SOUTH AFRICAN SOUL-JAZZ
"Vaindirlis displays a remarkably versatile range, whether throaty and commanding, velvety and effervescent, or sweet and soothing. You'll find it near impossible to sit still throughout."
The Big Take Over
Born in London and barely 40 days later, Christine Vaindirlis was off to Johannesburg, South Africa to start taking hold of her destiny and journey as a world global trotter.
Growing up under the hardest South African era of Apartheid, intolerant of the political injustice, Christine started looking for a way to express her thoughts.
At the age of fourteen, life took her to Cyprus to an international school, with new friends from different countries and a cultural difference that so desperately made her long for home, she searched for the first opportunity to express herself through her passion for music, the music she had taken with her to keep alive the memories, with the hope of one day taking her to new horizons.
At seventeen, with English as her mother tongue, a bit of Afrikaans as a second language and Greek spoken in the home with her mother, without a word of Italian and a mere teenager, she ventured to Milan, Italy with a little dictionary, and to find a place to live. The plan was to study the language, but she soon found a way through a full scholarship to train as an opera singer. She wanted more, to have her own voice that would tell her story. In the mean time life’s responsibilities pushed her into the corporate world that was slowly ebbing away her dream and soul until one day, an “annoying” quiet-spoken colleague instigated, “You say you’re a musician, are you going to spend the rest of your life behind a desk?”. He had undeniably hit the nail on the head, the flame was ignited again and off she was looking for new ways to keep it alive. She secretly had her own “American Dream”.
Soon thereafter her employer was forced to relocate to another country while at the same time, her apartment became unavailable for rent, so what came next seemed logical, the Berklee World Scholarship Tour Auditions. Before she knew it, “with a little help from her friends”; a nice incentive and severance package, she was off to Boston to start a new life again from scratch.
Four years later, a college ambassador with new composition, arranging, production and performance skills under her belt, and an award for outstanding musicianship she, together with two other friends, rented a van and made their move to NYC, the cultural melting pot and music Mecca of the world where she fit right in.
She longed to produce an album that would capture the essence and energy of her dearly missed South Africa, enriched by the reflection of where life had taken her and the Berklee experience that had pushed her envelope further. She ventured into putting her dream team together for her debut album. “Dance Mama!”, a ten track original collection of arrangements infused with syncopated rhythms of traditional jazz and South African influenced horn and powerful vocal arrangements, with shout outs to the South African jazz greats, as well as to an eclectic mix of R&B and funk icons all filtered through Vaindirlis’s unique worldly perspective, features Telarc recording jazz pianist Hiromi, along with the legendary Paul Simon “Graceland” accordion player Tony Cedras and Grammy-award winning bassist Bakithi Kumalo, and Cape-Jazz Pennywhistle and saxophone guru, Morris Goldberg to name a few. “Tell Me” hit the finals of USA Songwriting Competition, “This is My Place” and “Indaba” the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Competition and the International Songwriting Competitions respectively while “This is My Place”, “Dance Mama” and Down by the River” received honorable mentions in the Billboard World Songwriting Contest. The album received airplay in the US, Europe and South Africa, and on in-flight World Music play-lists on Continental, Copa, Sri Lankan, Caribbean and United Airlines. She has been featured on CNN International, NBC’s New York Non-Stop, ESPN and Time Out New York and has since had the privilege of performing at many prestigious music venues across the world, including the Blue Note in New York City, Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan, and the Epidauvros theatre in Greece. She was also one of the official judges of "In the mix" talent show competition on LifezoneTV.
Christine’s voice of deep personal experience and transcontinental life culminates in her songs that emanate a source of profound happiness and gratitude, the sunny disposition that echoes throughout her work, a reflection of where she has been and the foundation of where she’s going. She IS the world music! “When I look back I think…it’s been quite a trip and you can only really understand it through my music. This is more than I could have ever imagined. Who knows where life will take me next? God is good!” Vaindirlis smiles.
"Vaindirlis boasts her share of talent as a vocalist and music arranger. Pumped with horns, polyrhythms and powerhouse vocals effortlessly sailing through a variety of musical genres, pan-African, sultry-smoky jazz, funk and South African vocal harmonies. I envy her energy and enthusiasm. She possesses a good ear for horn arrangements and music production. No doubt we will be hearing more from this diva in years to come."
Patricia Herlevi, World Music Central
"An intoxicating artist whose rich vocals and energy bring the sounds of eternal optimism and energy that will have you confused as to which generation she belong. Her stage presents speaks volume and her love for sharing the culture connected to “Mama Africa” through her own artistry is amazing. A breath of fresh air!"
- Prudence Chauke, Jamati Online
"A feisty maestro commanding cool jazz and smokin’ R&B rooted within pan-African grooves, Christine’s honey-covered harmonies and big band stampede feeds your feet sweet, frenetic medicine; a world-class, booty-shaking bouquet dipped in sass and imagination." - John Noyd, Maximum Ink
"Christine Vaindirlis has the vocal attitude to pull off the higher diva yells and money notes of Chaka Khan together with the controlled and lush runs of her steamy lower register. Vaindirlis other talent lies in catchy songwriting leading the audience to contribute to the choruses after one brief round, memorable and polished, fitting in with the other benchmarks of groove and rhythmic lineup.”
- Marimikel Charrier, The Groove
"Globe-trotting diva Christine Vaindirlis mixes funk à la Chaka Khan with her Johannesburg roots and crystal-clear pipes."
- Time Out New York
"Ms. Vaindirlis's bluesy, funked-lined voice possesses a sassy tone and control like that of a jazz guitar, cooing and climbing into it's upper register so effortlessly."
- Michael Morgan
KOFO The Wonderman & The Daylight Stars "MESSAGE 102" (2015)
TONY CEDRAS "Love Letter to Cape Town" (2013)
DEEPA GROOVES featuring
Christine Vaindirlis (2011)
"7 Lives" (2009)
Ubuntu World Music