Katja Cruz is an Austrian singer, songwriter, composer, improviser, and fine artist.

„Songwriting became the very the essence of  my life“, she says about herself. “Cool Pop!” is her very new project in duo with Ernesto Grieshofer. “Cool Pop!” also defines this style of music. In this format Katja Cruz sings, plays e-piano, and performs several tunes as free dance. Ernesto Grieshofer plays drums and uses e-percussions as well as synthesizer sounds. Both together act on a very high level of hot energy, joy and wildness.

In her earlier life she had put a special focus on avantgarde jazz where she worked on an international level and recorded with musicians as Oliver Lake, Darius Jones, Elisabeth Harnik, Andrea Massaria, Mat Maneri and Warren Smith.

Two of her recordings were nominated as „Best Vocal Release“ by The New York City Jazz Record. She also did some Latin, as well as Tango Argentino and French Chanson.

Her fine art can still be seen in the center of Graz – in front of the university for music and dramatic arts you find her sculptures to the music of Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern and Alban Berg, the so called 2nd Viennese School, worked out in steel and glass.

In several of her projects she cooperated with Austrian composers Gert Kühr and Georg Friedrich Haas. Her strong connection to music is also expressed in her paintings, performances and landart. She was born and lives in Graz.

born as Katja Pristavnik, March 4, 1968, in Graz, Austria
raised in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
1986: Matura at BORG Feldbach, with honors
1986-89: studies in philosophy and history of arts, Graz
1989-95: first exhibitions as fine artist, management of the music group Aniada a Noar, founder of the label Garage klang
1995: Camera Austria, Forum Stadtpark Graz, secretary
1996-97: advertising agency Promotion, Feldbach, texter, concepts and costumer advisory service
since 1997: freelance artist and musician
since 2009: private singing teacher in pop, rock, Lied and jazz
since 2016: singing teacher at music school Hart bei Graz
2016-18: studentische Mitarbeiterin of Univ.Prof. Dr.phil. M.A. Andreas Dorschel, Vorstand des Instituts für Musikästhetik, Kunstuniversität Graz
since 2016: studies toward the Bachelor of Arts in musicology in Graz

musical work:


BEST VOCAL RELEASE 2014 – The New York City Jazz Record, for Hexaphone feat. Oliver Lake

BEST VOCAL RELEASE 2012 – The New York City Jazz Record, for Lightning & Thunder

discography (compositions and projects of my own):
2020: Cool Pop! Live, with Ernesto Grieshofer, G Minor Records
2018: You Make Me Feel Good, with Armin Pokorn, Thorsten Zimmermann, Roli Wesp, Ernesto Grieshofer
2017: Purity, with Roli Wesp, Klemens Pliem, UNIT Records (CH)

2016: I Am The Wind, live at Porgy & Bess, with Darius Jones, H. Curtis, UNIT Records, (CH)

2015: Duineser Elegien, with Andrea Massaria (I), H. Curtis, ein_klang records, Wien

2014: Hexaphone feat. Oliver Lake, with A. Massaria, P. Dunst, H. Curtis, Rudi Records, Rome

2012: Lightning And Thunder, with H. Curtis, ein klang_records 051, Wien
2011: Light And Shade, with Carolyn Hume (p, UK), Leo Records, UK

2010: Mi Corazón, with Marco Costa (BR), P. Dunst (A), H. Savic (A), D.Lima (BR), Leo, UK

2010: Primeval Sounds Of The World, with Thomas Rottleuthner (bcl, f, sax, A), Leo, UK
2009: I AM ONE – Stories From The Worlds In-Between, with M. Veszelovicz, Leo, UK
2009: Wassermusik/Watermusic, with M. Veszelovicz (acc, A), ATS-Records, Austria
2008: Cantango, with Martin Veszelovicz (acc, A), ATS-Records / Extraplatte, Austria

2007: Ich bin, with Martin Veszelovicz (acc, A), ATS-Records / Extraplatte, Austria

sampler: 2012: KOFOMI #16 – Music?, sampler of Komponistenforum Mittersill 2011, with my composition „HONIG“, performed by K. Cruz, voc, Sylvie Lacroix, fl, Michael Moser, vc; furhter compositions by Jamilia Jazylbekova, Martin Daske, Mu- Xuan Lin, Anne Wellmer, etc., ein klang_records, Vienna
concerts in:
Austria, New York, USA, London, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey

further projects:
band project with Ernesto Grieshofer, Thorsten Zimmermann, Georg Jantscher
I Am The Wind, with Elisabeth Harnik, piano, Clementine Gasser, 5-string cello

The Sound Of The Planets, with Elisabeth Harnik, piano, and Toshiko Oka, dance, Japan
klangbogen, voice meets electronics, Rondo Graz 2011, with D. Pirro and M. Kronlachner
Leo Records International Tour, 2011, Vienna/London/UK

workshops & master classes as instructor / Artist in Residence
2015: Improvisation I (to John Cage’s Songbook), Verein junger Musikschaffender, Graz
2012: Izmir Jazz Camp, Turkey / Master-Classes at Elon-University, USA

2012: Quo vadis, Teufelsgeiger? University of music, Vienna, guest singer and instructor
2011: Improvvissazione senza fine, Venice conservatory, guest singer and instructor, with Mat Maneri, A. Capelletti…
2011: Artist in Residence, Komponistenforum Mittersill

concerts with:
Oliver Lake, Mat Maneri, Warren Smith, Elisabeth Harnik, Clementine Gasser, Burkhard Stangl, Darius Jones, Armin Pokorn, Ras Moshe Burnett, Günter Meinhart, Jure Pukl, Arrigo Cappelletti, David Pirro, Andrea Massaria, Matthias Kronlachner, Jamilia Jazylbekova, Fredi Lang, Alexey Kruglov, Jaak Sooar, Carolyn Hume, Edith Lettner, Michael Moser, Sylvie Lacroix, Ewald Oberleitner, Klemens Pliem, Christoph Wundrak, Blaise Siwula…
fine arts (excerpt):
2016: 8 musikalischen Gesten, 8 paintings (oil/canvas) to Gerd Kühr’s composition, Konzerthaus Vienna, performance with Janna Polyzoides, p, and Andreas Lindenbaum, vc,
2011: Rondo Atelier scholar
2002: Himmel über Wien, Osterklang project with Mia Zabelka, at Theseustempel Vienna; interactive light installation to the music of Wolfgang Muthspiel
2001/2002: 4 elements composing a universe, permanent light installation at the new office building of Bauunternehmung Mandlbauer, Bad Gleichenberg

2001: in vain, a light composition to the music of Georg Friedrich Haas, for steirischer herbst and Wien Modern, performed by klangforum Wien
2001: Easterfestival Graz, 8 paintings to 8 musikalische Gesten of Gerd Kühr
2000: The Mountains Resounded When We Shouted, Int. Land Art Symposium South Korea
2000: Galerie Eugen Lendl, group exhibition, Graz

1999: weißes rauschen, Galerie I&AC Graz

1999: sculptures to the music of Arnold Schönberg and Anton Webern; Palais Meran Park, commissioned by the university for music and performing arts Graz
1998: sculpture to Alban Berg’s Violinkonzert, Palais Meran Park, commissioned by the university for music and performing arts Graz

fellowships, grants, and commissions:
Neue Galerie, Land Steiermark, city of Graz, university for music and dramatic arts Graz, Wirtschaftskammer Graz, municipality of Feldbach, municipality of Fehring, Land Steiermark / Kunst am Bau