Trained in classical music, Elma Kais finally turned to jazz and graduated from the Krakow School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in the vocal class under Marek Bałata. During her school years she received awards in several jazz vocal contests.
Her professional life is constantly organised around musical improvisation: from her artistic and stage activities (as a soloist, a band leader, as well as a composer of music for her own projects and for theatre), through her academic research (her doctoral thesis focused on psychological aspects of musical improvisation), to her therapeutic work (as a music therapist in improvisational approach). For her interdisciplinary actions Elma was appreciated and awarded the prize by the Foundation for Polish Science.
All those multidimensional activities have been inspiring and forming her musical sensitivity and visions, personal language of composition and improvisation, as well as distinctive vocal expression.
Finally, all of these materialized in a phonographic debut. „Hic Et Nunc” in quartet with Verneri Pohjola (tp), Dominik Wania (p) and Maciej Garbowski (b) (iMp 2014) has become a new chapter of the story. The album was enthusiastically acclaimed by jazz reviewers, including top notes by Jazzarium and JazzPress, and found its place on the podium of the Polish Jazz Top Ten ranking. The second album of Elma Kais with V. Pohjola, D.Wana & M.Garbowski, "Ad Rem" released by Hevhetia (2016) received excellent international reviews. The following one, with Knox Chandler (g), Daigo Nakai (b) and Klaus Kugel (dr) is just coming (to be released at the end of 2021).
"ELMA composes and sings without lyrics in a way incomparable to anything I have
heard before. [...] Sensational debut recording!!!"
/Maciej Lewenstein "Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond"/
"ELMA - sensational discovery of the Polish jazz vocal scene"
/Adam Baruch, Singer Jazz Festival/
"ELMA - one of the most interesting new voices on the jazz scene"
"Hic Et Nunc" by ELMA - …the most intriguing vocal album of not only the last
-/Maciej Karlowski, Jazzarium/
"I have no doubt that „Hic Et Nunc” by mysterious ELMA is one of the most
important debuts in Polish vocal jazz in recent years."
- /Tomasz Luczak, Polish-Jazz/