Vana Gierig Biography

"VanaGierig feels sure enough of his abilities to compose songful, optimistic melodies and subject them to subtle yet ingenious transformations." - Andrew Malone, JazzTimes "Imagine recombining the musical DNA of Herbie, Keith, and Chick with a samba band and you've got a notion of what piano phenomVanaGierig's latest CD is like...an abundance of fresh compositional brainstorms for revitalizing the piano trio. No moment is rote; and even the brash experiments are elegant. I'd steal all his good ideas if I had virtuosic technique." - Keyboard Magazine "His original compositions are moving and full of beautiful transformations. And while he (gets) himself into daring improvisations..., he never lost sight of the composition itself, bringing melodies back with new and different weight." - Roberta on the Arts.com Werner "Vana" Gierig is one of New York's premier jazz pianists and composers. His award-winning, virtuosic performance style and musical direction has been recognized worldwide and has been integral to many international tours and recordings by artists such as Regina Carter, Rachelle Ferrell, Lena Horne, Ute Lemper, George Howard, Special EFX, Najee, Warren Hill, Will Downing, and many others. 2 years ago, Vana was presented by legendary bassist Eddie Gomez as an outstanding next generation pianist in a special 3-day presentation at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan. He consequently sold out 2 shows at the New York Blue Note and opened up for Dionne Warwick with his critically acclaimed quartet called Vana Trio plus Brazilian Percussion, a unique mix of musical cultures, mixing classic jazz piano trio with New York funk, Brazilian, as well as European influences. He has since been touring special projects evolving around this core Vana Trio, such as the Vana Trio plus Brazilian Percussion, as well as his new project of the Vana Trio plus Strings. He has been presenting both, most recently in concerts in Istanbul, Lisbon, Espinho (Portugal) and New York. After his critically acclaimed debut CD Small Regrets and the follow-up A New Day (Twinz Records), which charted for weeks in the top of the Jazz Radio Charts, Vana is working on several releases this year. Promotional copies of his live CD have just been shipped, and he is working on a DVD release, as well an upcoming studio recording, involving Vana's group plus Strings. Vana was also a featured pianist and composer on the 2006 NPR Jazz Christmas CD, Marian McPartland& Friends, for which he co-wrote The Moon on Christmas Eve with Kathryn Williams. In 2004, he won the SESAC Performance Activity Award for his composition Healing In Foreign Lands on a #1 Album, which Downbeat Magazine called "divine" and "a luminous testimony to Vana's sizable talent." HBO’s Sex and the City solicited Vana in 2003 to compose and record a special piece for the season finale with Sarah Jessica Parker & Mikhail Baryshnikov. In 2007, Showtime’s TV series The L Word, chose his composition and recording of An Awakening Thought for one of their episodes. Vana was executive producer, artistic musical director, composer and pianist on Regina Carter's #1 album Paganini: After a Dream (Verve/Universal). He was deeply involved in the vision and realization of the historic idea for Regina to become the first non-classical musician allowed to perform on Paganini's priceless violin, and it was to become the only instrumental #1 album on the Billboard charts in years. The recording, as well as the historic concerts at Lincoln Center in New York and in Genoa were extensively covered by CBS' 60 Minutes II (Charlie Rose), NPR's All Things Considered, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Winfry's O Magazine, Downbeat, JazzTimes, and countless other media. Vana has also been commissioned twice by the prestigious Wharton Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan State University. He premiered both pieces at The Wharton Center, “Morning Cadence” in April '04 with the Regina Carter Quintet, and “Açaí” in October '02, with his Vana Trio Plus Brazilian Percussion. For 9 years, Vana had been an integral part of the Regina Carter Quintet, and is featured on most of her CD's, including Paganini: After a Dream, Motor City Moments (feat. James Carter, Russell Malone, Lewis Nash a.o.) and Rhythms of the Heart (feat. Cassandra Wilson, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash a.o.). In 2002, Vana performed with the Boston Pops in a concert called The Fiddler's Three. He also appeared with other symphony orchestras throughout the US and Europe. He has also musical directed a special gala event for King Hassan II of Morocco at his palace in Marrakech that included royalty from all over the world. Vana has given many master-classes in the United States and Europe with his group, as well as with Melissa Walker, Regina Carter and Ute Lemper. Together with Regina he worked with underprivileged public school students in an inspiring jazz education tour called Harman: How to Listen. Through this program, sponsored by Harman International Industries and created by Wynton Marsalis, Vana visited 12 states to bring the art of jazz to American children for whom arts education is underfunded. Vana's compositions have also been solicited by the Emmy award-winning PBS program City Arts and BET's Bet on Jazz, among others. Three of his compositions from his CD Small Regrets are featured on the soundtrack of the independent motion picture Sins of Fate. The highly acclaimed European TV channel Arte featured Vana and his group in a profile, Werner VanaGierig - Jazz pianist in New York City, on Europe's most-watched cultural program Metropolis. His countless live TV performances include a 2002 PBS appearance on An Evening with the Boston Pops. BET's Jazz Central, TreffpunktKultur on ORF 2 in Austria, CBS' 60 Minutes II, CNN and PBS and A&E live appearances, NBC's Today Show, FOX and Telemundo Live from the Blue Note in New York, Nancy Wilson's show and numerous international TV appearances incl. Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Curaçao, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, England, etc. Book Vana Gierig for shows and concerts at Heavy Rotation booking agency. Worldwide Bookings with HR Booking. Vana Gierig Booking, Book Vana Gierig. Book artists like Vana Gierig, Vana Gierig booking agent, contact Vana Gierig email, Vana Gierig manager, Vana Gierig management for concerts, bookings, biography, pictures, videos. Vana Gierig may be available for your club shows, private party, festivals or other events.

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