Aga Zaryan

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Aga Zaryan
AZaryan Singing.jpg
Aga Zaryan at the JVC Jazz Festival, Warsaw, Poland, 2006
Background information
Birth name Agnieszka Skrzypek
Born (1976-01-17) January 17, 1976 (age 42)
Warsaw, Poland
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer
Years active 2002–present
Labels Blue Note, Warner, EMI Music Poland
Associated acts Darek Oleszkiewicz, Larry Koonse, Munyungo Jackson, Lukasz Zyta, Michal Baranski, David Doruzka, Geri Allen, Brian Blade, Michał Tokaj

Aga Zaryan (born Agnieszka Skrzypek on January 17, 1976) is a Polish jazz vocalist and the first Polish musician to sign with Blue Note Records.[1]

Her albums have earned gold, platinum, and multi-platinum status.[2][3] In 2008 she was honored with the Fryderyk award, the Polish recording industry's most prestigious prize. She was nominated for Woman of the Year in 2008[4] by Gazeta Wyborcza, one of Poland's most widely circulated newspapers. From 2007 to 2013, she was named Jazz Vocalist of the Year in the annual readers' poll at Jazz Forum magazine.

Early life[edit]

Zaryan was born in Warsaw, Poland. At an early age, she traveled throughout Europe with her parents. Her father was a classical pianist, and her mother was an English language educator and author. Her parents shared a love for Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and the Beatles. Zaryan spent part of her childhood and primary school education in Manchester, England. After returning to Poland, she won the Warsaw Tennis Championship when she was fourteen.

After hearing Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, she decided to become a jazz vocalist.[5] She studied voice at Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and attended the Jazz Studies program, graduating with honors. She was awarded scholarships to attend the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West, both in the United States.


Her debut album, My Lullaby (2002) was recorded with Tomasz Szukalski, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Michał Tokaj, and Łukasz Żyta This collection of jazz standards brought her critical acclaim as one of Poland's premier vocal talents.[citation needed] In 2006, she performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in Warsaw, opening for Branford Marsalis. Since that time, she has appeared in clubs and at festivals in Poland, England, the United States, Germany, Israel, the Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, Russia, and Iceland.

In early 2007, she was in the United States for a series of concerts with her American line-up, appearing in jazz venues such as Joe's Pub in New York City and Blues Alley in Washington D.C. The concerts were enthusiastically received.[6]

Zaryan recorded Picking Up the Pieces (2006) in Los Angeles with Larry Koonse (guitar), Munyungo Jackson (percussion), Nolan Shaheed (cornet), and Dariusz Oleszkiewicz (double bass). The album was composed of eleven songs that explored the emotional and spiritual experiences of women and was well-received critically and commercially, achieving double-platinum status.

Beauty Is Dying (2007) was the first album she sang in Polish. She recorded it with a seventeen-piece string orchestra. The album contained nine works by Polish poets that depicted the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Zaryan chose the works and sang compositions written and arranged by Michał Tokaj. She performed material from the album at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and the concert was broadcast live on public Polish TV and Polish Radio. In 2008, she was given the Fryderyk Award, the Polish recording industry's highest honor.

Awards and nominations[edit]



  • Woman of the Year 2008, Gazeta Wyborcza magazine (Wysokie Obcasy)
  • Wdechy, 2007, Co Jest Grane (What's Going On) magazine's Warsaw cultural awards[15]
  • Best Polish Jazz Vocalist, Jazz Forum Readers' Poll, 2004 and 2005
  • Best Jazz Album, My Lullaby, (as Agnieszka Skrzypek), Fryderyk, 2002[16]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
2002 My Lullaby
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: NotTwo
2006 Picking Up the Pieces
  • Released: 25 February 2006
  • Label: Cosmopolis
  • POL: 2x Platinum[20]
2007 Umiera piękno
  • Released: 17 July 2007
  • Label: Cosmopolis
2010 Looking Walking Being 4[22]
  • POL: 2x Platinum[20]
2011 A Book of Luminous Things 8[23]
Księga olśnień
  • Released: 4 October 2011
  • Label: EMI Music Poland/Blue Note
2013 Remembering Nina & Abbey
  • Released: 12 November 2013
  • Label: Centrala/Parlophone

Live albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
2002 Live at Palladium
  • Released: November 2008
  • Label:
  • Formats: CD/DVD
  • POL: 4x Platinum[20]


  1. ^ "Jazz Forum". Jazz Forum. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Platynowa Płyta dla albumu Agi Zaryan Picking up the Pieces |". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Platynowe Patronaty" [Platinum Promotions] (in Polish). Gdańsk: 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Polka 2008". 1999-10-15. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  5. ^ Kiger, Rumeysa (2008-08-08). "For Polish singer Aga Zaryan, passion for jazz was 'love at first sight'". İstanbul, Turkey: Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  6. ^ "Aga Zaryan at Joe's Pub". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  7. ^ "Jazz Forum". Jazz Forum. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  8. ^ "Jazz Forum". Jazz Forum. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  9. ^ "Aga Zaryan at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival". 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  10. ^ JF (2011). "Wiosna Jazzowa Zakopane 2011" [Spring Jazz Krakow 2011]. (in Polish). Warszawa, Polska: Jazz Forum. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  11. ^ "Jazz Forum". Jazz Forum. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Nominowani i laureaci :: Nagroda muzyczna - Fryderyk :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Winners and nominies". (in Polish). Warszawa: Związek Producentów Audio-Video (Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry). 2008. Album Roku PIOSENKA POETYCKA. Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  14. ^ "Aga Zaryan zdobyła Nagrodę Mateusza -". Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  15. ^ "Nominacje do nagrody Wdechy 2007: Aga Zaryan" (in Polish). 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  16. ^ "Winners and nominies". Warszawa, Polska: Związek Producentów Audio-Video (Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry). 2002. Best Jazz Album. Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  17. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 04.06.2007 - 10.06.2007". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  18. ^ "Bestseller charts and awards - Gold certification awards". Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  19. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 10.01.2011 - 16.01.2011". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "Bestseller charts and awards - Platinum certification awards". Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 20.08.2007 - 26.08.2007". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  22. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 15.03.2010 - 21.03.2010". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  23. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 04.07.2011 - 10.07.2011". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  24. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 03.10.2011 - 09.10.2011". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  25. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 03.02.2014 - 09.02.2014". OLiS. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  26. ^ "OLiS - sales for the period 29.12.2008 - 04.01.2009". OLiS. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 

External links[edit]