“When she sang, it was like a peaceful oasis in the middle of crazy big city life.” *
Ester Wiesnerova (1994) is a Slovak vocalist, composer and educator. She fuses jazz with Slovak traditional music, while adding a little bit of a folky singer/songwriter flavor to it. However, as she likes to say, the genre is not important. What is important is what the music can create and change in us.
Although Ester currently resides in New York City, she has toured and performed in South Africa, Cyprus, Israel, Italy, Central Europe etc. Her other achievements include Forbes’ “30 under 30″ award (30 most successful Slovaks under the age of 30) and “the Best Newcomer of the Year” award in the competition New Faces of Slovak Jazz. She was also awarded the highest scholarship available in the Berklee College of Music Voice Department. Being a part of the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute, she studied under the guidance of jazz masters such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, George Garzone etc. Ester is currently a graduate student at the New England Conservatory majoring in Jazz Composition.
The most important person for Ester’s musical growth has been her mom – a piano teacher. Thanks to her, Ester has been playing the piano and singing in a band since she was five. Ester was given a scholarship to study voice and theatre at the Private Secondary School of Performing Arts in Nitra. During high school Ester was already an active performer. She sang in the theatre in Nitra and composed scenic music for plays. As there is no formal jazz education in Slovakia, she did research by herself and received scholarships for numerous European jazz workshops. By googling “how to sing jazz” she found out about Berklee and later found dozens of sponsors to be able to fly to the US. These experiences made Ester passionate about music education. She led numerous music workshops in Slovakia, USA and South Africa. She also tutored music theory and ear training at Berklee College of Music.
The general Slovak public knows Ester mainly thanks to a TV competition, The Voice of Czechoslovakia. She was also recognized for her volunteer activities – organizing fundraising events on behalf of disabled children, concerts in prison and rest homes, and music workshops for children. Her long term plan is to start the first school of jazz and contemporary music in Slovakia.
* Source: Skjazz