Come fly away with me to the land of music and art.
as “a music which requires significantly more work by the listener to fully appreciate than is typical of popular music. This can include the more challenging types of jazz and rock music, as well as classical.”
As Nietzsche says “without music, life would be a mistake”
“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” Plato
TESS, the jazzy gypsy mama / featuring – vocals, flute, & cello
Tess attended Webster University of St. Louis Mo. and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Flute performance/Jazz Studies, May 2001. She obtained extensive knowledge of music theory, especially jazz theory, scoring and arranging, and music history.
Her Teachers include:
- Jazz Flute with Paul DeMarinis,
- Classical Flute performance with Jan Gippo and Janice Smith of the St. Louis Symphony,
- Voice with Pat Mankowitz of the St Louis Symphony Chorus,
- Attended the Baroque Performance Institute in Oberlin, OH and studied early music on recorder and voice,
- Studied with Robert Dick, the pre-eminent avant-guarde flutist, and
- Betsy Feldman, a noted contemporary classical flutist.
- Tess studied voice with Jackie Eckgren, at the Musick Institute of Oslo while living for a year in Norway.
- She studied cello with both Mr. Gabriel Morales, former cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, while living in Las Cruces, NM. and with Eilif Gunstrum in Oslo Norway.
ACLU song competition finalist for the original song “Borderland”
Independent Singer-Songwriter Association (ISSA) Honorable mention for “A Scene in your Show”
Musical Work Experience:
Tess’s first gig was on the cello at eight years old. The performance, solo cello with an ensemble of violins, was for the King of Norway! (he didn’t have a crown or a robe – how disappointing for an 8 year old!)
Tess and her cello
Plus she grew up performing in the family orchestra. Her mother, a professional violinist, arranged hymns and classical pieces for the family to perform. Concerts (gig) were at churches, on an ocean liner, and in private homes. (in the picture I am holding the same cello as in the first picture!)
A highlight of her career was performing Bach’s ‘Mass in B Minor’ with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Hans Vonk, and Goehr’s opera ‘Arrianna’ – based on an aria by Monteverdi, with the St. Louis Opera Theater directed by David Loebel. These performances were historically informed consequently, both of these performances were on Baroque Recorders.
It’s always fun to jam out on the blues. On this gig, Tess joins the MudCats on their set at the Silver City blues Festival.
During a recent extended stay in Missouri, Tess completed an artist in residency for the Steelville, MO Arts Council. The residency culminates in a performance featuring original songs written for voice, cello, and flute with belly dance as well as a performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Etudes for Solo Flute.
Tess and Salwa (photo to come)
During her stay in Missouri, Tess went into the recording studio with Bliss Hippy, adding flute to several tracks on their cd “Buddha Face” as well as performing with them at The Squirrels Winery, Focal Point, and for the cd release party.
While in St. Louis, she performed with the Farshid Etniko band in concert at the Chapel in St. Louis; with the Aalim Dance Company; Jamie Zane Smith; guitarists Tim Fisher, Randy Bahr, Tom Byrne, Carol Eder, and more, at concert venues, wineries, restaurants, clubs, and private parties.
check out this video: Well You Needn’t flute and guitar duo with Tim Fisher.
It’s with great pleasure that Tess performs with great friends and musicians such as Carol Eder, jazz guitarist and Farshid Soltanshahi, a middle-eastern latin jazz guitarist.
She performed for many years with “Zambra”, a Sephardic band led by her wonderful friend Rabbi James Stone Goodman.
Being a founding member of “The Speckled Band”, a fun and danceable English Country Dance band fronted with the inimitable Paul Stammler, brought a love of Celtic music.
While living in Santa Fe, she performed as a duo with classical guitarist Javier Padial. This began her love for compositions by Astor Piazzolla, and other Spanish classical composers.
Fond are the memories of romps through jazz standards with the Tina Jones Trio and Tess’s own jazz quartet, Rouged.
She often performs with Juliane Horvath in a classical flute / piano duo, as well as many solo and sideman gigs.
A recent side project was to perform with master herbalist and singer-songwriter Stephen Harrod Buhner (http://gaianstudies.org/Stephen.htmlf) providing backup vocals and flute accompaniment.
Tess w/Stephen Buhner gig in Nelson, Canada (photo to come)
Another super fun gig was Zoe’s Birthday Party. Ken Field came from New Orleans; we improvised while Zoe danced!
Tess w/Ken Fields and Zoe (photo to come)
The tradition of making music as a family continues. The Ozark Gypsy Band includes Tess’s son Jamie Zane Smith and his wife, Colleen Rabbitt Smith. The Littles are starting to play too! Oca plays flute
Ozark Gypsy Band gig at the Traveler’s Table (photo coming)
Tess uses her experiences and degrees to teach and taught as an Adjunct instructor at WNMU Music Department as Choir Director, teaches Music Appreciation and individual voice coaching.
Currently Tess provides private instruction in flute and cello.
“Tess’s tone is warm and rich, her improvisations wild and free. I’ve worked with her in contexts ranging from Baroque music to vintage dance, to jazz to street bands, and I truly believe she can sing and play anything and give it class” Paul Stamler, radio programmer KDHX, St. Louis
“Thank you for your singing and playing at my wedding, it was so special for me” – KH St. Louis
“Your music brings beauty and blesses our Christmas and Easter services” Santa Clara Catholic Church, Santa Clara NM
“strong mature vocals – the exotic “searching for the silence” is my favourite” J. E.
“I love your soulful and jazzy vocals. Great work! Much Love, K. :))”
“Great voice! Keep on doing what you’re doing!” B. A.
“Lovin’ what you’re doin’! Beautiful voice! “Highway one” grabbed me right off! Much success to you!” Z. B.
“Smooth, full-bodied, smart music loaded with style…I enjoyed listening and will be back for more! Latte love, AZW ;)” A.W.
“I love the freedom of your songs and lovely guitar and vocals. Your music creates a warm atmosphere in a class of its own. Best wishes” M-A. F.