Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Fuchs, Kristina, vocalist, composer, teacher; b. Biel-Bienne, Switzerland, 13 March 1970. Kristina was born into a musical family. Father Hugo (born June 21st 1944) plays the trumpet, mother Verena (born April 26th 1944) was a music teacher for a long time, and brother Andreas (born October 11th 1971) blew the trombone as a kid. Kristina started taking recorder lessons from her mother at the age of three, and she sang in a choir by the age of six. At eight she started taking violin lessons with the music school and conservatory teachers Mr. Rmer and Max Fl'ckiger. She taught herself to play piano and guitar, and, as a teenager, to read chord symbols on either. She also followed contrabass lessons and lessons in percussion, amongst others by with the African Master-drummer Adama Drame. She performed in percussion groups as well as in string orchestras and choirs (for example in the San Marco cathedral in Venice), wrote songs and even a musical which was performed in 1985.
After graduating from the Biel Gymnasium she concentrated on violin-playing, performed in orchestras and ensembles and toured for two seasons with the "The'tre de la Grenouille" as a violinist. She also followed jazz violin lessons with Martin Abbuehl. In 1990 she entered the Swiss Jazz School in Berne where she followed voice classes with Rachel Gould. She formed her own ensemble and started to perform in private and public venues, amongst others the Pod'Ring Festival in Biel.
In 1992 she moved to The Hague, Netherlands to study at the Royal Conservatory. She studied voice with Rachel Gould from 1992 to 1996, and with Jeanne Lee from 1996 to 1998. During her student time she also went abroad to follow Masterclasses, such as the 1993 Jordanstown masterclass in Ireland with Norma Winstone and the 1994 Liechtenstein masterclass with Lauren Newton. On the Royal Conservatory she followed workshops by Barry Harris, Dave Liebman, Mark Murphy and many more famous performers. During this time she performed and recorded with various ensembles, formed her own duos, trios and other bands, and created a all female experimentalvocal group "Vocal Move" with which she performed for example at the Amsterdam CrossOver festival. She also started forming what was later to become the "Kristina Fuchs Sonic Unit". She started to get involved with contemporary classical music. All this delivered tons of unpublished studio and live recording material between 1992 and 1998. Aside from the performances in the Netherlands she also performed a few times in Switzerland with jazz groups, and she was invited to Ireland to perform with bassist and composer Ronan Guilfoyle in 1995. In 1997 she sung with "Vocal Move" for Susanne Abbuehl's debut CD "I Am Rose".
She graduated from the Royal Conservatory in 1998 with a Cum Laude degree in Performing Arts and a distinction for artistic presentation. In 1998 she was invited to Ireland again, to perform with her own material in a quartet tour that included the Dublin National Concert Hall.
In 1998 she was also invited to do a three months residence as a guest teacher in the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium. She became the main teacher for jazz voice and vocal ensemble as well as teacher for jazz-combo at this school in 1999. In 2001 followed an assignment to teach jazz voice at the Lemmens institute in Leuven, Belgium and to become a teacher at the annual Jazz Summer School in Dworp. In 1999 she performed at the Festival de Jazz in Sete, France, as a part of the Jeanne Lee Music and Dance Ensemble which included amongst others Kirk Lightsey, Mickey Davidson and Nirankar Khalsa.
The release of her first album led to her first widely published interviews (Trouw,15.07.2000), portraits (CARP, 14.11.2000) and radio shows (A4, Radio4, January 2001) as a bandleader. With the "Kristina Fuchs Sonic Unit" she performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2000 as well as in the Amsterdam "Concertgebouw" (November 2001) and many more Dutch Jazz venues and concert halls. With this group she also toured Switzerland. In September 2000 she was again invited to Ireland to perform as a soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra in the final concert of the ESB Jazz Festival in the National Concert Hall of Dublin. The orchestra was conducted by Jim McNeely and one of the other soloists were Joe Lovano and Florian Ross. This concert was announced with press-interviews as well as a radio show and a TV-broadcast from Kristina Fuchs. Between 1998 and 2002 she performed occasionally with a cappella groups such as "Jazzed To The Max" and "No Place For Jennifer" and she did many performances of contemporary classical music, for example of music by Luciano Berio, Joseph Schwantner and Patrick Clark.
Iin autumn 2002, she did 5 or more concerts with the "Kristina Fuchs Sonic Unit", two of them in classical concert halls in Utrecht and Rotterdam. She did three concerts in London, Greenwich Hall, performing music of Donnacha Dennehy and some miscellaneous concerts with for example "No Place For Jennifer".
Portrait of a Woman (1999); Album with the Kristina Fuchs Sonic Unit (2003)