Aviva and the Flying Penguins
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Aviva and the Flying Penguins

Decatur, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009

Decatur, Georgia, United States
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Acoustic




"Aviva and the Flying Penguins to perform at Cafe 290"

Aviva and The Flying Penguins will bring their brand of world beat music and social activism to Cafe 290 tonight, May 18. Also on the bill for Thursday night is an impromptu vocal improv group including Elise Witt and Tommy Dean.

Aviva says she and the Flying Penguins have been working together as an ensemble for eight years. To this end, they employ a variety of instruments and include a dancer to get the audience up on their feet. She says their aim is interesting good music and creating a loving atmosphere. Aviva is joined in this performance by South African singer and percussionist Simon Zulu, percussionist Bobby Andre and dancer Jenny Nichols. The group will perform music from their 2012 album “Painted Truth” and from their latest, “Key of You.”

Aviva grew up in West Hempstead on Long Island. She says she was always making up melodies as a child, but abandoned music to find a more normal way of making a living. In college she studied cognitive development in children but took a year off to attend acting classes in New York. On a visit to Atlanta she heard a Native American singer, Cherokee Rose, at a festival. Her song “All the Wild Horses” inspired Aviva to get back into writing music. She realized, “I don’t have to be a pop star to inspire with my music.”

Aviva decided not to go back to theater school and to stay in Atlanta. She says she literally opened the phone book and called the first number her finger landed on. It was an Indian restaurant in Marietta. She contacted the restaurant and asked if they needed a musician and they agreed to hire her. She played there weekly and at an Ethiopian restaurant as well.

Aviva experimented with jazz lounge singing and succeeded in booking gigs but didn’t enjoy performing covers. She says it was like “putting on a shoe that didn’t fit.” She became an activist after learning that Henry Ford had made a car that ran off cannabis fuel. She wrote a song called “Cannabis Car” to celebrate green fuel. She says she played open mics and sold Cd’s in front of local music venues. She gained popularity and now she and her group play clubs and festivals throughout the region.

Franklin Abbott is an Atlanta psychotherapist and writer. His new album of music and poetry is Don’t Go Back To Sleep. - Atlanta Intown

"Aviva and the Flying Penguins"

She wasn't always so self-assured and adventurous. It's been a tough and rewarding journey for Aviva And The Flying Penguins whose original sound is now cascading through the airwaves as her new single ‘Change’ rockets up the charts.
Aviva And The Flying Penguins brings an exquisite sensitivity to her music, creating an authentic sound that simultaneously honors and breaks the traditional rules of songwriting. It is an approach that is earning this artist out of Atlanta, GA much acclaim lately and has propelled her debut radio single ‘Change’ to the top of the charts. One critic recently went so far as to comment: ‘Aviva And The Flying Penguins's stunning folk album is liquidly nuanced of string but boldly expressed by voice - and deeply directed to the artist's personal experiences; 'Painted Truth' is a living testament to talent and authenticity of its creator.’ Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Aviva And The Flying Penguins to learn more about this intriguing artist, her artistic inspirations and plans for the future.

LAUREN: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
AVIVA: The craziest thing that has happened to me in my music career was when I had a group of men lined up to hug and thank me after singing my songs at Burning Man - one of them being a song about healing from sexual abuse. It was a beautiful experience. All of the men, mostly in their twenties, were extremely respectful, grateful, and some moved to tears. It seemed like the hugs went on forever one after another and I am not a hugger but it felt healing to me! An onlooker said “Whoah that was amazing”

LAUREN: Your song ’Change’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
AVIVA: It’s very satisfying to have a connection to listeners through my music. My initial reaction was to celebrate. I love celebrating moments like this and amping out my love and appreciation.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your radio single?
AVIVA: I wrote ‘Change’ as I was dealing with a deep betrayal. I felt blocked and lied to by a local promoter that was not exactly into the team work to make the dream work. It was definitely one of those songwriting experiences that brought me almost to an altered state as I felt healing through the chords and configurations. I was blessed to have a friend come over and make me a yummy vegetarian meal while listening to me pluck out the chords and be a muse of sorts popping in to share in the feeling with giggles and bliss. I am ever grateful to this experience and being with a midwife of sorts for it which is rare. It’s an amazing feeling to be nurtured while creating because often times we can get so absorbed into the process that we forget to do things like feed ourselves.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
AVIVA: Music is a language I use to express and satisfy my human experience. It is also one way I connect to the Most High.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician?
AVIVA: Characteristically I would say I am an old sage-like soul that is finding my way to connect with my earth-rooted stability through melodies that seem to come from another dimension. I am deeply fond of world music as I believe it is a beautiful way to connect to each others’ cultures. I feel my own multi-cultural spirit and I celebrate the beauty that surrounds me.

LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
AVIVA: I feel incredibly supported by people on my team. I have toured with musicians who are dedicated, sleep on floors, chip in for gas, and do what needs to be done because they see the big picture. We exercise together, pray together, and have many similar life goals. It is humbling to see what they sacrifice to share music they believe in. I learned that artists are capable of doing whatever it takes to fulfill the mission they feel called to.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
AVIVA: I believe my great uncle was a well known violin player in Germany.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
AVIVA: The most rewarding thing about being an artist is feeling expressed while touching the souls of the listeners. What I find most challenging about being an artist is my perfectionism and self-critical states. In general, in order to stay open, flowing, and feeling I look my issues straight in the eyes which can often mean that emotion I am healing my inner child from… let’s say shame, becomes surfaced and therefore an obstacle for moving forward on current projects. It can seem like I will never finish or find what is blocking my way. But when I work through the feeling, the waves part, and a new frontier is explored with a sense of blissful discovery.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
AVIVA: I have many role models in music. Alanis Morrisette, Tori Amos, and Heather Nova inspired me to tell my story even through the pain and trauma. Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn exemplify the soul and grace that give purpose to singing. Bill Haley and the Comets kept me dancing as a child and so I do aspire to provide beats that move feet as well. There is also a children’s musical that has truly influenced me called 'Dot and the Kangaroo'. The list truly goes on and on.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
AVIVA: Our CD release show for Painted Truth was held at Steve’s Live Music. The stage was tight, the venue was packed and the band was jacked up! The whole community gathered together. I knew just about everyone there and felt the love. It truly felt like we were all creating a magical space together and time stopped for me. I will never forget it.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
AVIVA: The advice I would give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance is to surround yourselves with people who support you and who you can trust. I think it is also important to stay focused on your art and allow your creativity to flow the moment it is flowing because that moment will be gone in the next moment. Also, it's important to take space and time for you and remember what inspires you most. There are many distractions and not everyone who compliments you is your friend. Try to stay humble and ask for spiritual guidance every step of the way.

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there an album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
AVIVA: We are working hard on our next album "Key Of You”. It’s a very exciting project featuring top notch musicians such as James Brown’s percussionist Spike Nealy, Emrah Kotan who works with India Arie, as well as strings by Concert Master Mao Omura with members of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra. We are recording the whole album with instruments tuned to 432hz; the vibration of love. It’s pretty epic and a true labor of love. We have released one single from the album, 'Colorado in July'.

LAUREN: I look forward to hearing your new work! Thank you for letting us get to know you better as a musician and I wish you the best of luck and continued success. - The Marquis Network

"Now You've Heard Everything: ride along and sing along to the 'Cannabis Car'"

In the week the pot pastor entered politics in Weld County, why not hop in the “Cannabis Car” for sing-along and a ride-along?

An Atlanta-based band people way cooler than me listen to, Aviva and the Flying Penguins, has a song Colorado should hear. It’s one of the most popular tracks on the band’s CD “Painted Truth,” Aviva Vuvuzela tells me.

Besides a catchy tune, it brings attention to hemp, a product of increasing prominence in Colorado.

Aviva is a cannabis activist (though she flirted with campaigning to change Columbus Day to Pocahontas Day in Atlanta . — think about it, Rep. Joe Salazar). She learned Henry Ford — this is actually true — created a prototype by cooking up hemp fibers in 1941, and he envisioned a fuel made of hemp, as well.


Ford’s recipe for the plant-based plastic included wheat straw and sisel, as well, but when World War II broke out, the project lost its momentum.

A couple years ago Aviva contacted by Bruce Dietzen, who built himself a cannabis sports car by following Ford’s lead. Dietzen, president of Renew Sports Cars, lives in Miami.

“I have been gigging in Colorado for a couple of years,” Aviva said in an email exchange.

You might have caught her and the Flying Penguins, “fine young chaps,” she said, at Bushwackers Saloon and High Times in Denver, or in Fort Collins at the Noco Hemp Fest and Avogadro’s Number.

“Now, as you know, hemp is growing all over the USA, but it’s not happening quick enough,” Aviva said.

People in Colorado know that’s no lie.

The legislature has passed a handful of bills to normalize hemp for all kinds uses, as well as incentives to invest in hemp industries. State Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, opened a hemp processing plant next on the Western Slope, and state Rep. Kimmi Lewis, R-Kim, told a town hall crowd last summer that her son is grows a patch of the non-intoxicating plant related to marijuana.

In December, the Colorado Department of Agriculture put a stamp of approval on four kinds of hemp seeds for industrial purposes. And last march the legislature also instructed the ag department to study the potential of hemp as livestock feed.

But getting back in tune here, if “Cannabis Car” isn’t your new favorite song, then “Colorado in July” could be. Sing another one for us, Aviva. - Colorado Politics

"Local Artists Give the Earth a Voice"

Music for Activism

As a musician, Aviva Vuvuzela is an activist. And as an activist, she’s a musician. “Music is a language,” she says. “It’s like planting a garden. You can plant any seed you want.”

For Aviva, lead singer of the band Aviva and the Flying Penguins, music has been a powerful vehicle to generate activism to legalize hemp for medicinal and practical purposes.

Her first album, Painted Truth, featured the song Cannabis Car, about a car that runs on hemp fuel. The album charted in the Top 100 New Releases on iTunes and won her Best Folk Artist of 2017 and Album of the Month from Akademia Music.

"Without our yin connection, we see the earth as a commodity to be used without a sense of reverence, sacredness or gratitude. Yet that is exactly what we need to heal."

Aviva performs at hemp conferences all over the country, including that of the Hemp Industries Association. “The second time I went to the conference, they had invited me. But the first time, I crashed it!” she admits. In 2017, Raw Revolution sponsored Aviva and the band’s Hemp Tour.

Aviva Vuvuzela (Photo: David Callahan)
To be clear, Aviva isn’t working legalize marijuana; her goal is the legalization of hemp as a medicine, fabric, fuel and food source.

“Ever since I was a kid watching stories about devastating oil spills on TV, I just couldn’t shut up about it. Years later, I found out that we can actually use hemp to fuel our cars if we want to. You know, the Ford Company ran 40,000 vehicles on hemp ethanol without any carbon emissions. But nobody told us about it. It all felt like an intense violation to me. That’s when I wrote Cannabis Car.”

Aviva sings about a lot of things, but her hemp activism has put her on the map. She’s performed songs to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s demonstrating to halt an oil pipeline across their land; She’s performed songs about the floods in Texas. Every week, she uploads new songs about current events on her YouTube channel.

Music is at the core of her activism. “I don’t know if I could be an activist without my music. It drives me, it grounds me, and it would be too painful to do it any other way. I’m not an angry activist. I want to inspire people in a loving way.

“This has been a fight worth fighting,” she continues, “and it just might be a fight that’s almost won. It’s been an amazing 20 years, and we’ve come a long way. Nowadays, you can visit hemp fields in Hawaii, Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Michigan—and just eat it if you want. “

2019 might be the year that Georgia legalizes hemp,” she continues. “I’ve been meeting with Georgia legislators at the state level, and we’re getting heard.”

For more information, visit AvivaAndTheFlyingPenguins.com - Natural Awakenings


'Grin I Sense" 5 track album
'Cannabis Car' and 'Emet' the single from the upcoming album 'Painted Truth'




Aviva and the Flying Penguins unleash original sound on the south

In just one year since they have been together, the musically talented Aviva and the Flying Penguins are reaching a broad audience and receiving accolades all over the south. The sound has been described as “life changing, vocally alluring and healing energy from another sun that just shines right through you.” It’s also been called “inspirational, eclectic, creative, experimental, interesting, cosmic, an enigma - like listening to magic.”

The Penguins are a revolutionary new group that transcend the average musical experience. The atmosphere they create is progressive; the music: an earthy jumble of World, Folk, Soul, Reggae, Rock, Cosmic and Gypsy sound that’s been described as “the most original sound that’s come to the south!”

“It is about creating more than music. It’s about creating space,” said Aviva, the band’s founder and lead vocalist.

With Aviva on vocals, keyboards and trumpet, Colin on the guitar, Dre on the drums, Marty on bass and Simon on djembe, the melodies created by the talented five is like a journey across space and time, yet deep into the mind and the spirit.

Simon's African drumming and Zulu vocals blend like butter with Aviva's Hebrew and gypsy beats. Like love in a bubble traveling on a sound wave – a world fusion dance jumble soul rock pop sensation. In other words, if, for any reason, you forgot your life has meaning, catch a Flying Penguin performance and be reminded.

Aviva, who is also a Qi Gong and Belly Dance instructor, complements her performance with the exotic dance and costume, adding another dimension to the already aura stirring experience.

Aviva and the Flying Penguins invite you to come out, feel the love, hear the music, join the vibe and travel with the Penguins to another dimension in music.

Copy & paste these to your browser to view...please check them out. Love It Up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBu8RSV269g (link to our cd singles release party)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH427Fn9_q4 (Our new single 'Cannabis Car' Live in Purgatory at the Masquerade)

Band Members