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- WOMEX 2010
Born in London and barely 40 days later, Christine Vaindirlis was off to Johannesburg, South Africa to start taking hold of her destiny as a world global trotter. Growing up under the most horrific and diabolic era of apartheid, intolerant of the political injustice, Christine started looking for a way to express her emotions.
At the age of fourteen, life took her to Cyprus, an international school with new friends from different countries and a cultural difference that so desperately made her long for home, she searched for the first opportunity to express herself through her passion for music, the music she had taken with her to keep alive the memories, with the hope of one day taking her to new horizons.
At seventeen, with English as her mother tongue, a bit of Afrikaans as a second language and some Greek spoken at home with her mother, without a word of Italian and a mere teenager, she ventured to Milan, Italy with only a little dictionary, to find a place to live. The plan was to study the language. She soon found a way through a full scholarship to train as an opera singer, but she wanted more; to have her own voice that would tell her story and what was in her heart. In the mean time life’s responsibilities pushed her into the corporate world that was slowly ebbing away her dream and soul. Taking advantage of the short distances and being the cultural sponge that she was, she took every opportunity to evade and traveled to Austria, Germany, France, Monte Carlo, Greece, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Egypt and Israel until one day, a quiet-spoken colleague instigated, “You say you’re a musician, are you going to spend the rest of your life behind a desk?”. Annoyed, but she secretly felt the same way and had her own “American Dream” in mind.
Soon after her employer was forced to relocate to another country while at the same time, her apartment became unavailable for rent, so what came next seemed logical, the Berklee World Scholarship Tour Auditions. Before she knew it, “with a little help from her friends”; a nice incentive and severance package, she was off to Boston to start a new life again from scratch. Four years later, a college ambassador with new composition, arranging, production and performance skills under her belt, and an award for outstanding musicianship she, together with two other friends, rented a van moved to NYC, the music Mecca cultural melting pot of the world where she fit right in.
She longed to produce an album that would capture the essence and energy of her dearly missed South Africa, enriched by the reflection of where life had taken her and the Berklee experience that had pushed her envelope further. She ventured into putting her dream team together. “Dance Mama!”, a ten track original collection of arrangements infused with syncopated rhythms of traditional jazz and South African influenced horn and powerful vocal arrangements, with shout outs to the South African jazz greats, as well as to an eclectic mix of R&B and funk icons all filtered through Vaindirlis’s unique worldly perspective, features Telarc recording artist Hiromi, along with the legendary Paul Simon “Graceland” accordion player Tony Cedras and Grammy-award winning bassist Bakithi Kumalo, and Cape-Jazz Pennywhistle and saxophone guru, Morris Goldberg to name a few. “Tell Me” hit the finals of USA Songwriting Competition, “This is My Place” and “Indaba” the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Competition and the International Songwriting Competitions respectively, while “This is My Place”, “Dance Mama” and Down by the River” received honorable mentions in the Billboard World Songwriting Contest. The album received airplay in the US, Europe and South Africa, and on in-flight World Music play-lists on Continental, Copa, Sri Lankan, Caribbean and United Airlines. She has been featured on CNN International, NBC’s New York Non-Stop, ESPN and Time Out New York and has since had the privilege of performing at many prestigious music venues across the world, including the Blue Note in New York City, Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan, and the Epidauvros theatre in Greece. She was also one of the official judges of "In the mix" talent show competition on LifezoneTV. In 2014, her newly released Single, “Beyond the Game” hit the finals of the USA and UK Songwriting Competitions.
Christine’s voice of deep personal experience and transcontinental life culminates in her songs that emanate a source of profound happiness and gratitude, the sunny disposition that echoes throughout her work, a reflection of where she has been and the foundation of where she’s going. She IS WORLD MUSIC! “When I look back I think…it’s been quite a trip and you can only really understand it through my music. This is more than I could have ever imagined. Who knows where life will take me next? God is good!” Vaindirlis smiles.