Jazz vocalist Christiana Drapkin has been performing on the East Coast for thirty years. Now living in Rockville, MD since moving to the area from Brooklyn, NY in 2008, she’s established some fine collaborations with the excellent local musicians in our DC Metro area. In her singing, Christiana pays close attention to a song’s lyrics, and loves to launch into her joyful scat improvisations. She feels deeply immersed in the rich traditions of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae, as well as in the Vocalese fireworks of Anita O'Day, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross. With her focus on Jazz Standards from the Great American Songbook, she highlights improvisation and harmonic development, carrying on and developing the tradition of Bebop and musicians like Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Thelonious Monk.
Christiana came to the US as a Fulbright exchange student from Germany, and studied in New Orleans where she got her first immediate exposure to Jazz. Then, for 26 years, New York City became her ideal artistic home. She studied with Brooklyn jazz pianist Charles Sibirsky and vocal coach Barbara Feller in Manhattan, and she has drawn a lot of inspiration and support from workshops with Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, and Tierney Sutton.
Now at home in Maryland, Christiana is busy with public and private engagements in the DC area, and with her annual winter tour to Florida. Apart from an occasional concert at Blues Alley, and other venues, her favorite gigs are in senior centers, public libraries, and schools. Christiana covers the Standards, from the Gershwins to Miles Davis, swings Samba and Bossa Nova, and especially loves to put together concerts with a theme: “A Salute to Duke Ellington,” “Shakespeare and All That Jazz,” “Here’s to the Ladies Who Scat,” and more. She loves to introduce the youngest listeners and music-makers to Jazz and Blues when her Quartet presents their high-energy and interactive “Bop Goes the Weasel – Jazz for Kids” program in schools and public libraries. “It’s never too early – or too late – to introduce new audiences to the joys of live music, and especially to the Standards of the Great American Songbook,” she says.
Christiana released three CDs, “The Man I Love,” “Songs About You,” and “Got the World on a String,” featuring standards and more unusual selections from the Great American Songbook, Samba and Bossa Nova, romantic Ballads and the Blues, as well as her ever-expanding Latin repertoire. Put on your dancing shoes!