Chilling, colorful, unconventional. This is how you would probably portray the northern lights. It is also a quite correct description of another atmospheric phenomenon of the upper latitudes – the voice and music of Estonian jazz singer Hedvig Hanson.
“There’s something very “mojito” about her jazz – cool like Nordic ice, refreshing like mint, with sweet and sensual Brazilian influences in her vocals… “ – Alex Kruzin (Billboard)
With music and theatre running deep in her family (both her parents are celebrated performers), Hedvig took her first piano lessons at the age of 7. By her early teens, she had cut her hair, curled it and colored her face with dark powder to look like Whitney Houston – one of her all-time heroes.
In 1993 Hedvig won the most prestigeous contest for young vocalists in Estonia. Four years of session work and various collaborations later (including the acclaimed Basic Concept), she recorded her first solo album “Let Me Love You” (2000).
“She is captivating and unaffected.” – Charles Lloyd on Hedvig
Around that time, Hedvig retreated from the capital Tallinn to find peace and quiet living with her grandmother in a small town of Tõrva. Her next solo effort, “Tule mu juurde” (“Come To Me”, 2001), got her two Estonian Music Awards – the Best Jazz Album and Best Female Artist of the Year. She repeated the success in 2003 with “What Colour Is Love?” – her first international release on EmArcy label. She also lent her vocals to a number of acclaimed house tracks (most notably “Good Love” by Dave Storm).
“I was very grateful to Ms. Hanson for two reasons — first for recording a song that has so much meaning for me and second for doing such a great job with the material — very sensitive and meaningful. “ – Terry Callier on “What Colour Is Love?”
“You Bring Me Joy” (2005) was her fifth solo album and second international release. It is a collaboration between Hedvig and her partner, guitarist Andre Maaker. It is partly sung in Estonian, a language you might not understand. In that case, please accept it as another new colour in Hedvig Hanson’s sonical palette.
“There’s some beautiful music on this new release by Estonian jazz singer Hedvig Hanson and guitarist Andre Maaker. Sultry vocals combine with warm acoustic guitar to create soothing sounds that are soulful and even therapeutic. The beautiful lyricism of Hanson’s voice is supported by impressive musicianship from her counterpart. Maaker provides smooth playing with hues of Latin, classical, and folk music.” – Mark F. Turner @ allaboutjazz.com
Since 2005 Hedvig is sharing her time between music and a home where two sons are growing up. She has released five albums in Estonia. “Ema Laulud” (2006), “Kohtumistund” (2008), “Armastuslaulud” (2009), “Tants kestab veel” (2011) and “Esmahetked” (2013)