Soulful Jazz Duo ARIELLA Open Hearts & Minds with “Terrified”

July 14, 2020 by 1888media

With a fervor for blues, jazz and vintage soul, enigmatic duo, ARIELLA, passionately transcend boundaries, transporting listeners to the heart of what makes music timeless. It’s a fluid daydream, seeping.

With elegant vocals by the charismatic Ariella McManus, a singer with emotional depth and a songwriter rich with breadth, she eloquently combines stunning melodies with infectious grooves to create a catchy, immersive sound. Teamed with guitar maestro, Nicolaas Kraster, a talented wunderkind from Fredonia, NY that’s been compared to Ottmar Liebert, Paco de Lucía and Pat Metheny, the pair effortlessly craft an engaging path to the spiritual promised land. 


Flush with poetic imagery and musical intimacy, ARIELLA’s recent releases, (“Joy” & “Terrified”), are a great example of their sonic vision, one with increasing definition of the human condition. As she matter-of-factly emotes on “Joy,” “I don’t need you to make me complete. If I don’t make life better, it’s time for me to leave,” Ariella captures pain and hope with each passing note.

With apt comparisons to the transcendent fragility of Etta James, Patsy Cline and Amy Winehouse, tenured jazz critic, Jonathan Widran, dubbed their repertoire, “Raw and soulful…beautifully combining a sense of defiant assertiveness and wounded vulnerability” while Skope Magazine lauds McManus, “By going for her own unique style, she is without peer. References to her performance recall the best of Adele and Alicia Keys. Everything about her delivery reflects a sense of true care and compassion.”

With growing acclaim making waves, the group caught the ear of Internationally renown bassist/educator Victor Wooten (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones), who recognized their intangible chemistry, “ARIELLA is one of my all-time favorite bands. I love their music and their live performances. There’s no way to not enjoy them.”

It’s a palpable reciprocity. On their exhilarating 2019 EP, Live at the Hideaway Café, recorded during a St. Pete heatwave, the blistering set finds the pair excavating the essence of the classics, while delivering a cascading storm of substance and sustenance, bringing to mind a late night soiree with Antônio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto trading stories with the Buena Vista Social Club.

As the Sarasota-based twosome continue to refine their sound, they enlisted award-winning engineer, Fabrice Dupont (“Fabulous Fab”), known for his work with Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Andre 3000, Shakira, Les Nubians, Bebel Gilberto, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to add his deft touch to the new material. Meeting at the annual NAMM confab in Anaheim, Dupont effused, “ARIELLA has the very rare ability to deliver pure emotion every time she sings. She’s a classic voice for our modern times.”

Both as a duo, and with their larger Latin-infused ensemble, Ari and the Alibis, Nic and Ariella play to packed rooms in Tampa, Sarasota, and throughout Central Florida, while also touring in Canada, the UK and across the US, including a recent debut at NYC’s infamous Blue Note night club.

To celebrate the August 7th release of ’Terrified,” ARIELLA will livestream a series of special shows in conjunction with marquee venues across the eastern U.S.

“A memorable ear-catching sound.” – The Suncoast Post

“Powerhouse voice filled with emotion and strength.” – Broadway World

“Wildly unique and accessible, with a hint of cultural authenticity.”
American Songwriter

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