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American songstress teams with Slovak band

SLOVAK musicians do not have an opportunity very often to team up with US artists, particularly with musicians of a different genre. But US singer and songwriter Jess Klein, who has released a new album titled Behind a Veil, will soon play three concerts in western Slovakia joined by a local band, Korben Dallas. They will perform together at Kafe Scherz in Bratislava, at Klub Lúč in Trenčín and at Na kus reči in Levice.

Jess Klein (Source: Courtesy of Jess Klein)

SLOVAK musicians do not have an opportunity very often to team up with US artists, particularly with musicians of a different genre. But US singer and songwriter Jess Klein, who has released a new album titled Behind a Veil, will soon play three concerts in western Slovakia joined by a local band, Korben Dallas. They will perform together at Kafe Scherz in Bratislava, at Klub Lúč in Trenčín and at Na kus reči in Levice.

Jess Klein writes her own strong song lyrics, accompanies herself on guitar and is a laureate of the Telluride Troubadour competition as well as a nominee for several Boston Music Awards. Unlike her more personal, intimate music, Korben Dallas plays a mix of cross-over music, funk, grunge and math rock. The band also recently released an album, its first, called Pekné cesty. It is a concert recording and was shortlisted for the Slovak Radio-Head Awards as Album of the Year.

“I was already booked to play in Germany, Denmark and France for late March and early April and then out of the blue was asked to play in Slovakia. I have always wanted to tour in eastern Europe as that is where my ancestors are from. I could not turn it down!” Klein told The Slovak Spectator.

When asked how cooperation with Korben Dallas was established, she said that a mutual friend and the manager of the Slovak band, Matúš Németh, came up with the idea. “I really liked their songs when I heard them; they reminded me a little bit of the band Morphine, which I was a big fan of.”

“We do not quite know what we are up to,” said Juraj Benetin, lead singer of Korben Dallas, about the forthcoming concerts, “but so far the communication has worked well and compatibility on a personal level seems okay. We plan to perform at least five tunes together, maybe even make a cover version. We will accompany her in a way.”

“Apart from us playing her songs, there is also the idea for Jess to play one of our pieces,”
commented Lukáš Fila, Korben Dallas’ bass player, to The Slovak Spectator, adding that this might be novel as Korben Dallas sing in Slovak.

Klein said she would offer some songs from Behind a Veil as well as some of her older hits even though she added that she “imagines they will all be new to Slovak listeners”.

Benetin said his band would offer several songs from Pekné cesty as well as three new pieces to promote a forthcoming album they are working on. The three venues are all smaller clubs and seem ideal for Klein’s type of music. Fila and Benetin both said Klein is an exceptional live performer who is able to capture audiences, especially in an intimate atmosphere. They also do not believe English will be a barrier at the concerts that will be held on April 12 in Bratislava, April 13 in Trenčín and April 14 in Levice.

“I play anywhere people are excited to listen. I have played to an audience of 10,000 people and I have played to 10 people. What matters to me is playing and connecting with the audience,” Klein told The Slovak Spectator.

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