PHOTO BY Renee Jahnke
PHOTO BY MATT GRANZ
Anna Kristina is a soulful, fiery, and rocking vocal powerhouse with a sensitivity that can bring you to tears. Her love of music and singing are revealed in her compelling and electric live performances. Her effect on you is magnetic: you feel it the minute she steps on stage. One producer has remarked that "Anna is a rare talent who combines passion and versatility. Whether it's acoustic, jazz, pop soul, or rock, she brings an authenticity and pitch perfect energy to her performance." You can hear it in her new original album "Soul Truth".
Anna Kristina has been immersed in music all her life. On Easter Sunday, her first day on the planet, her parents brought her home where was held by her father while they listened to the first movement of Beethoven's 6th Symphony, "Pastorale." The music never stopped in her home. Her soulful artist mother and deep bass-and guitar-playing father had music playing constantly in the home. Among others, she was influenced in those early years by the sounds of Bach, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Cream, Simon & Garfunkel, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Chet Baker, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Steely Dan and her favorite Stevie Wonder.They were all her first teachers, as she sang along and harmonized with all of them constantly.
From her first day to the present she has been a continual student of music. And has done much of her training and learning in the "listening" and the "doing." At age 5, her parents introduced her to that addictive little stick known as "the microphone" and let her sit in with her father's jazz band during a jam session. They jammed on "Hush Little Baby"…five times at her Insistence …and she was hooked.
Anna wrote her first song at age 5, started piano at age 6, and continued writing songs on piano. She performed at her first festival at age 11, started playing saxophone at age 12, and won her first musical award at age 14. She has a natural talent for percussion instruments, and is currently rocking the harmonica. It's hard to nail her down to one style and she's always felt like a bit of a musical traveler.
Anna went to college and a graduate program at UC Santa Cruz where she leaned into singing and theater. She performed the classics: from Chekhov to Shakespeare to Sam Shepard.These experiences helped develop her stage presence. She was also accepted into the highly selective class "The American Musical" taught by the amazing witty songwriter Tom Lehrer. The class deconstructed and performed classic American musicals bi weekly. In her freshman year she was asked to be the singer in "Jazz on the Line," a group of young improvisational jazz musicians. The band, later renamed "2am," gained immediate success doing tours and sold out venues such as Yoshi's and Kuumbwa Jazz Center, during and beyond her college years. Most of their material was original music, giving her the opportunity to deepen her writing skills on the groups' five albums.
After college she moved to San Francisco gravitating more toward being a solo artist and band leader. She forged a new path doing all kinds of gigs with her own bands, trios and combos playing all styles of covers and originals. Her band "Midnight Snack" gained a strong following in the Bay Area. Keeping in the feel of the stripped-down percussive sound, Anna's current intimate "Boutique Duet" called DNA Sings, was featured at the Silicon Valley Ted Talks, has played at San Francisco clubs and festivals, and recorded the CD "Driving it Home." Anna strives to stay authentic and to make any song she sings her own.
And as much as she loves singing and restyling the classics, Anna says "There is nothing like performing your own songs." Her band "The Anna Kristina Session" features her original music, and was showcased in several San Francisco clubs and festivals including The Fillmore Jazz Festival, inspiring the comment "Her charm and charisma were only outdone by her at times lyrical, at times gutsy, at times brassy renditions of original and classic jazz and rock tunes."
And she has shared the stage with legendary rock and entertainment stars such as Mickey Thomas and others. Anna has lit up notable stages worldwide.
Anna has just released "Soul Truth", her 7th studio album, all original material, drawing from her blues, soul, jazz, and rock inspirations.