Home » Jazz Musicians » Elma Kais

Elma Kais

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).


Liner Notes

Elma Kais: Licentia Poetica

Read "Elma Kais: Licentia Poetica" reviewed by Howard Mandel

I tried to write words freed from rhythm... Yet the song came, of itself, in the right measures, And whatever I tried to write was poetry. Ovid, Tristis IV, 24-25 More than 2000 years ago Ovid captured the essence of spontaneous improvisation in a stanza--as the collective of Elma Kais, Knox Chandler, Daigo Nakai and Klaus Kugel does on Licentia Poetica. The Roman poet, author of “Metamorphoses," describes a creative outpouring which finds--or reveals--its perfect form ...

Read more articles
"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" - /Jazzarium/

"Hic Et Nunc" by ELMA - …the most intriguing vocal album of not only the last year" -/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/

Read more




Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.