Nikoletta Szőke Quartet (HU)
I’m Nikoletta Szőke from Budapest, I was born in 1983. Although I’dbeen born into a gipsy musical dynasty (my father, Sándor Szőke is a dulcimer player), I didn't start learning music until the age of 18. I was accepted at a conservatory and became a student of the noted jazz singer, Gábor Winand in 2002. I started to perform right after my first singing lesson. After three and a half years of studying and performing I entered for the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition held at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in 2005. The competition was open to jazz singers under the age of 30 from all around the world. I had been invited and was the winner of the first prize and the public prize, too. Chairing the jury was Barbara Hendricks and Randy Crawford. I started to take classical singing lessons as well in 2005 as a student of Júlia Bikfalvy, who had coached the soprano diva Andrea Rost to international stardom. In January 2006 I took part at the conference of the International Associaton for Jazz Education (IAJE Conference) in New York, and I performed both at the New York Hilton and Dizzy's Club at the Lincoln Center. In 2006 I won the Lakatos Ablakos Dezso Hungarian state jazz scholarship which is given to three young Hungari-an musicians every year. My debut album, “Golden Earrings” was relased by the Hungarian label “Gramy Recors” in October 2008. In January 2009 I became the artist of the Japanese label, Atelier Sawano, the latter launching in Japan “A song for You”. This album became a best-selling album at Tower Records Japan and HMV Japan and the label offered me a five-album deal. Me and the band launched the next album “My Song” at the Cotton Club, Tokyo, we gave six sold-out concerts. In 2010 I was featured as a special guest at the Budapest concert of the extraordinary vocalist, Bobby McFerrin. In 2012 I came in Junior Prima Award, which is the greatest award in Hungary given for young artists under the age of 30, it is given to only one jazz artist each year. My latest album, “Inner Blaze” was released in 2012.