Natasha Jaffe

VIDEOS

NightLIVE Session: "For All the Horses" - Original by Natasha Jaffe


Elusive Aura - Daedalus and Icarus, by Konstantine Margaritis


Untold Stories: Johannes Kubin - "Roter Faden" (mit Natasha Jaffe)


Manha de Carnaval from Black Orpheus arranged for Cello Trio


Lucho & Natasha. Despedida


Manha de Carnaval - Solo Cello and Loop Pedal


Cinnamon's Diary


Biography


I am a classically trained cellist and street-trained improvisor. I play live or record with bands, singer-songwriters, and electronic groups as well as orchestras and string quartets or as soloist.


My various skills include:

  • classically trained, professional grade cello playing

  • improvisation skills, focusing on tonal improvisation in the folk/pop/rock styles, and also free improvisation

  • using electronic effects such as delay and distortion, in addition to the effects that can be created naturally using just an acoustic cello

  • professionalism in the recording studio, from quick setup and experience knowing what I need to hear, as well as being able to record most passages within the first two takes sucessfully, which means I can usually record up to 3 normal pop songs in 2 hours

  • multiple languages spoken: native English and French, fluent German, and conversational Spanish or Portuguese.

I moved to Berlin in 2012 after finishing my Master's Degree in Cello Performance at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia with professor Jeffrey Solow. Previously I had attended the State University of New York's Crane School of Music for my Bachelor's degree with Dr. Mathias Wexler, and before that, I had studied with my parents, renowned cellists Claudio Jaffe and Johanne Perron.


I met Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies in Philadelphia and they were my very first band. With them, I learned about using effects with an electric cello I borrowed, and playing with drums and bass. Once in Berlin, my first project was with Enda Gallery, a recent arrival in Berlin from Ireland, who was looking for someone to go busking with. We found each other in true Berlin fashion through a Craigslist ad, met in the cafe downstairs from my place where we pulled out our instruments and jammed for about two hours in the back (thank you, Kindlstuben!) undisturbed. What followed was a summer full of busking in Mauerpark and elsewhere in Berlin, and playing tiny gigs in tiny bars for tiny audiences. It was fun. We hung out with the later-more-famous Charity Children and other buskers, getting to know the Berlin scene, and most importantly, I learned how to improvise.


Since then, I met hundreds of amazing Berlin musicians. Some live here, some travel here every year, and some were here for a brief window of time and since moved back to wherever they originally came from, or to wherever their love for music took them. I started going to Open Mic nights and jamming with whoever was willing to have some spontaneous cello accompaniment. In this fashion, I met Lucho, whose album I recorded on a year later, and with whom I play regularly. I played with Alexander Peppler and recorded with him later as well, I met the band El Valdorado, and even though they already had a cellist, we just added on another, and played all around Berlin. I also met Gilles Toussaint and started the project Lapwings with him, and joined the wonderful Julia Fiebelkorn on her project Dorothy Bird.


My goal was, and still is, to expand myself musically as much as possible. I like new challenges and new styles of music. I have done nearly everything, from the Spanish Flamenco-influenced Middle-Eastern fusion music of El Valdorado, to the sick hip-hop beats of Vernon D. Hill, to the alternative pop-rock of Lapwings, the classic singer-songwriter music of Nuria Edwards, medieval festivals with Sören Vogelsang, and the trip-hop inspired compositions of Dorothy Bird, just to name a few. I have not neglected my classical playing either, subbing for local orchestras and acting as principal cellist for the E.T.A. Hoffmann Kammerorchester, in addition to chamber music gigs for weddings and other events. Two years ago I teamed up with Gilles Toussaint again to co-found Music Suit Up, a meetup event where we invite music business professionals to give a talk to musicians like us, so we can learn more about music business and be more successful living from our music.


My primary love for music is still based around the cello, cello sounds, and especially the sound of many cellos playing together. The little composing that I do centers around cello ensembles of 2-4 cellists. I have collaborated occasionally with other cellists to realize these compositions live, but most of the time I have recorded them on my own. I teach private cello lessons as well as an improvisation workshop for all instruments, I started a cello ensemble for my students in 2017.


I play on a fantastic cello made by Cremona luthier Marco Pedrini. It has a very warm, almost bassy tone, can be quite loud even unamplified, and generally a super instrument. I also own a very inexpensive cello for pickup-amplified gigs and for outdoor playing. In addition to that, I own an ME-200 Boss multi-effect pedal and a Shadow pickup for very loud gigs (with drums), and a Thomann clip-on microphone for quieter gigs (without drums).


Many thanks to Paul Dulude from New England Violins, Inc, for his assistance in acquiring my cello.


For more information on Natasha, visit www.natashajaffe.com/