Celia Rose

Celia Rose

 Chicago, Illinois, USA
SoloPopFolk

Celia Rose has spent most of her music career performing outside of the United States, in places as varied as Haiti, Israel, France, Rwanda, and Canada. Wherever she goes, she brings her indie-folk-pop style, while also diving deep into the musical traditions of the countries she visits. The result is a wild, often exotic, and always unique musical blend, showcasing the diversity of our world and the stories that bind us together. She recently completed her 4th full length studio album.

Biography

Celia Rose has spent most of her music career performing outside of the United States, in places as varied as Haiti, Israel, France, Rwanda, and Canada.  Wherever she goes, she brings her indie-folk-pop style, while also diving deep into the musical traditions of the countries she visits.  The result is a wild, often exotic, and always unique musical blend, showcasing the diversity of our world and the stories that bind us together.

 A prolific singer/songwriter, Celia’s music ranges across the spectrum of human experience.  Her songs can brim with optimism, fearlessness, love, and the constancy of change.  Others slow down and reflect on paths not taken, and the loss of innocence.  Her vocal style, a cross between Natalie Maine’s strength and Dolly Parton’s quick vibrato, along with her naturally warm and approachable stage presence, draws in listeners and always leaves them wanting to hear more.

 Her latest album, Zig Zag, was recorded in Canada at the prestigious OCL studios in Calgary.  It is her fourth full length album, but the first to be produced by award winning producer/mixer Spencer Cheyne, with performances by top Canadian musicians such as Russell Broom (guitarist for Jann Arden).  The album is getting spins on over a hundred radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Songs from Zig Zag have been licensed by 13 TV networks including Discovery Network, E!TV and The Real World.

 Raised in a Jewish, vegetarian family in the middle of the deep South, Celia learned piano and guitar from her family, but her voice training was initially her own doing.  “I sang everything and I sang it loud!  It drove my brothers crazy on car rides.”  Her first songwriting experiences started around the age of 10 when she began writing poetry and singing her poems onto cassette tapes.  Madonna was her childhood idol, but soon she discovered the Indigo Girls and fell in love with their lyrics and harmonies.  Other influences included Tori Amos, Nanci Griffith, Joni Mitchell and Ani Difranco.  Some of her current favorites include Sara Bareilles, KT Tunstall, Dar Williams and Christina Perri. 

 After studying at Washington University in St. Louis, Celia completed her first studio album and then in 2001, moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  There, she performed on Haiti’s national radio and shared the stage with top Haitian bands RAM, Boukman Experienz, and Belo.  After Haiti, Celia spent 4 years in Paris, where she started the band Wrapped in Rain with fellow singer/songwriter Johannah Cantwell.  They performed regularly around Paris and completed a full length studio album in 2005, entitled Butterfly.  Using Paris as their base, they toured 9 countries in Africa as Cultural Ambassadors for the U.S. State Department, performing and co-writing songs about respect, women’s empowerment and hope.

After Paris, Celia settled in New York City, where she received a Master’s degree from New York University, studying the use of songwriting to benefit at-risk youth.  Meanwhile she taught songwriting in Harlem and also completed her 3rd full length album, Stories, and her first music video, Little. 

Returning to Haiti, Celia worked with Sean Penn’s J/P HRO organization, writing songs with students living in a tent city after the horrific earthquake.  She sang throughout the city, to crowds of Haitians and expats working on earthquake relief.  After one of her shows, Sean Penn came up to her and called her performance “sensational!”

 From Haiti, Celia landed in Calgary, Canada, a hub of music in the frozen north. In addition to recording Zig Zag, she became involved with Every Woman Foundation, writing their theme song and acting as music coordinator to put together the compilation album, Be Yourself, released on U.S. record label Luxury Wafers in 2014 and including co-writes with Dan Hill and Sophie Serafino.

After many years of traveling and living around the world, Celia moved back to the States and recently settled in Chicago.  She lives there with her husband, a novelist, and their three young children.  She writes songs to accompany his novels, the most recent of which made the NY Times Bestseller list.  Her songs are included in the audiobook versions of the books. 

www.celiarosemusic.com

Lyrics

Everything that we share

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

Everything that we share

1.Where am I from, I’m not sure, I wake in the morning, my window’s a blur
I’ve always wandered, I tend to roam. I was born here. Is this really my home?

I moved far away, but now I’ve come back to my land
I feel like a stranger, confused and uncertain of where I stand

Chorus:
It's where we’re from, who we become and everyway that we care
What we give and how we live, and everything that we share

2. There’s a Paris in Texas, a Paris in France, a Birmingham, Alabama; Birmingham, England. Where do you come from, we all want to know. yet what does it mean, what does it show.

Really, what’s an American, it can be hard to define
Go back far enough, you may find your roots, planted right next to mine.

Chorus:
Where we’re from, who we become, everyway that we care
What we give and how we live, and everything that we share

Bridge:
Leaves fall like snow as the cherry trees grow in the town where I was born
But I look up to see that my stars followed me all this time, they’re watching, oh they're watching, they're watching us as we shine

3. Now I live in the city that never sleeps, where girls strut in high heels down these Manhattan streets.
We are mixed blood, hybrids, the unknown. Korean in person is American on the phone.

We are more beautiful from all the crossing of lines
We try to fit it, yet we long to stand out, in these times

Chorus:
Where we’re from, who we become, all the ways that we care
What we give and how we live, and everything that we share

Nellie

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

Nellie (capo-1)
Celia Rose

V1

Hey Nellie, do you remember me,
The American girl from the 7th floor
I baked some muffins, just wanted to say hi
And see if you were doing alright
She cracks the door a little wider, squinting with suspicion at my blurry face in the hall
She says, “I remember you, I thought you had blond hair,
Are you the one making all that noise up there?"

Pre-chorus:
When I walk in high heel shoes across the floor of my room
She beats on the radiator with her broom and I think…

Chorus:
Yeah ….. I guess she’s doing alright 2x

Nellie’s lived here now for 90 years. She was born, had here children, lost her husband here
During the 2nd world war when sirens screamed for all to hide
She stood on the balcony, refused to go inside
Now like she did some 60 years ago, She stands out on that balcony, refusing to go….and I think

Chorus

Bridge:
I’ve lived here in this building for the last four years, no one else even knows my name.
I’ve never seen her leaving, never heard her grieving, but sometimes when I sing a song
I hear her sing along

Instrumental/vocal

Chorus

Frozen Town

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

V1
The night ran away
with my heart in its teeth
Now it’s fading like yesterday,
with the ghosts of what cannot be
All that we’ve shared
lies here in this room,
all that we’ve loved
lingers in the air like perfume,

The night comes and the night goes, these open wounds will never close
As it all falls away in this frozen town

V2
All I can see is an empty glass and your empty seat
And all I can hear, is the ice cracking beneath my feet

The night comes and the night goes, these open wounds will never close
As it all falls away in this frozen town

All… All the statues look down,
All… All the faces in town… surround…
They surround me, surround you, they knew us both as one not two
Now they wonder where we went wrong
But this is our choice, it’s our lives, it’s our turn to decide
If it all falls away in this frozen town.

V3
We loved with our hands, but our minds weren’t there
We spoke icy words;
that froze in the air.
All I could hear was the snapping of the trees
All I could see was a minefield of memories

The night came and the night went, we said things that we never meant
It all fell away in that frozen town.

Little

Written By: Celia Rose

Little

Verse 1:
A little brush of summer air
A little wisp of wavy hair
In my face across my nose
A little sneeze and there it goes
A little walk 'til I get home
A little time to be alone
A little thought runs through my head
I think of what my father said

Pre-chorus
At least your feet touch the ground
At least you bring the world some sound
At least your eyes can watch the glow
of every little lighting show

Chorus:
I’m five foot four, a little small,
but I don’t feel little afterall
I’ve got these words, got this voice
I’ve got to sing, I have no choice
My heart is bigger than the sun,
I love to love to love someone
So here I am, I will not fall
I am not so little afterall.

Verse 2:
Little drops of silent tears
A little song that no one hears
Little hands that feel the cold
Little thoughts that break the mold

A little noise keeps me awake
I try to hide, but can’t escape
I get up to look outside
and see myself walking by

Pre-chorus
At least my feet touch the ground
At least I bring the world some sound
At least I hurt because I feel
As least I know that I am real.

Chorus

Bridge:
The wind knocks me down,
takes me places I have been before
I recognize that slamming door
All I need to lift me up is the love that I find deep within my heart,
The only place that love can grow
The only place I truly know.

Pre-chorus:
At least my feet touch the ground
At least I bring the world some sound
At least I look you in the eye
At least I give my dreams a try.

Chorus

Esperance

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

Esperance
By Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski
2007

Verse 1 :
Oh oh, cherie, tu apportes espoir
La force de ton cœur est ton histoire
Tu m’as conduis dans ton pays de couleurs
Tu porte les cikatrice comme tes filles porte les fleurs (dans leur cheveux)

Tu me donnes un sourire, tu me prends la main
Tu me montres l’importance d’une vie humaine
Donnant ta vie pourque vive la paix
Perdant tou(t), pour un avenir de possibilite

Pre-chorus :
Every country in this world children are born into love
They are given a name, given a name, to lift them above

Chorus
Derrierre mon, gen yen mon. Mais derrière moun gen yen moun
Je connais un homme, son nom est esperance
There are mountains to climb, but I will toss down a rope
To every boy and girl, in this world,
Living their lives…..on hope.

Verse 2 :
Je me promenne dans les rues, sans trottoir
Et les pauvre me regardent avec espoir
Avec des larmes aux yeux, ils crient qu’ils ont faim
Ils disent que je suis blanche, donc mwen genyen

Anpil Ayisyen, Anpil Africain
N’ont pas cette chance de vivre si bien
Moi je dois donner mon cœur au monde entier
Tout mon amour a ces gens desesperes.

Pre-Chorus
Every country in this world children are born into love
They are given a name, given a name, to lift them above

Chorus
Derrierre mon, gen yen mon. Mais derrière moun gen yen moun
Je connais un homme par le nom, d’esperance
There are mountains to climb, but I will toss down a rope
To every boy and girl, in this world,
Living their lives…..on hope.

Verse 3 :
One summer, I found myself, outside Tel Aviv,
teaching Arab-Israeli girls how to read
They were 15 years old, i was 22,
they all wanted to tell me what they planned to do

Futures that sparkled so brightly in their eyes.
Me, I saw boundaries where they saw paradise
As i left, there was one, she stood up by the door
She said, « my name means hope » that is what i’m living for

Pre-Chorus
Every country in this world children are born into love
They are given a name, given a name, to lift them above

Chorus
Derrierre mon, gen yen mon. Mais derrière moun gen yen moun
Je connais une homme par le nom, d’esperance
There are mountains to climb, but I will toss down a rope
To every boy and girl, in this world,
Living their lives…..on hope.

Baby O Baby

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

Baby oh baby
Celia Rose
3/13/07

V1
You come home with that really sad face,
Something’s got you down, but you’re up in space
Just looking around, not looking at me,
You’re looking around for what you don’t see

Sit down to dinner, but you don’t want to talk
You want some air, but you don’t to walk
It seems to me that you’ve made up your mind
You’re closing your eyes to all that shines.

Don’t you know that I’m sitting right here, ready to make you smile my dear

Chorus
Baby oh baby yea it’s alright, it’s just the rain falling, not the sky
Baby oh baby, you'll be ok with me
Baby oh baby, don’t look so sad, it’s just the rain falling, it’s not that bad
Baby oh baby, you'll be ok with me

V2
I know you, so I know when it's time
to back off and let you chill and just clear you're mind.
Pick up the mess I left on the floor.
I put on my boots and then I head for the door
Grab my keys and walk outside
I know what I should get you, so I go for a ride
At the store, you call my phone and say
"Baby, I miss you. Can you hurry home?

'Cause don’t you know that I’m sitting right here, ready to make you smile my dear"

Chorus

Bridge:
Have you forgotten that you love the rain
and that my love can make it all O...

Chorus

Ripple in the Water

Written By: Nancy Celia Rose Kujawinski

Ripple in the water
Celia Rose / Nov. 6, 2009
(Written for my babies, who were born too early)

(Verse 1)
I believe the sun was shining while our tears were coming down.
And I said, “It’s such a beautiful day.” And you said, “My love, we’re going to be ok.”
The leaves were red and yellow, orange and brown
We held on to every bit of hope we found
(Pre-chorus)
All that I want to do is shine a light on you.

(Chorus)
I want you to be a ripple in the water
I want you to be a rainbow in the sky
Let it be heard, let it be clear
Let it be known that you were here.

(Verse 2)
Every dream I’ve ever dreamed, every wish I’ve ever made
Tiptoes in and out of darkness, like ghosts in a parade
When I hear my inner voice, when I listen to its call
I hear a symphony of music playing in an empty hall.
(Pre-chorus)
Then the choir starts to sing along; the violins all play
I haven’t done it in a while, but I begin to pray…

(Chorus)
that you will be a ripple in the water
I want you to be a rainbow in the sky
Let it be heard, let it be clear
Let it be known that you were here.

(Bridge)
You walked in our souls and you touched us so deeply
You pulled us so close and you changed us completely
All that I want to do is shine a light on you.

(Chorus)
I want you to be a ripple in the water
I want you to be a rainbow in the sky
Let it be heard, let it be clear
Let it be known that you were here.

Stories

Written By: Celia Rose

STORIES

Intro:
I had ink on my fingers as I ran downstairs
I was twelve years old, you were sitting in that chair
You read my story, said, “this isn’t bad,
just a few small revisions.” I said “thanks, dad.”

Verse 1:
I walked to school, I was so proud.
Showed it to my teacher, she said out loud,
“you should be a writer, you have stories to share”
that’s when I knew, it was then and there

that this dream started growing, everyday
although I tend to keep it hidden away
But there’s no way to fight it, it’s in my blood
It’s who I am. It’s what I love.

Pre-chorus:
Inventing lands where I long to go
With magic in the air and angels in the snow

Chorus:
This is why there are stories. This is what stories do
They’re the love all around us. They’re in me, they’re in you
They’re the past and the present. Mixed into one
The glory of the moment when life has just begun.

Verse 2:
Some memories are fading from the corners of my mind
While others keep parading, they sneak up from behind
I don’t belong anywhere, except inside my head
When I feel alone, there are stories to be read

But folks don’t read anymore, so what’s the point of writing
If no one’s going to read it, what’s the point of fighting
For a dream that’s in the air; a kite held by a string
Not getting anywhere, not changing anything

But sunlight gives me hope and hope is what I need right now
There’s new life all around. Spring is going to come somehow
I’m waiting for the buds to open up and bloom
I’m going to find a light to brighten up this room

Pre-chorus:
Inventing lands where I long to go
With magic in the air and angels in the snow

Chorus:
This is why there are stories. This is what stories do
They’re the love all around us. They’re in me, they’re in you
They’re the past and the present. Mixed into one
The glory of the moment when life has just begun.

Chorus 2 background lyrics:

Inventing lands, long to go
Magic in the air, angels in the snow
Everyone is there, beauty of the sky
Stardust of our dreams
Hopes that never die

Discography

Celia Rose - full length solo album released on Watertown Records in 2000

Butterfly - full length album produced by Wrapped in Rain in Paris, France.

Stories - most recent album released in October 2009

Radio play in Namibia, South Africa, Togo, Mozambique, Madagascar, Rwanda and Burundi. Radio interviews and TV interviews done in all these countries
Radio play for Celia Rose album in Haiti. (songs played: "Rough Hands" and "Can't go back")

Set List

Completely depends on what is requested for each event.

Original set list might include about 9 or 10 songs making a 45 minute set.
-Everything that we share
-Goodbye
-Nellie
-Mango Mornings
-Indian Princess
-Even with the seasons
-Rough Hands
-Rhythm of the people
-One Voice
-Esperance