Natalia Paruz

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Natalia Paruz
Natalia 'Saw Lady' Paruz
Natalia Paruz
Background information
Also known as Saw Lady
Genres Classical, Contemporary, Pop
Occupation(s) musical saw player
Instruments musical saw, handbells, cowbells
Labels Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Universal Records
Associated acts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Musical Saw Festival, Peter Schickele, Music Under New York
Notable instruments
Musical saw, Handbells

Natalia 'Saw Lady' Paruz is a New York City-based musical saw and novelty instruments player and busker. She is the founder and director of the annual Musical Saw Festival in New York City. She also organized the musical saw festival in Israel. She is a columnist of the 'Saw Player News' and a judge at international musical saw competitions.

Paruz has played the musical saw on many film soundtracks [1] and can be seen as well as heard in the movie Dummy starring Adrien Brody. She has performed with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Zubin Mehta), the Westchester Philharmonic, [2] the Royal Air Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, the Amor Artis Orchestra, the Riverside Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra [3] and at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with PDQ Bach composer Peter Schickele and with the Little Orchestra Society. November 2007 marked her Carnegie Hall debut as a musical saw soloist and June 2008 marked her Madison Square Garden debut. Her musical saw can be heard in many TV commercials and she has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs around the world. Garrison Keillor of the Prairie Home Companion radio show has dubbed Natalia the show's 'official saw player'. As a studio musician, her musical saw has been recorded by labels such as Atlantic Records, Capitol Records and Universal Records, for albums of bands and composers such as John Hiatt and Elliot Goldenthal. She played at many festivals, such as the Spoleto Festival USA, the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Utah Arts Festival, World Trade Center's Buskers Fair and at the Fingerlakes Chamber Music Festival.

Paruz often plays the musical saw in contemporary music, encouraging today's composers to write for this instrument.

Paruz is considered the most knowledgeable about the history of the musical saw, and her home is a pilgrimage place for saw enthusiasts and students. The December 3rd 2011 'Washington Post' crossword puzzle had Paruz as a question: "Down 5 - Instrument played by Natalia Paruz".

Along with her professional career Paruz makes a point to also perform on the streets and subways as a busker. She has busked in the USA, [4] Italy, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland and France. Paruz also served as a judge at the Music Under New York auditions for subway musicians.

Paruz also plays a set of 65 pitched cowbells, English handbells, 4-in-hand hand bells, theremin and glass harp.

Awards and honors[edit]

Paruz is a recipient of many awards, including:

She was chosen for the 'Best of New York' list of the 'Village Voice' two years in a row, as well as for the lists of 'Time Out New York', the 'New York Press' and the 'New York Resident'.

Paruz is a recipient of grants from the Queens Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.

In 2009 Paruz organized the Guinness World Record of the 'Largest Musical Saw Ensemble', which gathered 53 musical saw players to perform together.

In 2010 NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation honoring the annual Musical Saw Festival Natalia organizes since 2003.

In 2011 NY State Assembly member Aravella Simotas issued a citation of honor proclaiming the NYC Musical Saw Festival for its "9 years of artistic excellence in Astoria".

In 2013 Queens Borough President Helen Marshall issued a proclamation declaring June 1, 2013 to be the ‘Natalia Paruz & Musical Saw Festival Day’ in Queens.

Books mentioning Paruz[edit]

  • City Lights: Stories About New York/St. Martin's Press [5]
  • New York Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff/Globe Pequot [6]
  • Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected/Penguin Random House [7]
  • 120 Jobs that Won't Chain You to Your Desk/Random House [8]
  • The Savvy Musician/Helius Press
  • Overlooked New York/CreateSpace, by Zina Saunders
  • Sounds of the Underground/Heidi Younger
  • Teach a Man to Fish and Other Stories/Richard A. Schrader, Sr.
  • Book in Czech - Zápisky osamělého poutníka s autoharfou/Martin Žák
  • The Designs of Carrie Robbins/The United States Institute for Theatre Technology in cooperation with Broadway Press
  • Buskers/Soft Skull Press
  • Tampa Review 42/University of Tampa Press
  • Get Lucky (How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You & Your Business)/Jossey-Bass
  • Book in Spanish - Diario de un Músico Callejero/José Miguel Vilar, Editorial Renacimiento
  • The Noise Beneath the Apple, by Heather Jacks
  • Starting Your Career as a Musician/Skyhorse Publishing, Inc, by Neil Tortorella
  • Music in American Life - An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture/Greenwood
  • Music Business Hacks: The Daily Habits of the Self-Made Musician/PACE Publishing
  • The Sound of Mark/Mark Hastings - Zeloo Media
  • An Immigrant's Guide to Making It In America/Virgilia Kaur Pruthi
  • Book in Polish - Handbook of the Best Practices of 9 American & Canadian Cultural Institutions/Katarzyna Renes, Paderewski Institute, Poland
  • Subway Beats/Kurt Boone, published by Schiffer Publishing
  • Much Ado About Magic/Shanna Swendson, published in 2012 by Nla Digital LLC. The first page of the first chapter mentions a woman playing musical saw at the busking spot Natalia plays at.

Movie soundtracks with musical saw by Paruz[edit]

Year Title Directed By Notes
2002 Dummy Greg Pritikin
2006 El Carnaval de Sodoma Arturo Ripstein Mexico
2008 I Sell the Dead Glenn McQuaid
2008 American Carny Nick Basile
2008 Bend & Bow Ted Fisher
2009 The Heart Is a Drum Machine Christopher Pomerenke
2009 Lullaby Ben Westbrook
2011 Another Earth Mike Cahill
2012 Strings Tal Arbiv
2014 Time Out of Mind (2014 film) Oren Moverman
2014 Rhythm in Motion Jenny Schweitzer
2015 The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst Andrew Jarecki HBO series
2015 Caihong City Florina Titz
2015 Subway: The Series Veronica Dang
2016 Miss Stevens Julia Hart
2016 Naked-Spurious Glenn English
2016 When Jack Went Glamping Brandon Dickerson Post-production
2016 Scenes from the Underground Eric Swiz Post-production

Theater soundtracks with musical saw by Paruz[edit]


  • Singing Sounds of Saw (cassette)
  • Hark! an Angel Sings (2002) [9]
  • I Saw the Future (2011) [10]

External links[edit]