Jiva Tree is a five piece collective from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who have opened many ears and just as many hearts to their intriguing, dynamic sound. Jiva Tree is a band truly like no other.
Jiva Tree embodies elements of soul, rock, folk, jazz and world music and consists of haunting female vocals, cello, guitar, keys, wind instruments, and percussion.
After pursuing a solo musical career for three years, Tara Stadnyk, lead vocalist and songwriter of Jiva Tree, set out on a mission to put together a band and explore the many dimensions of sound that being in a band creates. A lover of unique and edgy music that pushes boundaries, Tara had a vision of gathering a group of individuals who would bring that very same element to her songs.
The accompaniment began with her younger sister, Alison, who brought her electric guitar, flute, sisterly harmonies and own songs to the table. The relationship between Tara and Alison musically, is like that between any two sisters: it is based on teaching, sharing, compromise and above all, love.
Michael Lett and Shawn Semchuk were soon added to the group.
Michael, a saxophone player studying Jazz Music at the University of Saskatchewan, brought a well-educated, jazzy, genius mind to the creative and spontaneous songwriting of Jiva Tree.
Shawn Semchuk (aka Semchuk Radio... a name given to Shawn because of his ability to play ANY song on the guitar simply by listening to it) is also a cello and bass wizard. He brought the same genius energy to Jiva Tree. With the talents of Michael and Shawn, Jiva Tree was able to explore the many realms of expressive sound.
Then came Allan Hundeby, the timekeeper. Allan's contribution to Jiva Tree was that of rhythm. With a strong determination to learn the material quickly, Allan was able to play gigs with Jiva Tree within a week of joining the band. With his experimental mind and quick, precise hands, Allan became the final piece to complete the puzzle.
With the combined passion of five very different members, Jiva Tree has toured across western Canada and have found gig after gig to be nothing but success.The chemistry between the musicians is passionate and playful. Sweet and fierce. Quite often when experiencing Jiva Tree live, one will feel a story unfold within a song... an introduction, ascent, climax, descent and resolution. The energy of the band's live performance is free-flowing, bold, lusty and remarkably polished.
If you are interested in booking Jiva Tree, contact:
Nakul Aloni - Percussion, Tabla
Allan Hundeby - Drums
Shawn Semchuk - Bass, Guitar, Cello
Tara Stadnyk - Vocals, Guitar, keys
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Jiva (pronounced 'jee-vah') is Sanskrit for the "immortal essence of a living being"-- a soul, if yo...Jiva (pronounced 'jee-vah') is Sanskrit for the "immortal essence of a living being"-- a soul, if you will. It's a reference that seems entirely appropriate for a band like Jiva Tree, a musical gang of gypsies and vagabonds. But while the name would seem to mean "soul of a tree" it's in fact symbolic of the identity and ideas that have sprung from meshing together the four people that make up the group, which happens to feature sisters Tara and Alison Stadnyk.
"The tree symbolizes [our] sisterhood," explains the elder sister, Tara. We grew up with a gigantic tree in our backyard that we would climb a lot. The tree also acts as a metaphor for a collective of musicians making music together -- inspiration comes from the roots of experience, then grows, then blossoms into creation."
Jiva Tree’s music is almost impossible to describe in print — you really have to hear it to understand. A unique melding of unorthodox instruments — from something as simple as a cello or saxophone to more outlandish choices, like the didgeridoo — the tempo often chugs along in a fashion that brings to mind a drunken camel in some kind of 21st century Lawrence of Arabia homage." The odd curl of the tongue or false accent occasionally punctuates the vocals, providing more Middle Eastern mental imagery. Jiva Tree's songs are serious, but with a playful side that saves them from lapsing into pretentiousness.
My writing is spawned by nature, poetry, sweet love and hard love. The lyrics are definitely raw and somewhat in-your-face, but that comes from honesty and releasing pure emotion into the songs. I write for myself, not for the audience, [but] when the audience can relate to what I'm saying, [I know] it's real and true."
The group debuted their new, self-titled album with a CD release party at Flowers By Fred -- an odd, yet somehow apt venue -- and has recently embarked on a western Canadian tour, which will culminate in a homecoming show with These Hands at Lydia's on October 8th.
"At a Jiva Tree live performance you can expect sisterly harmonies combined with a very dynamic sound," says Stadnyk, "that ranges from high-energy rock n' roll, to a more light folk-jazz, to a sort of Arabic sound. Often when we look at a crowd during a performance, it seems like they're in a trance or off in la la land, but truly enjoying themselves."
-Craig Silliphant, Planet S Magazine
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(NEXT WEEK) JIVA TREE @ LYDIA’S PUB — Saskatoon’s Jiva Tree comes to Lydia’s on September 17th, ho...(NEXT WEEK) JIVA TREE @ LYDIA’S
PUB — Saskatoon’s Jiva Tree comes
to Lydia’s on September 17th, hot on
the heels of their self-titled debut EP’s
release. The band uses an unorthodox
mix of saxophone, cello, flute, hand
drums and acoustic guitars — along
with delightfully haunting vocals and
lyrics — to create an atmospheric blend
of jazzy, ambient folk that at times
borrows a sultry groove from middle
eastern influences. Opening is Terri
Bear, a local singer-songwriter with
Kate Bush-inspired melodies and an
exotic acoustic style. Cover is $5, the
show starts at 10. -Chris Dobson
There are no upcoming dates at this time.