Bare Ballads – Singing with the Bass

Sunday, March 5, Noon - 3 pm

Bare Ballads – Singing with the Bass
Age Adult
Event Type Workshop
Department Vocal Performance
Day Sun
Instructor Astrid Kuljan
Status inperson event


What happens when you are accompanied by a single instrument occupying the space below, so your voice feels suspended in midair?


Singing ballads accompanied by only the bass is a beautifully vulnerable and intimate experience for both the performer and the audience. It reveals every nuance of both instruments, drawing the listener in and creating space for intricate interactions. It amplifies various possibilities of expression, which bring freedom, but require immense focus in all aspects of singing (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, improvisation, etc.)


In this workshop, singers will build confidence, hear how harmony is generated from melody, learn different approaches to arranging songs and explore how the bass functions in this role.


Students should bring two ballads in their appropriate keys. Every participant will work one-on-one with bassist Mat Muntz while Astrid Kuljanic provides insights, examples, and suggestions for each singer. Open to all.


About Astrid Kuljanic


Renowned for her complex musical sensibility and supple sound, Croatian vocalist Astrid Kuljanic has immersed herself in an eclectic variety of musical traditions from around the world. Her journey from the Balkans to New York has allowed her to absorb jazz, Brazilian, and Indian music and acquire advanced knowledge of performing with electronics using Ableton Live. Astrid is equally skilled in faithful interpretations of these styles as she is inventive in her own arrangements – employing mixed meters and folk harmonies personally and authentically.


With her New York quartet Astrid Kuljanic Transatlantic Exploration Company, she celebrated the debut album Riva released for OneTrickDog* Records with a sold-out concert at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has continued to perform this program at venues such as the Kennedy Center and has taken it on tour in Europe. With her Croatian-Slovenian band Mildreds, she recorded two albums for Aquarius Records. The band is the subject of a 2021 documentary film produced by Hommage Productions.


In addition to her work as a bandleader, Astrid is a frequent collaborator on various projects. In 2020 she was a part of Thana Alexa’s album ONA, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album.


In 2020, Astrid was recognized by Brooklyn Arts Council with a grant to support her project Why Are You Gone?, a concert program centered on themes of migration pertaining to various communities in Brooklyn, NY. This music will be featured on her next recording, a duo with bassist Mat Muntz.


Astrid has performed in venues such as Jazz Standard and Gramercy Theatre in NYC, Teatro O’Nariz in Portugal, JZ Hangzhou, China, and festivals like Earshot Jazz in Seattle, Mendocino in California, GoldenFest in Brooklyn, Lent in Slovenia, and Ordokatlan in Hungary.


Ms. Kuljanic’s mission is to engage audiences across cultural boundaries. To that end, she founded the Crescendo Music Festival (Croatia), exposing a diverse array of international artists to local audiences for over a decade.