UNIVERSAL ANCESTRY is the first album recorded and released in the United States by Slovak vocalist and lyricist HANKA G. HANKA has lived in New York City since 2016 where she performs at all the local jazz hotspots. She produced UNIVERSAL ANCESTRY together with three stellar jazz musicians – JAMES HURT, SHEDRICK MITCHELL and RODNEY KENDRICK. HANKA is a soulful singer who stretches the boundaries of jazz with her multi-cultural sensibilities. Her rich, warm tone, improvisational chops, and unique ability to fuse jazz, gospel, R&B, and Slovak folk music has drawn the attention of some of the top names in jazz.
Joined by a truly stellar group of New York-based musicians, the album also features Grammy-winning artists SHEDRICK MITCHELL (organ, piano), JAMES HURT (piano, Fender Rhodes), RODNEY KENDRICK (piano), DAVID GINYARD (electric bass), RASHAAN CARTER (electric and double bass), TARU ALEXANDER (drums), and NATHANIEL TOWNSLEY (drums), as well as MARVIN SEWELL (guitars), SHERROD BARNES (electric guitar), ANTOINE RONEY (tenor and soprano saxes), and background vocalists KEESHA GUMBS and TERELLE TIPTON. The album also features Slovakian artists SISA MICHALIDESOVA (flute) and VERONIKA VITAZKOVA (fujara).
HANKA has previously released three albums in Europe, which includes Reflections of My Soul (2007), Essence (2014), and Twin Flame (2017). Essence and Twin Flame were both nominated for “Best Jazz Album of the Year” in Slovakia. Hanka says, “My latest project was framed through the lens of an immigrant in the USA trying to unite people with different musical heritages. Regardless of our backgrounds, we all dream about love, happiness, and freedom.”
UNIVERSAL ANCESTRY is an opportunity for jazz lovers across the country and world to appreciate HANKA’s unique blend of musical styles that New Yorkers have been enjoying for the last few years.
Produced by HANKA G
Co-produced and arranged by SHEDRICK MITCHELL (1,2,6), JAMES HURT (3,4,5,8,9,10,11), RODNEY KENDRICK (7)
1. All the Man That I Need 4:44
2. Be Grateful 4:33
3. Through the Fire 5:27
4. As You Are 4:05
5. Dance Dance 4:17
6. Someday We'll All Be Free 4:12
7. Throw It Away 5:26
8. Them There Eyes 2:40
9. In Search of My Heart 6:48
10. I Am Such a Pretty Girl 5:07
11. Bird Has Started Singing 5:31