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Silvia Droste – A true jazz singer indeed!

As a 14 year-old girl, completely self-taught, Silvia started her musical career both as a singer and saxophone player in a school jazzband, making her first recordings at the age of 17. In her teens she was introduced to traditional jazz, she learnt quickly and was soon performing with such greats as Acker Bilk, Papa Bue, Chris Barber and the Dutch Swing College Band.
She studied English and Romanic languages and their respective literatures (1978 -’84) , which has helped her considerably to comprehend and present lyrics.

It’s not only the fact that Silvia knows how to interpret a song, but she also swings!
Her imaginative improvisations, characterized by an instrumental approach, demonstrate her extensive knowledge of jazz. At the very beginning of her career, she learned the significance of ‘tradition’ - although her adventurous nature has always led her to explore new musical horizons.

Gifted with a rich and nimble voice of remarkable range and timbre, she also possesses a perfect sense of phrasing – plus a charismatic stage presence. This combined with the fact that she knows totally what she is doing, makes her, according to the press, “Germany’s First Lady of Jazz”… “A Real Live Treat”.
When this lady sings, one is treated to a jazz highlight that satisfies both mind and soul.

In the 1980s, Silvia founded her successful quartet Voicings and began to develop a taste for mainstream, bebop and big band jazz. As a soloist she worked with the majority of German radio big bands, the (Dutch) Skymasters and Metropole Orchestra, Charly Antolini, Ack and Jerry van Rooyen, Jiggs Whigham, Peter Herbolzheimer, Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer, Daniel Humair, Jean-François Jenny-Clarke, Dado Moroni, Alvin Queen and many others. She performed at German and international jazz festivals, such as Stockholm (S), Prague (CS), Warsaw, Krakow (P); Paris, Cannes, Marciac (F); and the North Sea Jazz Festival (NL).
At the same time, she made tours in the Benelux countries, Slovenia, East Africa, the Soviet Union, India, Australia, South America and Sri Lanka, either as a member of the “Youth Jazz Orchestra NRW”, as a guest soloist or with projects of her own. Meanwhile she recorded for televison and radio productions all over Europe. Silvia was granted various awards, among which the German Record Critics’ Award for her debut CD “Audiophile Voicings” in 1987. And in 1988 she was the first jazz artist ever to receive the ‘Prize To Encourage Young Artists’ of the State of Nordrhein Westfalen.




CD-Cover, Seize the Day (reissue)


HR Big Band feat.Silvia Droste / Jeff Cascaro: The American Songs of Kurt Weill, 2001


Cees Slinger and Silvia







Dear Silvia, sound wonderful…the arrangements are superb and the choice of material is exquisite…
This album is most enjoyable in this age of so-called jazz singers who “shoo-be-doo” and think it is jazz. Your attention to detail and phrasing are a joy.
With love and great respect for your talent I remain,
Your friend,
Phil Woods, 03/94 / CD-review "Seize the Day"



Having worked with Silvia for more than a decade now I can truly say that still, time and again she strikes me by her professionalism, which shows for instance in the way she meticulously prepares a program for a performance or how she treats a song, both musically and textually, and of course in the way she handles her business.
What strikes me most, however, is that she never loses her great spontaneity, her daring to take musical risks on the bandstand and as a result thereof, her ability to react immediately and adequately to sudden unexpected situations. That‘s what keeps her audience – and her musicians as well! – poised on the edge of their chairs throughout the end of every show we play.
And that’s what makes a great artist. That and her warm collegiality makes one want to work with her forever. Thank you, Silvia!
Cees Slinger, Pianist