In February I conducted this carefree – pre-COVID-19 – interview with Kinga Heming, an amazing Polish Canadian jazz singer, who was born in Poland, moved to Ottawa when she was five and now resides in the small town of Kelowna in the Canadian province of British Columbia. I had just seen (and loved) her performance at the Kabaret pod Banką’s annual Kabareton (Cabaret Night) but most of all – she had been nominated for coveted Grammy Award.
By age thirteen, Kinga had studied classical piano and voice theory, and began immersing herself classical and contemporary music, both jazz and pop. She soon began performing at recitals and competitions, and helped assemble and lead a jazz quartet (called West Berlin) that played in and around Ottawa until all its members graduated from high school.
Kinga moved on to Humber College, studying voice and theory under Trish Colter, Lisa Martinelli, and Lisa Sullivan; she also served as instructor for voice, piano, theory, ear training and improvisation to child and adult students. “
Kinga has subsequently spread her vocal talents – as smooth, heady and sophisticated as a well-matured brandy – throughout Canada: She has sung the American and Canadian national anthems for the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs (in partial French, for a sold-out contest against the Montreal Canadians), the Toronto Raptors, and internationally-broadcast Hockey Night in Canada. Kinga has performed with pianist Renee Rosnes, flugelhornist Guido Basso, and Don Thompson’s jazz ensemble, and appeared at the National Jazz Awards, the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s Walk of Fame, and on CTV and CBC Radio.
She recorded three albums and got nominated for the 2020 Grammy Awards.