Haunted Blue is the debut album by international mezzo-soprano soloist Clara Osowski performing original compositions by jazz pianist, Jeremy Walker. The project includes mezzo-soprano/tenor duets with Tesfa Wondemagenehu (who last collaborated with Walker on the sold-out performance of 7 Psalms at Minnesota's Orchestra Hall) and renowned jazz bassist, Anthony Cox. The poetry behind Haunted Blue highlights works by Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Minneapolis lyricist Greg Foley.
"Hang the classifications, and bring on more jazz art songs," noted the Star Tribune, "They are certainly not 'crossover': The term is a tad demeaning and does scant justice to the subtleties and innovations achieved by Walker in his richly suggestive new cycle." —Terry Blain, Specialist to the Star Tribune (BBC Music Magazine, Opera Magazine U.K.)
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Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, "a 31-year-old with a rarely beautiful mezzo-soprano" who sings "from inside the music with unaffected purity and sincerity" (UK Telegraph), is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. In 2017, Osowski became the first ever American prize winner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff’s International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany, and in September 2017, was awarded the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder at the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London. Recent wins include the 2018 McKnight Artist Fellowship, the Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award and third place in the song division at the 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal where CBC Musicreported she "had us on the edge of our seat." Other appearances include the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago and the Schubert Club International Artist Series in St. Paul, MN.
Jeremy Walker is a composer and jazz pianist. His upcoming release of original jazz art songs, Haunted Blue, features award-winning mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski with Anthony Cox and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. His suite 7 Psalms was most recently performed at Orchestra Hall and included the launch of American Public Media’s Radio Choir conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Other works include the oratorio, The Rage of Achilles, for classical voice and jazz ensemble, and Alma Gentil—five pieces commissioned by Consortium Carissimi for chamber choir with early baroque and jazz ensembles. In 2014, Walker founded the Jazz at Orchestra Hall in the Target Atrium series where he currently serves as Artistic Director.
Tesfa’s time in Minneapolis began as the Assistant Artistic Director of VocalEssence while concurrently serving as the Manager of the Choral Works Initiative and the Choral Stream™ at American Public Media. During his tenure at APM, he was named the founding artistic director of The Radio Choir from American Public Media which debuted at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis performing 7 Psalms by jazz composer Jeremy Walker. Wondemagegnehu serves as the conductor of the Viking Chorus and the Chapel Choir at St. Olaf College. He maintains an active voice studio and teaches Music and Social Justice with the goal of helping bridge the gap of social injustice through music, dialogue, and inspiring it’s participants to take action in their communities. He most recently was the Director of Choral Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis where he co-founded the Justice Choir movement with noted composer Abbie Betinis.
Anthony is known for his work with several leading musicians including Geri Allen, Dewey Redman, Dave Douglas, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Gary Thomas, Sam Rivers, Marty Ehrlich, Ed Blackwell, Uri Caine and Joe Lovano, (performing on Lovano's album of the year in 1996 - Quartets Live at the Village Vanguard). Cox grew up in Minneapolis and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire before moving to New York. His albums as a leader include Falling Man(Muse, 1989), Dark Metals (Polygram), Factor of Faces (Antilles) and his solo bass project That and This (Sketch).