Release Date: June 17, 2022
Label: La Reserve
ChimyTina, the viral vocal-bass duo known for their innovative arrangements of jazz classics, remarkable interplay and creative DIY-approach return with their new full length album Constellations. Made up of New York-based vocalist Martina DaSilva (The Ladybugs) and much sought-after bassist Dan “Chimy” Chmielinski, ChimyTina first captured international attention in 2014 with the release of eye-catching duo performance videos, racking up thousands of views on social media. In 2019, the duo released their critically acclaimed debut A Very ChimyTina Christmas, which was praised by Rolling Stone and the New York Times for their “flexible chops and a gut-level creative connection”.
Constellations aims to expand ChimyTina’s already far-reaching musical sphere with notes of introspection and solitude paired with hopeful optimism. The duo introduces audiences to evocative arrangements of deeply swinging, soulful songs that span the decades of the jazz songbook to a pair of original compositions by DaSilva. Alongside the two charismatic bandleaders, Constellations features performances by a handful of very special guests including vibraphonist Joel Ross, trumpeter Marquis Hill, saxophonist Grace Kelly, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, saxophonist Lucas Pino, and cellist Ken Kubota.
“A good word for this album is trust,” reflects Chmielinski, thinking back to their recording sessions in April 2021. “We’re trusting that the world will return, that we’ll be able to do what we love again. It was a very visceral, raw reaction to what was happening to us.” Constellations is an LP that looks inward while also, befitting of its name, draws on an almost cosmic perspective of the human experience.
A jovial start to the record, Chmielinski and DaSilva both strongly identified with the optimism and upbeat nature of the familiar jazz standard “I Want To Be Happy”. Marquis Hill, with his buttery tone and phrasing perfection was an obvious choice for the track. The call and response section introduces the interplay and lyrical fun both DaSilva and Chmielinski enjoy including in their singular arrangements. Also featuring Hill is Chmielinski and Martina’s take on the Chaplin-penned classic “Smile”. A half time 6/8 feel is introduced by the bassline in this piece, which remains consistent throughout, followed by a double-time second half of each section, as if to state that the happier times always seem to move faster. Remembering to smile and be grateful for all that one has during times of strife is something that resonated with both musicians, and the sensitive stylings of Marquis Hill was yet again an obvious choice for the poignant song.
A common thread throughout the ChimyTina discography is the nod to Martina’s Brazilian heritage. Here, this is realized on “As Praias Desertas,” a lesser known Antônio Carlos Jobim composition. Augmenting this entrancingly beautiful arrangement is Ken Kubota whose versatility as both a classical cellist and accompanist, with his guitar-like strumming mastery, shaped the arrangement into a full-fledged spectacle that paints a vivid image of “deserted beaches”.
DaSilva’s original compositions “Twin Flame” and “My Universe” present an ethereal theme to the release, and demonstrate her stunning acuity for composition. “Twin Flame” has a classic sound and a fullness that comes from DaSilva’s warm vocals and the support of multi-tracked bass. DaSilva’s lyric reflect’s life’s search for answers, looking to the spirits, questioning the stars and searching for facts, stating that “science is her guiding light”; a principle she wished more people would have adopted throughout the pandemic. “My Universe” features renowned vibraphonist Joel Ross, and is a dark, emotional reflection of the New York experience. The piece, written many years ago by the vocalist, felt apropos in light of recent events. The magical stylings of Ross help solidify an emotional ballad that carries both the gravity and awe felt by both bandleaders during their time in the Big Apple.
“Deep Night” and “It’s All In Your Mind”, both featuring guitarist Andrew Renfroe, are reimagined jazz compositions from yesteryear that seem to delve into the inner world of the composer while “Deep Night” makes allusions to the night sky, fitting for the theme of this release. Renfroe fits into the duo’s sound with ease, supporting DaSilva’s soaring vocals and giving the pieces new life with the addition of his unique and melodic sound. Classic jazz standards “I’ll Never Be The Same” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It” are interpreted here with the addition of saxophonist Lucas Pino who offers shimmering countermelodies and virtuosic improvisation. Another highlight is the classic “Trouble in Mind”, delivered with saxophonist Grace Kelly. “Inspired by the Nina Simone rendition, this take is a reminder that music is one of the most cathartic expressions of joy in the face of strife. It is clear throughout that the joy and improvisatory nature of the song exudes an attitude of rolling with the punches and continuing to be grateful for the lives we live,” shares DaSilva.
The album finale features a triple-bass arrangement of a song near and dear to both Chmielinski and DaSilva: Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life”. Here, Chmielinski aims to invoke awe, reflection and elegance in a fresh take on a classic recorded so many times. Inspired by his upbringing around bass ensembles, the bassist demonstrates both accompaniment, lyrical bowing and a virtuosic solo aiming for nothing short of an authentic relationship that he has to this song.
Constellations is a welcomed return to ChimyTina’s musical ethos, with thoughtful arrangements and original compositions that, threaded with cosmic themes of the outer world, offer audiences a soulful journey through the inner world of this innovative, of-the-moment musical duo.
A Very ChimyTina Christmas
Release Date: December 6, 2019
Label: Outside in Music
Outside in Music is proud to present A Very ChimyTina Christmas featuring viral jazz sensations Martina DaSilva and Dan “Chimy” Chmielinski. On their debut album, innovative vocalist Martina and dynamic bassist Chmielinski offer a fresh take on nine classic Christmas tunes and one joyous original composition. Saxophonist Lucas Pino, Vibraphonist Joel Ross, guitarist Gabe Schnider and bassist Ben Wolfe join the duo on select tracks.
On A Very ChimyTina Christmas, the duo takes on holiday classics such as “Greensleeves”, “The Christmas Song”, and the lead single and album highlight, “Last Christmas” and infuses them with their signature tight-knit and complex arranging style. Renowned saxophonist Lucas Pino lends his sound to “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, while Joel Ross compliments the duo on “My Favorite Things” and “When You Wish Upon A Star”. DaSilva showcases her Brazilian heritage on João Gilberto’s “Presente De Natal” alongside guitarist Gabe Schnider, who also makes an appearance on the original composition “Diamonds and Pearls,” while Chmielinski’s Juilliard mentor Ben Wolfe joins on a unique two-bass arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. A Very ChimyTina Christmas is not just any old Christmas album - it’s an innovative musical exploration that truly reinvigorates the holiday music genre.
While A Very ChimyTina Christmas is the pair’s formal recorded debut, Martina DaSilva and Dan “Chimy” Chmielinski have been making music together for half a decade. Their musical collaboration began in 2014 and eventually blossomed into a semi-regular video series. Known as ChimyTina, the duo became viral sensations for their bass-vocal renditions of classic standards such as “The Best Things In Life Are Free”, “When I Grow Too Old To Dream”, and, tellingly, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, among others. The demand for more music grew and thus, A Very ChimyTina Christmas was born.
New York native Martina DaSilva has been captivating audiences with her signature blend of daring technical virtuosity and expressive emotional sensitivity since she burst on the scene. Drawing equally from the styles of early jazz, opera, and chamber music, her musicality transcends conventional genre labelling. As a Brazilian-American, Martina also has a passion for performing the works of Brazilian composers. She is perhaps best known as the leader of the jazz vocal harmony group The Ladybugs. Known for its unique instrumentation of two lead singers, two trombonists, guitar and bass, The Ladybugs has performed across the country and received high praise and attention from the likes of Will Friedwald of the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, the New York City Jazz Record and NPR. In addition to The Ladybugs, DaSilva leads her own group and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Bern International Jazz Festival, the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the NYC Hot Jazz Festival, Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Generations in Jazz Festival, and the NY Winter Jazzfest.
Dan “Chimy” Chmielinski is one of the most in-demand bassists in New York City. At just 25 years of age, the bassist/producer/bandleader/composer has worked and toured with an impressive list of jazz luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, Marc Cary, Brad Mehldau, and Joey Alexander, among many others. Chmielinski founded and leads several groups of his own, including “Four by Four,” an octet innovatively showcasing jazz quartet alongside string quartet, and “Circuit Kisser,” an electronic ensemble consisting of five synthesizers, electric bass and drums, combining jazz harmonies and electronic music; both showcasing Dan’s original compositions. A Juilliard graduate, Chmielinski has played in 14 different countries and has collaborated with country music sensation Kelsea Ballerini on national television, accompanied the stars of Broadway’s “Hamilton”, performed with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and recorded on the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society”. He is a prolific composer having scored his first film (“Smoke In The Air”) in 2012 and countless short films, documentaries and feature films since then.
A Very ChimyTina Christmas brings together the rich and diverse backgrounds of these two musical prodigies. The end result is a warm holiday offering that not only inspires Christmas cheer, but showcases the stunning result when two virtuosic musicians join forces.
"The bare-boned intimate duo format is perfect for DaSilva's breathy, sensuous vocal.." Read the complete review in the August 2022 issue of Jazzwise Magazine.
BILL'S MUSIC BLOG
"..ChimyTina is two for two in long players released, and we can enjoy this one while we see what this dynamic duo does next." Read the complete review in the August 2022 issue of Jazzwise Magazine.
for A Very ChimyTina Christmas
"This year we welcomed Martina DaSilva and Dan Chmielinski to deliver a lesser-known take of “Greensleeves,” a gorgeous selection from the Brazilian songbook, and a slick arrangement of the blockbuster hit “Last Christmas,” by Wham!" Podcast here.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"The vocalist Martina DaSilva and the bassist Dan Chmielinski are two 20-somethings with flexible chops, a gut-level creative connection and an expansive view of the Christmas songbook." Review here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"A Very Chimytina Christmas shows off the best of youthful creativity, that gracefully productive muse presenting old and well-worn music in new and exciting ways." Review here.
"A Very ChimyTina Christmas is truly Christmas music done right. The arrangements are inspired, and DaSilva’s warm vocals shine brightly while Chmielinski’s bass lines showcase both versatility and maturity."
"They pick a wide assortment of tunes: some old and new traditional works, some that strike at the heart of seasons past, and some that took on the feeling of the holidays through time and popular culture." Review here.
"Bassist Dan Chmielinski and vocalist Martina DaSilva, a.k.a. ChimyTina, have shared a stellar duo take on Wham!’s beloved holiday classic “Last Christmas,” originally released in 1984." Video feature here.