Aga Zaryan born January 17, 1976 - is an internationally recognized jazz vocalist of the new generation.
She is known for her distinctive style, class and intimate approach to singing, with a characteristic lightness of phrasing and warm, slightly matte-toned voice.
Aga was born in Warsaw, Poland. Her father being a classical pianist, and her mother an English language educator and author, she travelled widely throughout Europe with her parents early on, spending part of her childhood and attending primary school in Manchester, UK.
In addition to classical works, both of Aga's parents shared a passion for the music of Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, The Beatles, and various other popular artists. This provided Aga with exposure to wide range of contemporary music, starting at an early age.
After returning to Poland from the UK she became involved in playing tennis competitively, and went on to win the Warsaw Tennis Championship at the age of 14.
While still in her teens, she also developed a passion for music and theatre. After hearing the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, Aga decided to become a jazz vocalist.
She studied voice at the Fryderyk Chopin Public Secondary School of Music, and attended the Post-Secondary Jazz Studies Program there, graduating with honors.
Aga was awarded scholarships to attend international Jazz workshops on two occasions: the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West, both in the United States, where she was able to further develop her vocal skills.
In 2002, Aga's debut album "My Lullaby" - recorded with a group that included Tomasz Szukalski, Darek Oles, Michal Tokaj and Lukasz Zyta - was released.
This collection of jazz standards, sung with the backing of a jazz quartet in original and personal interpretations, brought her critical acclaim as one of Poland's premier vocal talents.
Album was nominated for Jazz Record of the Year.
In 2006, Aga performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in Warsaw, opening for Branford Marsalis, an occasion which enabled her to introduce herself to a wider audience as a great performer and sophisticated jazz vocalist.
Since that time, Aga has appeared in clubs and at festivals in Poland, England, the USA, Germany, Israel, the Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, Russia and Iceland.
In 2006 the premiere of "Picking Up the Pieces" took place - an album recorded in Los Angeles with a first-rate international line-up of musicians: Larry Koonse (guitar), Munyungo Jackson (percussion), Nolan Shaheed (cornet) and Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz (double-bass).
"Picking Up the Pieces" is comprised of a set of eleven songs that tell the stories of women, illustrating their life, emotional and spiritual situations.
Thanks to it's exceptionally intimate feel, the album was very well-recieved critically and enjoyed great commercial success, becoming a Bestseller which achieved double platinum status.
With the release of "Picking Up The Pieces", Aga Zaryan established herself not only as one of Poland's premiere jazz vocalists, but as an artist of international standing.
In early 2007, Aga travelled to the United States for a series of concerts with her American line-up, appearing in prestigious jazz venues such as Joe's Pub in New York City and Blues Alley in Washington D.C. The concerts were enthusiastically received by the public, with critics across the ocean taking notice of Aga's talent as well.
"Beauty is Dying", recorded in the summer of 2007, is Aga Zaryan's first album on which she sings in Polish. On it she is backed by a jazz piano trio, enhanced by a 17-piece string section with harp and oboe. The album contains nine works by Polish poets, depicting scenes of Warsaw at the time of the '44 Uprising, selected and sung by Aga to original music composed and arranged by pianist Michal Tokaj. It has been described as lyrical and pulsing with emotion, the delicate string section and laid-back jazz trio melding perfectly with Zaryan's singing.