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Jazz standards, latin ballads, and original songs by a hippie chick! erika may's fluid, sensuous and captivating voice has been compared to Nico, Ricki Lee Jones, Blossom Dearie, and Susana Baca. Her songs are inspired by cool jazz, hot Spanish flavors, sinuous gypsy melodies, and fiery Middle-eastern rhythms.
"erika may'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, guitarist, radio programmer KDHX, St. Louis
erika may is a formally trained flautist and singer who performs in a variety of settings such as jazz combos as both a leader and a sideman, classical duets with piano or guitar, in Americana/pop groups, and as a singer-songwriter who has an eclectic mix of edgy and deep music flecked with jazz, folk and various world influences. Soaring, lyrical melodies and emotionally driven performance create a dynamic experience of jazz standards, original music, traditional Sephardic songs, and medieval/renaissance music.
Attended Webster University of St. Louis Mo. and studied Jazz Studies with Paul DeMarinis, Flute performance with Jan Gippo and Janice Smith of the St. Louis Symphony, Voice with Pat Mankowitz of the St Louis Symphony Chorus, and obtained a Bachelors of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Flute Performance May of 2001.
Obtained extensive knowledge of music theory, especially jazz theory, scoring and arranging, music history. I also studied with Robert Dick, the pre-eminent avant-guarde flutist of our time, and Betsy Feldman, contemporary classical flutist in addition to studies above.
Studied voice with Jackie Eckgren, at the Musick Institute of Oslo while living for a year in Norway.
Worked as a professional musician with various ensembles as both vocalist and flautist:
Performed Bach’s ‘Mass in B Minor’ with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under Hans Vonk, and Goehr’s ‘Arrianna’ with the St. Louis Opera Theater directed by David Loebel.
Performed with various ensembles in St. Louis such as Rouged, as lead vocalist and flutist, Zambra, led by Rabbi James Stone Goodman The Speckled Band, an English country dance band, as a duo with classical guitarist Javier Padial, in the Tina Jones Trio, with Sepantha, a middle-eastern latin jazz band, regularly perform with Juliane Horvath in a classical flute piano duo, and many solo and sideman gigs.
Worked as an Adjunct instructor at WNMU Music Department as Choir Master, taught Music Appreciation and individual voice coaching.
Cat in a Hat: erika may – vocals / flute, Dave Black – guitar, Willem von Hombracht – bass, Paul DeMarinis – saxophone. a romp of jazz songs including three original songs.
Erika May and Friends: erika may vocals / flute, Farshid Soltanshahi – guitar, Billy Engle – side guitar, a set of heartfelt original songs.
La Luna Ladina: erika may – vocals / guitar, lovely songs from the Sephardic tradition, medieval Spanish, and the Renaissance sung in Spanish, ladino, and Latin.
“erika may'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
Honorable Mention - Independent Singer-Songwriter Association (ISSA) contest
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