Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Zerlina Devi - Inscape (2016)

This debut album consists of 7 originals that Zerlina wrote and produced herself. Her music is an unique mix of jazz, funk and soul/RnB but yet the sound is modern and fresh to the ears.

Zerlina Devi, originally from Bali, Indonesia is a pianist, vocalist, composer and arranger. Born in a family with no musical background and a deep appreciation for music, she and her siblings had to get their hands on instruments in their early childhood. At the age of four, she started learning piano and continued taking classical piano lessons since then. Along her young musical journey she also picked up the violin and would sing and accompany herself with her own piano playing.

Since she was a little girl, she has always shown her interest in jazz. She would listen to jazz records owned by her dad who has always been a big jazz fan. Her dad finally decided to introduce her to the jazz world by sending her to private lessons with several great jazz musicians in Indonesia. Music was just as influential in her childhood as anything else she learned at school and soon enough it became a big part of her life. This is when she started to fall in love with jazz and realized that she was able to express herself through music more than anything else could possibly do. 

Eventually she started performing and she discovered her true passion, which is to perform in public. Even though the jazz scene back in her hometown was not thriving, she would find gigs regularly in café’s and restaurants back in her hometown and capitalized on every chance to perform including performing at her school events. Zerlina along with her band Sailendra Sextet, was the first winner at the longest standing, most renowned Jazz competition in Indonesia, Jazz Goes to Campus, where she also received the award of best pianist. She also had the great pleasure of playing in the jam session that is held at the biggest Indonesian International Jazz festival, Java Jazz Festival and collaborated with different remarkable musicians such as George Benson, Tony Monaco, Maurice Brown, Greg Fundis, Michael Paulo and many more. However, with all of the lessons she took and the experience she got from performing she was still lacking in the theoretical aspect of music because her previous teachers are self-taught musicians. She finally decided that she had to get access to more formal music education because she believes by doing so she would be able to improve as a musician and grow as an artist.

With a significant amount of scholarship award that she got, she is currently pursuing her education in Performance and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. During her time at Berklee, she was mentored by several excellent names including Aaron Goldberg, Joanne Brackeen, Bob Winter, Kevin Harris, Tim Ray, Lenny Stallworth and Bob Pilkington.

Her frame of mind when it comes to music is that it can always be applied to our everyday life. Jazz has a deeper meaning rather than simply being a style of music. She believes that music is a really good tool to help people to grow as individuals and will help them to connect with people in everyone’s social life. She looks forward to being able to create music that is truthful and meaningful in the future, share her experience, to bring joy and to lift people up with her music.

01. Maya
02. Inscape
03. Crazy Talk
04. Let Go
05. No. 39
06. Mr. Freedom
07. Summit Ave

Zerlina Devi (Piano, rhodes) 
Darren Barrett (Trumpet) 
Matt Knoegel (Tenor Sax) 
John Egizi (Trombone) - Track 5 
Zach Brown (Upright, electric bass) 
Oscar Suchanek (Drums, percussion) 
Lex Schmidt (Percussion) - Track 2, 5, 6, 7 

All tracks composed, arranged and produced by Zerlina Devi 

Co-producer: Oscar Suchanek 

Recording Engineer: Matthew Hayes, Matt Peiffer 

Recorded at Wellspring Sound, Acton, MA and The Record Company, Boston, MA 

Mixed by: Andrew Keller (Optimal Soundz, Los Angeles, CA) 
Mastered by: Jonathan Wyner (M Works, Cambridge, MA) 

Cover artwork by: Prajna Dewantara-Wirata 
Cover design by: Jeffry Iskandar