Cape Town born, award-winning singer Melanie Scholtz joins forces with Norwegian bass player extraordinaire Jo Skaansar to bring you an album celebrating the exquisite vulnerability of bass and voice. Their latest offering, “Kindred” showcases the invisible musical intuition that exists between them. On this 2022-release, the duo interpret a mixture of jazz standards from the Great American songbook as well as some repertoire from South Africa, Europe and Argentina. The title “Kindred” celebrates a borderless musical kinship between these two musicians, having their origins in opposite corners of the world. Melanie and Jo have performed together for many years, playing concerts in a number of countries around the globe. Jo has also contributed as a bass player on two of Melanie’s previous solo albums.
Melanie Scholtz is a South African born jazz singer and composer, currently residing in New York City. Graduating from the University of Cape Town Opera School Cum Laude in 2000, she has since released five albums under her own name. Winner of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist award for jazz in 2010, Melanie went on to win all three prizes at the celebrated Jazz Revelations Competition in Nice, France in 2012. Touring, writing, collaborating, performing and recording with local and international artists, Melanie has performed alongside Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, Hugh Masekela, Bobby McFerrin and Kurt Elling. She is also a visual artist specializing in mixed media collage and living art merchandise.
Jo Fougner Skaansar is Norwegian jazz bassist, composer and psychologist based in Oslo, Norway. He studied jazz bass at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim, as well as the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo where he graduated in 2010. As a bass player, Skaansar has toured and recorded with several artists and bands. He has contributed on around 60 recordings, and played with musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Ulf Wakenius, Trygve Seim, Sinikka Langeland, Gjermund Larsen, LILJA, Beady Belle, Jon Christensen, Steve Dobrogosz, Gjermund Larsen, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Hot Club de Norvege. Jo has released two albums as a leader, the last one is “Fange av mi tid” (“Prisoner of my time”), released on Grappa in 2019.
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