Biography

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Erika Kulnys“By possessing the ingenious intellect and activist zeal of Ani DiFranco combined with the poetic skepticism of Leonard Cohen, Kulnys is artfully cementing her place in the history books of unsung artistic heroes of our time…Hurricane tampers with the ballad-aesthetic of early Tori Amos, as her achingly honest, yet beautifully created craftsmanship is as vast as the North Atlantic Ocean. Spin the cheekiness of Dolly Parton with the overt sexuality of Kinnie Starr, then dash the toe-tapping rhythms of Newfoundland’s Colleen Power to conjure up a sense of her multi-dimensional musical talents.” – Shannon Webb-Campbell for Filly.ca

A prolific and inspiring songwriter working across genres, Erika Kulnys writes heart-opening songs that will move you to tears, have you laughing hysterically, and make you question the way you see yourself and the world. Erika’s latest album, Angel on the Road is an introspective record of songs of love, healing and peace. It was in the top ten on local charts and received international airplay. The song Angel on the Road was inspired by realizing the eternal connection of life and love, and is dedicated to Erika’s mother Daina, who committed suicide, her puppy Tashi, who was run over, and her dear friend Zoe who died from a car accident.

Erika Kulnys is a classically trained singer-songwriter, poet, composer and performance artist who challenges boundaries and touches hearts. Her background in Nova Scotian folk, classical, world music, poetry and her concern for social issues create an original idiom that yields carefully crafted songs robust with passion. Erika’s musical scope ranges from folky love songs to rock-pop and she has the gift of writing meaningful songs that remain intimate while being political. In the story-telling folk tradition, Erika writes about real human experiences and the joyful conviction in her voice opens wide her listeners’ hearts.

Erika grew up in Nova Scotia singing in choirs and then went on to study music composition, piano, and creative writing at the United World College (NM), Oberlin College and Conservatory (OH), and won a Watson Fellowship to participate in groups working for social change through music in Ireland, Venezuela, Brazil and India. She worked with revolutionary bands in Venezuela, recording and touring through small villages in the Andes, performed with Battakare, an ensemble of youth in Sao Paolo who create and perform samba and hip hop. She volunteered at a school for disabled children in India, and visited her writing idol, Jeannette Winterson in England.

Erika’s composition, “Salt,” scored for bassoon, oboe, cello and soprano was featured at the Midwest Composers Symposium and was featured on Oberlin Conservatory’s promotional CD. Erika has played at major venues internationally such as The World Social Forum in Caracas, Centro Cultural in Sao Paolo, theatres across The Maritimes and the United States, The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and the Bitter End in New York City. She has collaborated with such renowned artists as Bruce Guthro, Paul Jefferson, Ferron, Lucie Blue Tremblay (Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival) and Scott Macmillan, has opened for artists such as Dave Gunning, and Rose Vaughan and has shared  stages with Dar Williams, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Richie Havens, Guy Davis, Josh Ritter, and Richard Thompson (Oberlin Folk Fest).

Her band has included Asa Brosius, Sara and Kamila, Daniel Gale, Pam Mason, Guy Mendilow, Stefan Amidon, Jordi Comstock, Adam Fine, Jeff Torbert, Keith Mullins, Duncan Macmillan, Naomi Morse, Scott Macmillan and Elvie Miller. Erika has played in Canada and the U.S., South Korea, Spain, Ireland, Jamaica and Latin America touring her album, “Hurricane,” and is currently touring her four releases of 2014: double album, Revolution (world),  WINGS (pop-country), Year of the Water Snake (folk) and Angel on the Road (folk-pop) in Nova Scotia and Cuba. Follow her sunny adventures at facebook.com/erika.kulnys

Angel on the Road, Year of the Water Snake and Revolution were recorded at Signature Sounds in Connecticut by Mark Thayer, who has recorded James Taylor, Catie Curtis, and Steven Santoro. WINGS was recorded by local Air Traffic Control frontman, Kirk Comstock in Lunenburg (one of the upbeat local-flavour tracks is Lunenburg County).

A songwriter in league with Amelia Curran, Rose Cousins, and David Myles, Kulnys knows how to write poetry and an original hook. Her powerful voice has a striking range of timbres and emotions and her humour and honesty onstage make her music accessible to folks young and old, and across cultures. Beyond her dynamism at the mic, Kulnys has played festivals such as Lunenburg Folk Harbour, Harmony Bazaar, Cleveland Music Festival, Rhythm of Life, and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Erika will play dates this summer across the maritimes, the US, Ireland, and Scandinavia.

You can hear Erika’s albums and purchase them at www.erikakulnys.bandcamp.com

Thanks for reading! And thanks for your support!!!! <3

Influences
Joni Mitchell, L Cohen, Nina Simone, Tori Amos, Indigo Girls
Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Lhasa
Tracy Chapman, Melissa Ferrick, Melissa Etheridge, Suzanne Vega
Michael Jackson, Amelia Curran, Bessie Smith, Karine Polwart

Selected Appearance list for Erika Kulnys

  • Casa de Cultura, Iberostar Grand Hotel, Trinidad, Cuba (2015)
  • Hotel Parque Central, Habana, Cuba (2015)
  • The Commodore, The Bluebird Cafe, Two Old Hippies Nashville, TN (2014)
    Michigan Women’s Music Festival, MI (2014)
  • Oberlin College Cat in the Cream, OH (2014)
  • Luthier’s Co-op, Art Walk, Sam’s Pizza, Northampton, MA (2014)
  • Dorje Denma Ling 25th Anniversary with Jenn Grant, Asif Illyas and John Campbelljohn (2013)
  • Rhythm of Life Festival, OH (2014)
  • Oberlin College World AIDS Day (2010)
  • United World College of the American West (2009)
  • Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song, Pennybrook Festival The Music Room, The Company House The Carleton, Al Whittle Theatre, The Evergreen Theatre, Saint George’s Church, Saint Andrew’s Church, St. Matthew’s Church, The Shambhala Centre (Nova Scotia 2007-15)
  • Pete’s Candy Store, NYC (2007)
  • The Living Room Lounge, NYC (2007)
  • The Sidewalk Cafe, NYC (2007)
  • All Asia-Bar, Boston (2007)
  • The Brooklyn Lyceum, NYC (2007)
  • The Bitter End, NYC (2006)
  • CBGB’s Gallery, NYC (2006)
  • Central Cultural, Sao Paolo (2006)
  • The World Social Forum, Caracas (2006)
  • Sin E, Dublin (2005)
  • Laveries, Belfast (2005)
  • Oberlin Folkfest (2005, 2004, 2002, 2001)
  • Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (2004)
  • Cleveland Music Festival, Peabody’s, Cleveland (2004)
  • The John S. Knight Convention Centre, Akron, OH (2003)
  • RAINN Benefits, The Dionysus Club, Oberlin College (2003)
  • The Ship and Anchor, Calgary, Alberta (2003-5)
  • Freetimes Cafe, Toronto (2003)
  • Woodstock, Seoul, South Korea (2003)
  • BattleAxe Folk Pride Show: The Marquis Club, Halifax, NS (2002)
  • The Khyber Club (2002)
  • The Cat in the Cream, Oberlin, OH (2001-05)

Selected Radio Appearances and Radio Stations that regularly play Erika’s Music

  • CBC Week-End Mornings
  • CBC Mainstreet NS
  • CBC Daybreak Maritimes
  • CBC As It Happens
  • CKDU Inner Connections
  • CKDU Pirate Radio
  • East Coast Kitchen Party Radio
  • Homegrown Atlantic Radio
  • Mostly Folk
  • Oberlin WOBC
  • Dublin South FM
  • RGIN Internet Radio
  • Belfast NVTV
  • Venezuelan Community Radio Stations

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