KINGA is a Canadian jazz vocalist influenced by the likes of Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Jazz and pop chanteuse Kinga was born in Poland, then moved with her family to Amsterdam before settling in Ottawa, Ontario. While being baptized at four months of age, she screamed out, and the attending priest predicted that Kinga would become a singer. Her parents gifted Kinga with appreciation for music, including and especially jazz, at an early age: Her father played in a jazz cabaret while her mother constantly played vocal pop and jazz records by The Platters, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and the like.
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. She also discovered and began learning the repertoires of many great jazz vocalists, including Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, Natalie Cole, and especially Ella Fitzgerald.
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. “The most important experiences during my time at Humber College were working alongside very talented and reputable musicians, learning different aspects of the jazz world, and lastly, winning the Duke Ellington Honoree award in my final year there,” Kinga recalls.
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.
Recently recorded, third released jazz album, and making it's first round of GRAMMY nominations, "Forever in my Heart" produced by Gabriel Mark Hasselbach is a record that Heming describes as a "book written about her personal life". The tracks on this record were either introduced to me at an early age by my parents, or songs that reflect on my life now. I chose the ones that I felt really connected to because, to be honest, when I sing a song, it’s not just singing a song. It’s not just reciting the lyrics to make it sound pretty. It’s me telling a story. And every single song on the record is me telling a story,”
“Forever in My Heart” is an acoustic jazz vocal album. Heming’s elegant and graceful voice is embellished by Miles Black’s dramatic
piano melodies and supple bass-lines, Joel Fountain’s genteel drumming and Hasselbach’s astute trumpet expositions. On “Nature Boy,” Heming’s exquisite voice rides the rhythmic groove etched by guitarist Loni Moger and upright bassist Bernie Addington with evocative
shadowing emoted from Hasselbach’s muted trumpet.
“At the end of the day, I know for myself, and from my own perspective, that I recorded this (album) from the bottom of my heart. That’s why I came up with ‘Forever in My Heart’; because every single part of that story is held forever in my heart.”