Ella Zirina

Docent Gitaar

Ella Zirina (1997) is a jazz guitarist and composer from Latvia, with a passion for the different textures and timbres of her instrument. Her compositions are build out of melodic improvisations, resulting in a personal and emotional sonic environment.

After studying piano until the age of 17, Ella switched to guitar studies, channeling her broad musical influences. From Alexander Scriabin to Joni Mitchell and from Led Zeppelin to Bill Evans, Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery. Determined and passionate, she left Latvia and pursued studies in Jazz guitar in Amsterdam.

In 2021 (B.A.) and 2023 (M.A.), Ella graduated with the highest honors at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, having studied with Jesse van Ruller, Reinier Baas, Maarten van der Grinten and Martijn van Iterson among others.

Ella has worked and performed with many talented musicians, such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joey Baron (by performing at North Sea Jazz Festival 2023),Tineke Postma, Ben van Gelder, Jesse van Ruller, Reinier Baas, Pablo Held, Yuri Honing and many more. She has performed as a soloist with Jazz Orchestra of The Concertgebouw, played in NJJO and Jong Metropole. During masterclasses, she has shared the stage with John Scofield, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel.

From the end of 2021 till the beginning of 2023, she was in residency at BIMHUIS for ‘New Makers’ talent development project. Within this project she recorded her (Edison Jazz Award nominated) debut studio album with her trio - Intertwined - which features her work for a string quartet and Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma on a few tunes. The album was released on March 10, 2023 through BIMHUIS records. The album has gained positive reviews, such also as a feature in German pianists Pablo Held’s Investigates Series Interviews/Podcasts. From a review Jazzenzo.nl ‘Rarely has a debut sounded so unique and mature. Ella Zirina faces a golden future where she is looking forward to what else she has to offer.’

Ella Zirina Trio Expanding on Ella’s passion for texture, the Ella Zirina Trio adds double bass and drums into the mix to create rich and colorful compositions. The trio started their journey together after meeting as students on the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. David Macchione (Italy) on the double bass, Eloi Pascual Nogue (Spain) on drums and Zirina on the guitar interweave their own musical characters with one another.

The trio has performed in various venues in The Netherlands such as BIMHUIS, Amstedram and toured in Spain in 2022 as Festival Nigran Jazz and this summer played in festivals, such as Oslo Jazz Festival 2023.

The Trio was awarded the first prize in the 7 Virtual Jazz Club Competition. In the words of the Virtual Jazz Competition jury: “Zirina is a guitar virtuosi with her own style. Her Gibson seems to be an extension of her persona. A lesson in how to develop an improvisation." (Arnaldo DeSouteiro), "This is jazz guitar that speaks eloquently of the tradition and it brought a smile to my face. There is unquestionable artistry and maturity of expression here, the kind that is seldom found in younger players.’’ (John Fenton)