Jane O'Brien Jane O'Brien is an Irish singer songwriter based at the moment in Germany. A dynamic singer with a searingly rich voice, she presents her own brand of gutsy songs. She is backed by three top class musicians, Dörte Schüler on drums, Carsten Körtling on bass and Andreas Günther on keyboards, together they have developed their own original sound - a spicy mix of jazz and pop, with chilled out beats and Irish roots, tempered with passion and a wry look at where we are at today. Her songs are a snapshot album of her experiences and observations. Songs such as "Strawberry Soufflé", a steamy elegy to daytime sex or 'Peacetime' inspired by a newspaper photo, reveal the raw honesty which is typical of her lyrics. With such diverse influences as Planxty, The Police and Ella Fitzgerald her roots are firmly in jazz, folk and pop, but she will delve into other styles to suit a song, such as the drum+bass inspired "Blooming". On stage she is anything but shy and retiring. She combines her powerful and velvety voice with her original style of song writing to reach inside and touch an emotional nerve. With her feisty humour and raw emotion she has gathered a steadily growing fan base in Germany. Jane will do her first Irish tour in July of this year to bring her music back home at a sellection of intimate venues around. Biography Jane O'Brien was born in Dublin. In 1988 she moved to Spain. Her first professional band was in Barcelona, the a-capella group "Stupendams". Here, seven women, a mixture of Spanish, British and Irish, performed a wide range of music, from pop to madrigals to swing, at concerts all around Spain. In 1990 she moved to Hamburg, Germany. As a solo jazz singer in the legendary Dennis Swing Club in Hamburg she began to make contacts in the music scene while singing with most of the well known jazz musicians in the city. On one evening she was accompanied by three double bass players at the same time including Percy Heath from the visiting Modern Jazz Quartet In 1993 she formed the pop duo "A Distant Touch" with the Hungarian guitarist Ferenc Kiss. Together they wrote a set of funk pop songs one of which was "Whales kiss", which was written for the Greenpeace anti-whaling campaign. In 1995 with four German/"Irish" traditional musicians she founded the band "Boreen". Until the end of 2001 they wowed audiences big and small all over Germany with a traditional blend of fast tunes, slow airs and songs about lovers who returned too late and husbands who returned too early. In 1997 they produced the CD "Enchanted Ways". In 1995 Jane formed the trip-hop project "S.T.A.R." with Uwe Haas. Along with singing, O'Brien wrote the lyrics and melodies and in 1996 the CD "Simply Travelling Around Reality" was released under the PIAS label with distribution by Rough Trade. Since 1998 she has had her own band in various formations and has played at a wide variety of venues all around Germany; clubs, art's centres and festivals, and has never failed to grab attention, stop people from sitting still and leave audiences wanting much more. In 2002 Jane's son was born. After a three year break she is back with an exciting new sound and ready to bring it all back home. In 2006 she will tour Germany and Ireland and will release her new CD. Concert reviews translated from German Picturesque undertones Enchanting: Jane O'Brien and Band in Lutterbeker It is the contradictions which make life what it is. Many of us would like to block out the fact that tragedy and humour, beauty and pain, joy and fear lie side by side but Jane O'Brien is fascinated by exactly these contrasts. On stage the singer and songwriter from Dublin does not present kitsch folk, instead, in the company of her band, she spins a magical web of plaintive pop and lyrical jazz combined with free improvisation. With a key change here and a shift in rhythm there, Jane, with her crystal clear voice, creates a taut atmosphere in which to tell her stories. The small woman with the cute side curls can certainly hammer out a note. She brings melancholy, dreamy romanticism to life with her strong voice and pulsating rhythms. When she is not playing the guitar she plays a circus snare or the Irish bodhrán with it's characteristic deep soft tone.... ...Jane O'Brien "twists and turns" in bed wracked with worries about love as the "full moon's rising" and stares at the ceiling "...maybe I should paint this room Magnolia". The audience in the packed Lutterbeker is enchanted. They are moved when she calls to her ageing, senile father "Daddy don't cry, Daddy don't die" and are amused by the chat up tactics of Mr. Armani, a slick New Yorker to whom she hisses "You're only a suit". She can be as sharp as Anne Clarke when she sings of fear on the streets at night to a march rhythm and follows it with a hymn to the Dublin mountains. Among others the band reminds one of their French colleagues Dit Terzi as the bizarre is mixed with picturesque undertones.... ...Despite the seriousness of some of her songs Jane consoles you with her clear voice and the twinkle in her eye. Simply enchanting ! Kieler Nachrichten (Kiel News) ...Members of the audience who only knew the Dubliner as a folk singer got to know a new Jane O'Brien. In the CD booklet the music is described as "pop jazz" but "soul folk" would have been equally as fitting. She remains unmistakable, this unusual mixture of hints of Sinead O'Connor and Björk, often containing fast drum rhythms coupled with emotionally charged yet relaxed melodies. Despite cracking hoarseness due to a cold (presenting an unintentional though fascinating new facet) her voice remained on course through carefully timed leaps through the universe of sound... ...Because Jane O'Brien, who has the lustre of Tanita Tikaram and the accusation of the Cranberries, sticks very closely to themes in her songs. She has a big heart for the giant lovers in "Whales Kiss" who's song is represented by the saxophone, anger against the polluters in "Little Bird" and equally contempt for the faint-hearted. The ocean is vast and it takes a great deal of strength to shine light into the darkness. Jane O'Brien, this brave tin soldier of love, has this strength, marching to her bodhrán and her circus snare drum. Hamburger Morgenpost (Hamburg Morning Post) CD reviews for Jane O'Brien with S.T.A.R. ...a clever Melange, cooly thought out and shot through with realistic meloncholy which Jane O'Brien's elastic alto voice fills with human warmth... Neue Zürcher Zeitung (New Zurich Newspaper) ... Hip hop, soul and folk come together in S.T.A.R. to make a cool sound to which Jane O'Brien's full rounded voice adds it's own special warmth... Der Spiegel ...her warm, expressive and sometimes fragile voice creates a meloncholy and inspired sound that must be heard... Zentral Nerv, Zeitung für Musiker in Bayern (Central nerve, magazine for musicians in Bavaria) ...what fascinated me most was Jane O'Brien's voice . Again and again she manages to give the songs an unfathomable depth. They can certainly hold thir own against bands such as Portishead or Moloko... Trend Journal Discography Singer/songwriter jazzpop JANE O'BRIEN (2006) Jane O'Brien: Vocals, Bodhrán Martin Stieber: Drums Andreas Günther: Fender Rhodes Carsten Körtling: Bass Singer/songwriter acoustic jazzpop STRAWBERRY SOUFFLÉ Jane O'Brien and Band (2000) Jane O'Brien: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bodhrán, Circus Snare Ralf Kamphuis: Vibraphone Anne Wiemann: Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo Lucia Wojdak: Cello Trip Hop SIMPLY TRAVELLING AROUND REALITY S.T.A.R. (Out to Lunch/PIAS, Germany/Rough Trade 1996) Jane O'Brien: Vocals Uwe Haas: Vocals, Programming, Keyboards, Guitar, Trumpet Irish Folk ENCHANTED WAYS Boreen (1997) Jane O'Brien: Vocals, Bodhrán, Triangle Reinhard Zuch: Vocals, Guitar, Cittern Ulrich Klüber: Uilleann Pipes, Tin-Whistle, Vocals Gregor Griegoleit: Accordion, Flute, Tin-Whistle, Mouth Organ, Vocals Heike Prange: Fiddle, Viola, Bones, Vocals Thomas Breckheimer: Harp.