„Uta is an inspiring artist with an unmistakably intuitive gift. Her poetic writing and her turns of phrase are so deft and graceful that one senses the presence of a very old soul. There is searching honesty and indefatigable need to express it.“ This says composer and pianist Kirk Nurock about Uta Habbig who is not only a unique vocalist and composer, but also an extraordinary lyricist.
Exploring the wide musical landscape of jazz, she transforms any song into her very own musical work of art. With her endearing and colorful sound the multi-talented singer has intrigued audiences all over Europe which ultimately brought her to the melting pot of Jazz - New York City. Combining elements of jazz, classical and folk music Uta has surrounded herself with outstanding musicians from her generation to play all over the city that never sleeps.
Born and raised in Cologne, Germany, Uta started playing piano and violin at the age of five. Brought up listening to and performing mainly the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven Uta at first earned her master degree in music education at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig, Germany. During her studies she spent 6 months in Sevilla, Spain at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica with an Erasmus scholarship , before she finally persued her wish to study jazz at the Conservatorium Maastricht, Netherlands with german jazz singer Sabine Kühlich. She was awarded a scholarship for one year by the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York where she completed her education and met the musicians with whom she recorded her first full lenghth album Windward. She studied with world famous musicians such as Kirk Nurock, Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Becca Stevens, Richard Harper and many more.
Uta received the first price of the Vocal Jazz Award Maastricht (2013), has performed at Carnegie Hall with an international choir project and has already been taking part in many different masterclasses with Sheila Jordan, Peter Eldridge, Judy Niemack, Arie Hoenig, Peter Bernstein, Gary Versace, Seamus Blake as well as different Jazz Festivals such as Langnau Jazz Festival.
„Music is really the only thing that has always and will always make sense to me, despite all the craziness life has to offer“, Uta says when one asks her about her passion for music.
The core of her musical work is Uta Habbig Band which she formed in NYC in 2014. Her debut record Windward , a collection of ten original songs and arrangements, was released in spring 2016. In addition to her band she collaborates with various other musicans from all over the world.
Together they have performed in legendary New York Jazz clubs e.g. Rockwood Music Hall, Den Dinner Series, Somethin Jazz Club as well as legendary Carnegie Hall where Uta was part of a choir ensemble.
Her Cologne trio includes award-winning bass player Florian Herzog and multi talented pianist, arranger and composer Sven Heinze. Her latest project is a duo with New York based, Israeli born pianist Guy Mintus. The first musical encounter between the two musicians took place in New York and their musical journey together continued in Europe where the premiere of their project also took place. Their original music is a musical dialogue that combines lovely themes from old german folk songs and jewish melodies within the style of contemporary jazz.
When in Cologne, Uta teaches jazz voice and a cappella group singing at Offene Jazz Haus Schule Köln, in addition she teaches workshops for the AMJ Germany. She works as an educator for vocalists and choirs as well as leading cultural and educational projects.
Uta is currently living in New York City and her upcoming record will be released in fall 2017.