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Take Five With Michaela Rabitsch

AAJ Staff BY

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Meet Michaela Rabitsch:

Michaela Rabitsch, singer, composer and Austria's only and top female jazz trumpet player has released Moods, her third CD together with guitarist Robert Pawlik. Moods presents ten songs that reflect the passion, energy and emotions of their life.

This album is their first recording with exclusively original compositions, reflecting the core of their current work. They are presenting jazz with catchy melodies, strong harmonies, groovy rhythms and adventurous improvisations in a fine balanced vocal - instrumental mix, either as a quartet or as a duo.

Rabitsch has worked together with Robert Pawlik for more than 12 years. The fact that they studied extensively the jazz repertoire and a lot of Jazz related music genres gives them a rich musical vocabulary to draw from. They developed a unique sound, composing a lot of their repertoire together in interaction.

In recent years she has gained an international reputation, performing at Festivals like Sibiu in Romania, Nisville in Serbia, Moscow in Russia, Tel Aviv's Givatayim Theater in Israel, Festival Lent, Maribor in Slovenia, Bansko in Bulgaria, Burghausen n Germany, as well as jazz clubs like Joe Zawinul's Birdland and Porgy & Bess, to name just a few.

In November of 2008 she toured through China and Hong Kong, including a concert at Shanghai Oriental Art Centerl in 2010 she will perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, in South Africa.


Trumpet, flugelhorn, voice.

Teachers and/or influences?

Peter Tuscher, Ingrid Jensen, Fritz Handlbauer, Adelhard Roidinger, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Art Farmer, Lee Morgan

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

With about ten years, after about three years of formal violin lessons. I only had to change the instrument and the genre later on!

Your sound and approach to music:

I like—and try to have—a warm sound. I love music which is based on songs that tell a story—with or without words—and communicate deep emotions, with strong melodies and groove.

Your teaching approach:

I think it's necessary to find an individual approach for each student.

Your dream band:

In my dream band, musicians serve the song and don't misuse it to display their skills. Musicians who are able to feel my songs and express them best. Let's dream a little and say Richard Bona or Christian McBride on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums...

Favorite venue:

It's a festival, but it was fantastic to play there: Jazz Festival Nisville, in Nis, Serbia. We played there for 5000 people and had the best sound on stage you can dream of! In addition to that the whole festival was organized and promoted perfectly and we were treated just wonderfully. My favorite venue is Joe Zawinul's Birdland in Vienna. I never played any place with better acoustics, and with sound equipment like a recording studio. Unfortunately it is closed now...

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Moods, our third and last one ('til now). I think we developed from one recording to the next, and so for me it's the best. It's also our first CD with exclusively original compositions, and so it's the most personal one.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Miles Davis-, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959).

CDs you are listening to now:

Vlatko Stefanovskil, VS Trio (Third Ear Music);

Richard Bona, Tiki (Emarcy).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Jazz today has many faces—and lots of different and talented musicians on the scene—and this is fine. The richer and more diverse the musical language—the more interesting it is for both musicians and audience.

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

No matter what stylistic orientation you prefer, it is essential to play music which comes from the heart. A musician has to give the audience the feeling that he or she loves to play for them, making them feel good, then they come back for other shows, giving you the possibility to develop and grow musically.

What is in the near future?

My most important gig in the near future is our appearance at the International Jazz Festival Cape Town, South Africa, on a main stage (April 3rd or 4th, 2010). I am very excited about it. It's Africa's premier music festival with 32,000 listeners over two days. In addition to that a lot of shows are booked already for 2010 and I am working busy on the spring and summer tours. Besides the live appearances we work on new songs for our next CD.

By Day:

I'm lucky that I don't have to do a day job outside of music. I have a few private students and take care of the booking and promotion of the duo and quartet I lead together with my husband Robert Pawlik and, of course, our ten year old twins Fabian and Valerie.

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