusic campaign for Destiny. “Windows of Opportunities’ youth programs are unique and important leadership programs. They train youth to think for themselves and to create projects that positively impact society,” she says.
Roswitha was reared in a rural Austrian home surrounded by music in the middle of the Alps with her parents and five siblings. As a little girl she tinkered with any instrument she could get her hands on, whether it was a recorder, guitar or piano. Ultimately, the violin became her preferred, primary instrument and, by age 13, she began performing professionally and nurturing a dream of touring the world with her music. By 14, she moved out of her parents’ home and began her classical violin studies at the University for Music and Drama Graz/Austria while attending the Performing Arts High School Dreihackengasse. Later on, she fell in love with New York City. Winning the prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship “to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas,” allowed her to live her dream to study in the Big Apple. Roswitha holds bachelors of fine arts degrees from the world-class, cutting-edge New School University Jazz Program, NYC, and Anton Bruckner Private University for Music, Drama and Dance, Linz, Austria. Currently, manages a robust performing and recording schedule and is also an Adjunct Performer in The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory Repertory Company, NYC.
The Jazz Rock Pop – album Destiny is the most comprehensive expression of Roswitha’s artistry to date. It combines all facets of her creativity—her brilliant violin playing, smoldering vocals, uplifting songs, and her refined production aesthetic. “I was aiming for finding my own voice on this album, expressing myself authentically,” she says reflecting on her path. “My birth name I took on for this album, Roswitha, means strength and success. It takes a lot of strength to live your dreams, but that’s what real success means to me.”
Awards:Awards: (samples) • Finalist at the USA Songwriting Competition, 2001 & 2012 • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 • Award “Isidor Stoegbauer Donation”, Anton Bruckner Private University Linz, Austria • Scholarship from Lions Club Liezen for “extraordinary musical achievements” • Scholar for Banff International Jazz Workshop, Canada • Full Scholarship for “Bartok Seminar” in Szombathely, Hungary
“I’ve put this album under “progressive rock.”…“art rock,”… This is great music that features a lot of violin and very complex compositions and arrangements. There’s a real focus on R&B and soul music, but plenty of other things, most notably world music … Personally, I’d say it falls closest to Bjork… quite an intriguing album … vocals on this cut make me think of Stevie Nicks quite a bit… pure style.” G.W.Hill, Music Street Journal
“…Roswitha dazzles crowds with genre-bending compositions with mixed rock, funk, classical, new age, world fusion, and experimental-folk explosions of sonic beauty….vocally congruent with Adele, Leigh Nash and Katie Melua… Roswitha is an innovative musician that showcases fourteen unique musical concoctions that are almost indefinable. Nothing is amiss here.” Matthew Forss, Inside World Music
Rose Bartu - Cherchez la verite (2005)
For the complete discography please go to: www.queenrosemusic.com
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.