Estonian violinist and singer, currently living in Copenhagen/Denmark.
An instrumentalist, as well a vocalist, Ingrid Hagel expresses her musical ideas through her original compositions. Her themes and melodic violin solos are full of vigorous energy and are talking the language of the heart and her life in different cultures.
Born in Estonia, Ingrid moved to Copenhagen to study jazz. She recalls: „Since the age of six, I began playing following the fundaments of the traditional school of classical violin. Even though I enjoyed very much the classical repertoire, my personal need to express myself without boundaries grew rapidly, leading me to the conclusion that I did not want to become only a classical violin player." While attending to Estonian Academy of Music she met Butch Lacy, who was on a tour in Estonia with his music students from Denmark. She learned from him the possibility of studying jazz on a violin in Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.
"I was thriven to create myself: compose and take solos. I practiced jazz first as a vocalist. It was peculiarly easy for me to find the pitches I wanted to bind together for the solo lines. I just loved fooling around with phrasing and odd intervals. At a certain point I started sharing the knowlege between these two instruments and this helped me developing myself to the point where I am today. Since I feel more than comfortable with both instruments, I have a clear intention to blend them in my musical identity."
Ingrid’s musical language manifests itself in the forms of jazz. "I have always been attracted to the colorful harmonies. New colors and sounds are opening up a whole different world for me, that I definitely need to explore. Though many people still consider violin a classical instrument, I see its proper place in jazz, fusion and world music. I think it is also a great instrument to improvise on. With its warm and graceful sound, it can be sensual, or striking hell if you like. I usually prefer the first option“.
In Copenhagen, where I live, I have interacted with many musicians from all over the world, as well as taking part in the big international project „Swinging Europe Youth Orchestra“, which is called „The European Jazz Orchestra“ today.
The artistic director and top bass player in Denmark Erik Moseholm describes Ingrid with these words: „I have got to know Ingrid as an engaged and very talented violin player during the „European Jazz Youth Orchestra“ 2003 project. She represented Estonia among 19 different nations, and left a very positive sign to the whole initiative. During the tour she showed deep musical understanding of Italian folkmusic, arrangements and compositions of the annual italian dirigent Bruno Tommaso“. For sure this collaboration has had a significant value to Ingrid's artistic development, even bringing her back to Italy years later, this time together with her Italian husband born in Milano, whom she got to know during her studies in Copenhagen.
Ingrid is currently searching for a publishing partner to her recently recorded album "Tharapita". The new album get's it's name after a superior god of Vironian tribes in northern Estonia, first mentioned in Chronicle of Livonia on 13th century. There is no better term in the Estonian culture that can evoke the unity between man and nature. "When I started composing music for the album," says Ingrid, "the challenge was to recreate the sensations, colours and landscapes of my childhood's country house and its surroundings. In contrast to the emotional vortex and the busy citylife of Copenhagen, the music is a journey back to all these memories, now coming life again through the eyes of an adult." For the project Ingrid has chosen Japanese-born pianist Makiko Hirabayashi, percussionist and drummer Marilyn Mazur and a danish bassist Klavs Hovman, to create the vivid pictures and bring the sounds alive through their dynamic performance.
Ingrid is still polishing her violin technique and is very keen on having long conversations over the complications and particularities in mastering the instruments playing and jazz solo studying with her mentor and outstanding violinist Mr. Mark Feldman.