Kateryna Kravchenko is an artist who shapes her musical journey with passion, talent, and a spirit of experimentation, enriching the jazz scene with her captivating music.
Born and raised in the small Ukrainian town of Balta, she started playing the piano at the age of four and discovered her love for jazz singing at eleven. At fourteen, she left her parents' home to pursue intensive musical education in Odesa.
“I remember how excited I was when I heard the first jazz recording my singing teacher, Volodymyr Kaminskyy, showed me. It was like opening the door to a whole new mysterious world that I wanted to enter. I became curious and decided that one day I really want to be a musician.”
In 2018, Kateryna moved to Dresden to begin her music studies at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music. There, she founded her first quartet and won significant competitions, leading to the release of her debut EP “Stories."
“I've dreamed of starting a band for a long time. I wanted to discover myself, experiment, write music and work with musicians from different countries. This project has made a very significant contribution to my musical development. The EP “Stories” is the result of this process.”
From 2020 to 2022, Kateryna was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO), collaborating with outstanding musicians.
“Working in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany has changed my view of my own artistic work. It gave me the opportunity to get to know fellow musicians and their different perspectives on music, which broadened my musical horizons.”
With her new band "Short Collection of Tales," she harmonizes her accumulated experiences, presenting the audience with exciting stories conveyed through improvisational skill and musical colors.
"Short Collection of Tales - is my "heart project". The people who play in this band complement my music with their new ideas. It's fun to work together. I feel like I'm getting to know each other anew while making music.”
In 2022, she received a scholarship from the Grizzly Jazz Foundation and embarked on an exchange year at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
In May 2023, Kateryna presented a suite for a large ensemble dedicated to the brilliant Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko and her paintings.
"Writing this suite was challenging for me. I wanted to create a project where jazz and classical musicians could improvise and collaborate to create something unique. In addition to that, I chose to work with paintings by the great Maria Prymachenko, whose museum was destroyed during the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. This project holds immense significance for me. With this, I aim to make my contribution to the culture of my homeland, which is currently suffering under the war unleashed by Russia."
Shortly after the suite's premiere, she was invited to the USA to participate in the prestigious "Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead" residency program in Washington DC.
Inspired by this journey, Kateryna teamed up with Luxembourgish vibraphonist Arthur Clees to launch a duo project.
"Our duo with Arthur is a space for experiments for me. We're writing music together and exloring the colors of our unusual combination of instruments - vibraphone and vocals. Thinking about this project always puts a smile on my face .”
Since mid-2023, she has been a member of the top-rate international ensemble "Gutenberg Jazz Collective."
Kateryna Kravchenko in conversation with Saskia Rienth,