“I love the adrenaline, the here and now, the surprise and the power
which the stage grants me.” –
The daughter of a Frenchwoman from Bordeaux and a cosmopolitan musical enthusiast from Berlin started singing along with the Brazilian classic “Rosa Morena” to an LP at the age of five. Not understanding a word of it. Yet. Her mother was singing French chansons to her at home, while Céline learned to play Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” on her recorder. Now, praised as a “voice to kneel down before” by the press and esteemed by colleagues like Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, or her former teacher David Friedman, the worlds of Jazz, Chanson, and Bossa Nova more than ever make up her familiar musical world. The love of Brazilian music led the singer and songwriter Céline Rudolph to São Paulo. It was there that she first met the bass-player and producer Rodolfo Stroeter, a pivotal figure of the younger Brazilian scene. As a musical catalyst Stroeter has worked with Gilberto Gil, Joyce, Milton Nascimento, and Céline Rudolph, too, on three albums and four tours across Europe and Brazil so far.
Having performed and recorded numerous albums with many wonderful musicians including Gary Peacock, Lee Konitz and David Liebman, her album „Metamorflores“, in which she joined forces with Naná Vasconcelos, Toninho Ferragutti and Diego Figueiredo, won her the prestigious German Echo Jazz Award in 2010 (“Best vocal artist”). All around and in between, from “Brazaventure” and “Metamorflores” (both enja records) to “Salvador” (Verve, Universal), you may find the rather effortless musical floating and drifting of Céline Rudolph’s vocal artistry above a mellow mixture of rhythmic inspirations, all in all deceivingly relaxed but nonetheless highly sophisticated.
Céline Rudolph is unanimously celebrated by the press as the vocal discovery of recent years. The singer astonishes with her fresh, expressive voice which seems effortlessly to clear all the hurdles of vocal art. With unbelievable ease she blurs all the boundaries from Brazilian sounds to Jazz scats, from an emotional feeling to free expression. She is a master in mood creation and her personality is naturally magical. Not only Groove, Brazil, Ethno, but also filigreed sound poetry and exciting improvisations: a play with the poetic moment which is captured, painted and set free.
At the age of 21 she started studying jazz vocals and composition at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin with David Friedman, Jerry Granelli and Kirk Nurock, and was lucky to share her passion for improvisation early on in her career during vocal encounters with Lauren Newton, Bobby Mc Ferrin and Jay Clayton. Later she plunged into African music and stayed to study with the percussionist Famoudou Konaté in West Africa.
In 2011 Céline released ‚Salvador’, a tribute album to the great French chansonnier Henri Salvador, which she conceptualized, researched, translated and arranged herself, marking her first collaboration with New York based Brazilian pianist Helio Alves.
Most recently she collaborated with New York based Beninese guitarist Lionel Loueke, having played with him at 12th Jarasum Int. Jazz Festival in South Korea, and recorded a duo album with him, which will be released soon. Céline has also recently finished recording a solo album in Brooklyn recently with New York based celebrated musicians Leo Genovese (p), Burniss Travis (b) and Jamire Williams (dr), who also produced the album.
She has toured extensively throughout Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, and is beyond happy to now play her first live gig in New York at Bonafide with spectacular musicians Helio Alves (p), Edward Perez (b) and Mauricio Zotarelli (dr). She particularly enjoys the line-up with these incredibly inspiring Brazilian musicians because she feels that it truly allows her to connect the ease and natural flow of Brazilian rhythm with the great jazz tradition and her own songs.
As one of the most endearing memories of her career she recalls a moment when, after a hellish improvisation on All the things you are during a jam session in Berlin, the trumpet player came up to her and said: „I enjoyed your singing. Very beautiful!“ – The trumpet player was Wynton Marsalis!