Katja Cruz
Instrument: vocals

photo: Dominik Kreuzer ©

Cruz Katja


# Title Year of Originsort icon Duration Instrumentation Category
1 Baskets of Energy 2013 15m
2 Hexahedron - Earth 2012 10m
3 Octahedron - Air 2012 9m
4 Icosahedron - Water 2012 8m
5 Dodecahedron - Ether, the Universe 2012 9m
6 Hexagon 2012 10m
7 Hexagram 2012 10m
8 The Flower of Life 2012 12m
9 Honig 2012 8m
10 Lightning & Thunder 2012 5m
11 Earth 2012 9m
12 Water 2012 7m
13 Air 2012 6m
14 Fire 2012 5m
15 Beneath the Ice 2011 7m
16 Rusalka 2011 7m
17 Siren Song 2011 7m
18 Light & Shade 2011 11m
19 Missa Cantata 2011 5m
20 Dei Gratia 2011 9m
21 El viento 2010 3m
22 Mi corazón 2010 3m
23 Estas en todo 2010 4m
24 Mi vida Llama 2010 5m
25 Nos se que pasa 2010 5m
26 Cuando vienes 2010 4m
27 Bebe de mis águas 2010 3m
28 Solar 2009 2m
29 Ancient Calling 2009 1m
30 Barefoot through the woods 2009 3m
31 High in the woods 2009 2m
32 Sweet water 2009 1m
33 Ancient Chatter 2009 1m
34 Lago Titicaca 2009 5m
35 Supernatural 2009 9m
36 Dance on the Earth 2009 12m
37 Earth' song of power, pain and hope 2009 13m
38 Flight 2009 7m
39 from the east 2009 7m
40 spirited seed 2009 3m
41 from elysium 2009 5m
42 into silence 2009 3m
43 liberated forces 2009 1m
44 floating 2009 4m
45 crossing borders 2009 2m
46 reaching new lands 2009 2m
47 mightful forces 2009 2m
48 going deep 2009 3m
49 ecstatic beginning 2009 4m

General Information

Year of Birth:  1968
Date of Birth:  4. March 1968
Place of Birth:  Graz
Region of Birth: 

lives in Graz


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation

high school diploma at the BORG Feldbach

1986 - 1989

studies of philosophy and art history



"Maschallah" interdisciplinary project within the context of the exhibition "Orientierungen" 


workshop "Improvvissazionze senza fine"


participant at the forum of composers "KoMoFi"


Izmir Jazz Camp


master classes at the Elon-Jazz University, North Carolina, USA


guest singer and consultant at the research project "Quo vadis. Teufelsgeiger?" 


organizer of the "Suppenkonzerte Graz" for improvised music


leadership of serveral workshops for improvised singing and percussion together with Howard Curtis

cooperation with the ensemble "Perkussion Diskussion"

cooperation with the ensemble "Parkorchester"

Performances (Selection)


Interzone-Festival, Serbia


"klangbogen" voice meets electronics with David Pirro and Matthias Kronlachner


International Tour (London, Vienna)


KoMoFi #17


"Lightning & Thunder" Katja Cruz / Howard Curtis


world premier of the film "Hexaphone", The ShapeShift Lab

performances with Mat Maneri, Jure Pukl, Arrigo Cappelletti, David Pirro, Andrea Massaria, Matthias Kronlachner, Jamilia Jazylbekova, Armin Pokorn, Fredi Lang, Alexey Kruglov, Jaak Sooar, Howard Curtis, Michael Moser, Sylvie Lacroix, Ewald Oberleitner, Valentin Czihak, Patrik Lechner, Wayne Darling, Dieter Glawischnig, Klemens Pliem, Christoph Wundrak, Sasa Mutic, Blaise Siwula, Ed Neumeister, Jon Metzger, John Brown, Johannes Enders, Larry Porter, Peter Herbert, Karl Ratzer, Alessandro Deledda, Alberto Dipace, Günter Meinhart, and many more


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Best vocal release 2012 (The New York City Jazz Record)

Press Reviews


March 2014

[...] Cruz' music, inspired by "geometric forms of the platonic bodies", is best experienced in video, where free improvisations on her graphic scores are enhanced by Lechner's back-screen projections of zooming, rotating, morphing shapes, further mixed into double-exposures of fractal-ized visual effects that breathe in and through the music like a solar windstorm. Cruz' rich alto, Curtis' sympathetic mallet work and Lake's charismatic outbursts form the backbone of this collective audio-visual odyssey.

New York City Jazz Record (Tom Greenland)



January 2013

Katja Cruz and Howard Curtis' debut Lightning & Thunder in tribute to the elements, a buoyant live exploration of their sonic and visceral aspects. Curtis moved to Graz in 2005 to teach drums at "KUG", the first Euopean university to institutionalize jazz studies. His free improv with Cruz is anything but academic, however: their sensitive and sympathetic exchanges range from Sturm und Drang histrionics to oases of stillness and serenity. Cruz' elastical vocal technique encompasses grunts and sighs, whispers and war whoops, timbral 'squeezes', Southeast Asian-style gamaks (shaken ornaments), tessellated glissandi, swirling vibrato, even girlish laughter, all seamlessly dovetailed to Curtis' eclectic palette of percussion effects.

The New York City Jazz Record (Tom Greenland) 


November 2012

Rambling over towards the óut´side, wild virtuosic Austrian Katja Cruz pairs with percussionist Howard Curtis for „Lightning and Thunder“ (ein klang_records) in improvisations about the elements. From the ear-opening perspective of shamanistic ritual, this album sounds like a channeling. Cruz` mercury-fast unbound range resounds like echoes in mystical canyons.

The New York City Jazz Record (Katie Bull)



01. November 2011 

[...] the soft-jazz/post-classical piano of Carolyn Hume is a perfect match for Katja Cruz’s suave and velvety voice. Light and Shade was entirely improvised on a single day in the studio. It was the first in-person meeting between the two ladies. And they got out of it six delicate tracks that flow very smootly, without a rough note, and with lots of beautiful mind-melting moments. Tender, lulling music, with a bit of melancholia seeping in [...]

Journal d'écoute (Monsieur Delire)




A nice discovery by Leo Feigin. Katja Cruz is a vocalist. She sings an inner, wordless song, a chant filled with emotions and experiences, with little extended or noise-based techniques. Simply an improvised song from a voice that falls somewhere between a classically-trained mezzo-soprano and Iva Bittova. Primeval Sounds of the World is presented in two sections: the first one features seven short solo pieces, the second one has four longer improvisations with Thomas Rottleuthner on flute, bass clarinet and baritone sax. A beautiful communion takes place between the two. The music is easy to listen to, expressive, and moving.

Journal d'écoute (Monsieur Delire) 


19. September 2010

In the first half of this CD, Argentinean singer Katja Cruz (nee Kruscher) evokes vague similarities to Meredith Monk, though on a decidedly inferior procedural level. Still, her solo improvisations sound genuine, dictated by a veritable desire of penetrating the actual spirit of the ancient eras to which the record’s title refers. The timbre is quite authoritative, the singing is animate without transcending to distasteful, a rather straightforward style never ruined by magniloquence. Hints to natural, animal and spiritual milieus appear credible, the listening experience positively pleasurable [...]

touchingextremes.wordpress (Massimo Ricci)

Discography, Projects


  • 2013: Hexaphone - the cosmology of improvised music (Rudi Records)
  • 2012: Lightning & Thunder (Einklang Records)
  • 2011: KoFoMi #16 - Music? (Einklang Records)
  • 2011: Light & Shade (Leo Records)
  • 2010: Mi corazón (Leo Records)
  • 2010: Primeval Sounds of the World (Leo Records)
  • 2009: I am one (Leo Records)
  • 2009: Wassermusik/Watermusic (ATS Records)
  • 2008: Cantango (ATS Records/Extraplatte)
  • 2007: Ich bin (ATS Records/Extraplatte)