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Take Five With...

Take Five With Roswitha aka Rose Bartu

By Published: June 5, 2013
Now, my focus is on how to get my new album out into the world. I want to work with musicians who are very diverse, love my music, can play it like on the record, and also branch out into unexplored territories. I would love to have background vocals, since my songs live from a lot of harmonies and the background vocals.

My dream vocal collaborations currently would be with Lianne La Havas, Sade, Sia, Wyclef Jean, Sting, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins. And it would be a dream of mine to get to open up for one of them on tour.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

My best road story is when I toured in Austria with my American jazz band and had my sister drive us. Having my sister on my side was beautiful and being on the road with my own band always makes me feel great. The feeling of being able to give work to others is very fulfilling, along with inspiring audiences for your own music.

Favorite venue:

I remember playing at Joe Zawinul's Birdland in Vienna was a great experience.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My favorite recording is my latest jazz-rock-pop recording, Destiny. I feel it is the most comprehensive expression of my artistry to date. It combines all facets of my creativity: my violin playing, vocals, songs and production. I was aiming for finding my own voice on this album and to express myself authentically. My birth name, Roswitha (which means strength and success) was what I took on for this album. It takes a lot of strength to live your dreams, but that's what real success means to me.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

I do not remember. Before I bought an album I was exposed to live shows; in the village next to us was the Culture Center Wolkenstein, where many jazz musicians performed.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I want to create a shift from negative to empowering messages and inspire people to live their dreams, because I know how much strength it takes. I put a lot of thought into my lyrics. I have had several people say that my music doesn't sound like anything else they have heard before. People have called my music progressive. I wasn't trying to be anything else but myself on this record and to get a message that I truly care about across to my audience. My bigger vision is building bridges, to foster intercultural communication to create peace, and I started an organization with the same name (Building Bridges) to manifest that. If I can contribute to making this place a better one for all of us then I fulfilled my own personal dream. Jazz musicians always have been innovators, and I hope to be one in regards to the stand I take.

Did you know...

I grew up in the Austrian Alps, with five siblings, in a house full of music? The pictures I have from my childhood remind Americans of The Sound of Music..

I had my first jazz experience at age 12, being the youngest member of an orchestra accompanying Hannibal Marvin Peterson/Lokumbe and his band in The Flames of South Africa. He called me "The great Kinder Queen." I believe this had such an impact that it encouraged me to learn how to improvise.

I moved out and away from my parents age 14 to go to a specialized high school in the city, and study violin performance at the University for Music and Drama in Graz at the same time.

CDs you are listening to now:

Lianne La Havas,Is Your Love Big Enough? (Nonesuch);

Sia Furler, Some People Have Real Problems (Hear Music);

Rox, Memoirs (Rough Trade);

India Arie, Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationship (Motown);

Ayo, Joyful (Polydor).

Desert Island picks:

Quatuor Mosaiques,Haydn: Quatuors Op 20/Quartor Mosaiques (Astree);
Rachel Podger, J.S.Bach: Partitas for Violin Solo (Channel Classics);

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse!);

Stevie Wonder, Innervisions (Tamla);

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, J.S.Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Deutsche Grammophon).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I cannot speak to that because I have been branching out. I am happy to see that more and more jazz artists are doing so and also getting recognized for it.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

I want to quote Charlie Parker: "Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."

What is in the near future?

I am planning on performing out with my own band a lot more and booking a tour in Europe. In the back of my mind I am also already thinking of the next album, but first I want to play this music so much that I want to let it all go.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

Forgetting my lyrics.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

1. Schubert's String Quintet in C Major 2nd movement. It is one of the most beautiful string pieces and my father's most favorite. My siblings and I practiced it for our parents and surprised them with it for their 25th wedding anniversary.

2. Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven."

By Day:


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Download jazz mp3 “Here and Now” by Roswitha aka Rose Bartu