Sophie Dunér is a singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and visual artist from Sweden who has lived and performed in the USA and Spain. Originally a jazz singer, her writing and performing have evolved into a unique style of wild, risky, passionate and exhilarating music for vocals and string quartet. She has rendered pristine arrangements, stylistically a fusion between jazz and classical idioms – yet something brand new and ”unbrandable”! The City of My Soul was recorded and produced in London by Grammy award winning classical producer Michael Haas (Coralfox), who testified to Sophie Dunér’s uniqueness. The CD was released by Big Round Records/PARMA recordings (USA) in 2013.
Sophie Dunér’s music may be described as a blend of the romantic and the spiritually elevated with a dissonant, bold and satirical edge. It plays with tense colours resolving into romantic harmony or vice versa. This applies to the music as well as the lyrics, which are mostly tragicomic. With her musical roots in jazz, Sophie has developed in a direction mainly created by herself or, as producer Michael Haas has it: ”It’s not fusion – it’s Dúneresque – a newly created genre!” However, you may find a rich blend of influences from jazz, contemporary classical and world music. The bold lyrics are an essential element of the music, creating colours and rhythms that relate to the narrative, spiced with satire that is reminiscent of the 30s, but set in a contemporary arrangement. Sophie Dunér draws heavily on a variety of composers such as Weill, Monk, Mingus and Stravinsky. She perceives her music visually, and her songs are strongly connected to her paintings.
Past projects: During August/September 2014, Sophie Dunér toured the US performing at venues such as The PARMA Music Festival in Portsmouth (together with electric cellist Jeremy Harman, from The Sirius Quartet), The Bop Shop in N.Y. (with bassist Dominic Duval, with whom she also recorded a new CD) as well as at The Lily Pad in Boston (featuring Bertram Lehman on drums & Fernando Huergo on bass.) At the invitation of Argentine composer Luis Mihovilcevic (from Sonoridades Alternativas), Sophie toured Buenos Aires, where she presented her latest works, including her visual art. Important venues included Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Plata and Radio Clásica. She recorded The Rain in Spain / Sophie Dunér Quartet – a CD of her own edgy, theatrically inspired jazz tunes together with the distinguished musicians Rory Stuart, Matt Penmann and Kahlil Kwame Bell in N.Y. Modern classical music concerts have included tours in Spain, Holland and Puerto Rico (with performances at venues such as University of Puerto Rico, Fundación Eugenio Granell and the Fenteneer Van Vissingen Zaal in Holland) under the direction of composers such as Manuel Ceide, Francis Schwartz, Eduardo Kusnir and Henk Alkema. Sophie Dunér also studied vocal interpretation at the Stockhausen Courses in Kuerten, Germany two years in a row after a suggestion by the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. This was made possible by a grant from The Swedish Arts Council, which has awarded Sophie Dunér grants on four occasions. Sophie is represented as a composer on the UK based site Women of Note, run by violinist & orchestra leader Diana Ambache.
In Europe she has collaborated with important personalities such as Guy Livingston, Juerg Wickihalder, Steve Hamilton, Paul Clarvis, Martin France, David Boato, José Agustín Gerenu, Victor Merlo, Polo Ortí, Laura Andel, Leif Jordansson, Peter Nylander etc. Prestigious venues have included The Stockholm New Music Festival, The Pizza Express Jazz Club, Charlie Wrights, The Gothenburg Symphony Hall, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Getxo Jazz Festival, Festival Jazz en La Costa, Lugo Jazz Festival, Café Central, Moods Jazz Club, Canal Plús, The Kalkscheune, The Stockholm Jazz Festival, Baltic Jazz Festival etc. to name but a few.
Her early beginnings during the 90s included touring and recording with The Sophie Dunér Orchestra in Boston, USA, which brought her to The Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan and the Stockholm Jazz Festival. While at Berklee, she was featured in various prestigious big bands such as Herb Pomeroy’s Big Band & Phil Wilson’s Rainbow Band. She collaborated with Guillermo Klein and The Big Van at Small’s in NYC alongside Sten Höstfält, Seamus Blake, Mark Turner and Aaron Goldberg. She recorded with Fernando Tarrés and The Arida Conta Group in CT together with Don McCaslin, Dan Rieser and Fernando Huergo and was a vocalist singer for The Composers of The New England Collectives, touring Boston and Spain. Other venues included the renowned CBGB’s in New York City.
Being a painter as well, she was featured as a visual artist next to 13 other European painters in a book made by an art gallerist in 2014. Her CD The City of My Soul is included in every copy of the book.