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Marijke Jährling


Her voice gets under your skin: caressing in the depth at the same time rough and seductive, then shiny in the heights, delicate, girlish and with radiant clarity. In nearly four  octaves the dutch-german vocalist and lyricist Marijke Jährling paints pictures, builds sculptures of transparent beauty, tells touching stories of life. Her singing reflects her artistic career, her life, her various experiences.

Too shy to go on stage, she first studied Fine Arts and then decided to go to drama school but soon joined roles as a singing actor.

She was taught by the Countertenor Oliver May,  learned  Jazz singing with Diethra Bishop (Hilversum, NL) and Fay Victor (NY,USA). The New York based vocalist about her skills:

”You’re a great jazz singer, great affinity, very musical “.


She worked among others with bassists   Jürgen Wuchner and Norbert Dömling  (Darmstadt, Germany), Jon Sass (Vienna/New York) and Oliver Steidle  (Berlin, Germany), also with  New York based   pianist Marco di Gennaro. His judgment:








"musically-vocally a mature performance..."

Radio HR2 , Martin Grunenberg    




It was a pleasure for me".


In 2011  she appeared as a vocalist on the CD “LunchLoveLive”(Sound&More),

produced by composer/ guitarist André Cézanne. She wrote  most of the lyrics   and  convinced  with a

wide stylistic range: from Blues to  delicate Bossa, French chanson to classical interpretations of Fernando


 She embodied Billie Holiday in the play "Billies Blues" that she had written and  which  was highly

acclaimed and was running successfully in the program of  the West Side Theatre (Darmstadt/Germany)  

since 2012 until  2016 and is now ready for touring!

The CD “Portrait of a Lady” was released in April 2013 (Sound&More)  as an homage to Billie Holiday

and in 2015 she toured successfully as a leader of her own band.

In 2016  she wrote the play “Mensch, Kurt!”, about the German journalist and author Kurt Tucholsky

(* 9. Jan. 1890; † 21. Dec 1935). She wrote  the music to  some of his poetry  and again her singing and

acting were  acclaimed by press and public.“Stummvogelschreie” was  a more avant-garde program:  

on her own poetry she improvised with the  saxophonist Eric Plandé, using all sound possibilities, also

of the  physical bodies of their instruments.

“an astonishing evening, crossing all borders”    (Johannes Breckner, Darmstädter Echo).

Her approach to Monk started when she was in the mid twenties. She heard some of the tunes Monk

was playing with Coltrane and this was  initial to her to learn by herself to play the tenor saxophone . 

She bothered her neighbours by improvising on sax to “Epistrophy” and other Monk tunes. They stuck

on her mind and a soft Bop-Feeling later emerged in all her singing. In her twenties it was in first term

the energy f the music, the violence that moved her. Becoming mature and experienced as an artist Monks

music revealed more aspects to here: his sense of humor, tenderness, fear, poetry, vulnerability… .

Her idea for the Monk album came from inside the musical stories, so it was only natural to her to write

some lyrics for it, too. As she is very sensitive for the pictures music brings to her mind, her personal

approach  to the material is about the mean question: What is the story, that is told, what is needed to

create the atmosphere of these stories?  “Crepuscule with Nellie” changed into “Crépuscule avec Nellie”:

A leading picture for the lyrics  was “Monk  walking down the alley, on crepuscule, with Nellie”.

But then she found that she wasn’t able –as a not native speaker of the American English – to capture

the delicate shape of their relationship  in the figures of speech and the atmospheric texture  without

going into clichés of songwriting. So she switched to French, since she had lived in Paris for some time.

She stayed in the original key of the tune finding that the quality of her voice went well with the idea

that Monk acted like a big child that would have been  lost without his spouse, and both being of an

ancestry that includes very painful experiences, which might express themselves through music.

You might hear this in the collective improvisation in the middle of the tune.

“Her leitmotives – pictures, story, atmosphere – are also minting for her approach to the musical materiel. 

“Well, you needn’t” she switched into a Rumba, to underline the ironic and humorous tone of the lyrics.

Obviously, It`s a dance of relief when one can say: its over now!

Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady

"Round Midnight"
TH. Monk
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