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Past venues include the Rainbow Room at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the SixtyFive Bar at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, CMJ, Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival, Artisphere, Babycastles, Blues Alley, Cherry Blast Festival, Glasslands, Manhattan Inn, Rockwood, Sofar Sounds, the Music Center and the Mansion at Strathmore, & live film scoring at Nitehawk Cinema.

Alarke AKA Mary Alouette’s music explores how collaboration can be synthesized out of disparate styles. Her love for the stage and its larger-than-life representation of human experiences has grown as she performed music in various genres, including opera, jazz, electronic music, world music, pop, musical theater, sound design. In addition to composing and performing music, Alarke collaborates with computer programmers to create cutting-edge visuals for video that transport the audience to new experiences. “As an opera student at McGill University in Montreal, Mary Alouette developed an interest that didn’t necessarily correspond to her studies: electronic music. It took moving to Brooklyn and embarking on a career as a gypsy jazz singer to finally bring electronica into the mix…” – The Washington Post.

Alarke says, “I have explored various mediums and they are all me; I cannot identify with just one. My purpose is to connect with and support other individuals who live within multiple communities, and hope that they may find belonging, too.” A recurring theme in her music is that of a bird, freely flying across treetops and sceneries, representative of the notion of not being tied to any particular genre. This bird is a songbird – an ‘alouette’ in French, a lark in English; this is the genesis for Mary Alouette’s artist name Alarke.

Her work features processed audio that combines composed electronic drum beats and real-time sampling, stretching, distorting, chopping, and layering of vocals, Gypsy jazz guitar, synthesizer, violin, and upright bass through the computer software programs. The music utilizes digital effects processors and multiple looping devices, and includes elements of improvisation informed by the jazz idiom, structure by the pop genre, and arrangement by classical phrasing. Each performance is unique due to the improvisational, computational and interactive factors.

Alarke was born and raised in Silver Spring, M.D and began performing professionally in musical theater productions at age seven. She received a BMusic for Vocal Performance in 2009 from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. She studied electronic music in Montreal and Berlin and volunteered for Montreal’s MUTEK Festival, which explored worldwide innovations in music and technology. She sought to bridge this music with the classical world by collaborating with composers at McGill University’s Digital Composition Studio, taking courses in electroacoustic music, and learning computer music software programs like MAX/MSP and Ableton. Her work as a Gypsy jazz singer brought her to the Festival of Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine, France and the Festival of Gypsy Jazz in Zillisheim, Alsace, France, and she was invited to stay in a Gypsy caravan with her new Romani Gypsy friends. She has worked as an apprentice audio engineer at ishlab Studio, New York City, as an assistant for master engineers. She teaches songwriting workshops to advanced writers at the Washington Performing Arts and Bethesda Writer’s Center and to children in schools with Kid Pan Alley in Washington, D.C. and its metropolitan areas. She also has been instructing voice, guitar, and piano for ten years in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Montréal, Canada.

Alarke’s third album release of original music, Grace, combines Gypsy jazz, electronic music, and classical composition forms and influences. It follows two releases under the name Mary Alouette, The Lark (2013) and Midas (2012). She composed two live film scores which she played with her band at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn, New York. She has performed her music at the Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Sofar Sounds, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., and the Music Center at Strathmore in Maryland, as well as venues in Baltimore, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Paris, Philadelphia, and Seattle. She performed the U.S. National Anthem for the Major League Baseball teams the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals and for the Major League Soccer team DC United two dozen times, sang at Carnegie Hall with the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the New York Philharmonic, sang in the chorus for productions with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, performed in numerous professional musical theater shows, and competed in the Apollo Theater’s National Tour. She has studied and performed opera at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Austria and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. Alarke is a recipient of an artist residency at The Music Center at Strathmore and has won the Grand Prize in the Washington Area Music Association’s (WAMA) Professional Artist Support System Songwriting Competition, New Artist of the Year (2013) and Best Debut Album (2013) with WAMA, and placed as a finalist in the We Are Listening Singer-Songwriter Competition (2014), Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Competition (2012), and has twice been nominated by WAMA for Best Jazz Vocalist (2012, 2013).

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“Alouette’s performances draw you in with their soft, hypnotic qualities, turning each song into a dialogue between her and the audience.” – Brooklyn Exposed

“I suppose now that technology is so portable, it was only a matter of time until someone tried incorporating electronic elements into gypsy jazz. But that’s not everything Mary Alouette does. With a voice that sounds wild but always in control, this ex-opera student’s sound is too multifaceted to be pigeonholed in a few sentences. Gypsy/Jazz influences intersect with old style French ballads and wicked trip hop/ambient tracks – and sometimes all these ingredients get mixed together.” – The Deli Magazine NYC

“Ms. Alouette’s current musical incarnation, The Lark, is a mix of traditional gypsy jazz with hip-hop and trap beats.” – NY Observer

“As an opera student at McGill University in Montreal, Mary Alouette developed an interest that didn’t necessarily correspond to her studies: electronic music. It took moving to Brooklyn and embarking on a career as a gypsy jazz singer to finally bring electronica into the mix in the form of a new EP, The Lark.” – The Washington Post

“Notes of Portishead’s music and James Bond’s adventurous approach to life are delightfully represented.” – The Examiner

“The [Angel] track is a trip hoppy number, landing somewhere between Tricky’s intense musical whiffs and some kind of new-age-that-doesn’t-suck placidity. A song about a good, but also weird, trip in the tub, nothing sounds better than that right now…” – The Deli Magazine NYC

“Unique blend of gypsy jazz and electronic music.“ – DCist

“Echoes the likes of Billie Holiday” – Baltimore Magazine

“Alouette has all the best qualities — original songwriting, respectful nods to traditional sounds and an effervescent stage presence.”
 – Cathy Fink, GRAMMY Award winner

“Mary Alouette mixes a bit of ambient with a lot of vocal harmonies in this chilled down trip called ‘Angel’, which also sports paint, glitter and a fantastic ending.” – Orestes P. Xistos, Sloucher.org

“[The Lark] is one of those rare records you only get the chance to hear few times. It’s one of those albums hard to review because [of] how original and unique it is … people like me take so many minutes in looking for great adjectives to describe [it].” – Vents Magazine

“Her vocals adapt to both traditional and modern sounds. She can project power with her opera-trained voice, and also express vulnerability on stories of love and loss. She exudes a sense of mystery, whether she is singing her own complex lyrics or a cabaret song in French.” – Allentown Morning Call

“The Lark is not your typical jazz album… its funky and fresh sound coincides flawlessly with Alouette’s vocals. It is an EP worth listening to and peaks your interest to follow Alouette’s musical work.” – The Celebrity Cafe

Contact

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SAY HELLO!

alarke@alarke.com

BOOKING

Tim Kenney

booking@alarke.com

PRESS

Jason Clerkin

parachutepublicity@gmail.com

 



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