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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Tatiana Eva-Marie

Tatiana Eva-MarieTatiana Eva-Marie was born in Paris into a musical family in France, Her father was film composer Louis Crelier and her mother solo violinist Anca Maria. She grew up surrounded by classical music on one side and jazz and hippie/rock music on the other.

Tatiana Eva-Marie started her career as a singer at age 4 when she recorded a duo album with famous children’s performer Henri Dès. Two years later, she recorded her first solo album and performed in her first professional theatre play. She fell in love with the stage and has been performing ever since.

During her childhood, Tatiana Eva-Marie performed regularly in various stage productions and sang as guest star in her father’s band The Cotton Club Jazz Orchestra for the closing ceremony of the Vevey Comedy Film Festival.

At age 12, she started her professional training at the Theatre Populaire Romand acting school in Switzerland, and then a few years later, at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Tatiana Eva-Marie attended a special high school for young professional artists and graduated early. She then moved to Paris, where she studied medieval poetry at the Sorbonne University during the day, and performed as a Gypsy singer at night in cabarets across the city, barefoot on tables with the Eastern mafia drinking vodka out of her shoes.

She performed as a singer and actress in some of the most renowned theaters in France, including the Comedie Francaise and the Theatre du Rond Point. Tatiana Eva-Marie wrote and directed two musical theater plays, Rhapsodia and The Magic Violin, which had a lot of success at the Avignon Theater Festival.

Tatiana Eva-Marie"My mother, Anca Maria, is a classical violinist and my father, Louis Crelier, is a composer. When they detected the first spark of musical talent in me, they both very adamantly shoved me onto the stage and I very soon understood that it was a calling I couldn’t ignore."

There is something very special about a family trade, something very pure and primal. It becomes a way of life. I was always hanging out backstage at concerts and theatre pays, listening to my father compose, to my mother practice, falling asleep at recording studios. It was a very unusual childhood that trained me for this career in show business.

My father is Swiss-French and I am fluent in both languages. He introduced me to French pop music of all eras, from Charles Trenet, Maurice Chevalier, Yves Montand to Jacques Brel, Juliette Greco and Serge Gainsbourg.

He never cared much about school or homework, but one thing I had to know perfectly was French spelling, grammar and history. He was an encyclopedia and I enjoyed nothing more than listening to his stories and anecdotes.

Tatiana Eva-MarieI started singing in French because I loved poetry with a passion and many French songs, even jazz tunes, are poems set to music. Jacques Prévert, who wrote “Autumn Leaves” was my favorite poet when I was a kid.

The songs I write are inspired by silly little things that charm me in their own specific ways. I have been getting more into songwriting recently and it’s something I want to keep exploring.

I am currently working on an idea for a musical set in wartime Paris for which I will be writing songs reminiscent of 1940s French jazz standards. I specialize in Parisian inspired hot jazz and swing reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s.

Whenever I go on tour it is always full of unexpected adventures and mishaps - missing instruments, drunken musicians, canceled trains, sharing rooms, sharing beds. You never know what’s going to happen.

Touring is definitely not for everyone. I’ve traveled all around the world from Europe and the USA to India and Fiji; my bandmates and I have crossed jungles, climbed ramparts, ridden wild horses, shared hallucinogenic drinks with village chiefs, stayed in castles and slept on floors. There is no shortage of adventure when you’re an itinerant musician.

Tatiana Eva-MarieLately, I have been obsessed with Hoagy Carmichael. I think that ‘Stardust’ is the most beautiful song ever written. I am fascinated by the skill Carmichael has of creating melodies that are dreamy and simple but also deep and intricate at the same time.

But I have to say that my greatest inspiration has always been my father, who taught me the importance of melody. He never ceases to impress me and challenge my creative instincts. I am currently in Switzerland for the premiere of his opera, “La Citadelle de Verre”.

Louis Prima was my absolute idol when I was a kid. The ability he has of effortlessly turning a concert into an unhinged and irreverent party always captured my attention. He mixes the cocky Siciliano vibes to the dreamy bayou atmosphere in a way that has always deeply moved me. I try to channel his energy every time I sing.

I was drawn to Jazz because my father was the lead singer of a 1920s New Orleans style big band, so we always listened to a lot of jazz at home. In addition Disney films also had a big impact on me, with the soundtracks of the Jungle Book, the Aristocats and others. TNT and TCM classic movies I used to be glued to all summer.

Even as a small kid, I used to go wild when I heard swing. It’s very hard to explain, but I just completely lose myself. The syncopated rhythm acts like a drug. When I’m away from it for too long I start getting antsy, I need my swing fix.

Tatiana Eva-MarieIt was a very natural musical path for me and I have never questioned it: I’m addicted to the joy this music brings.

A couple of years ago we played at the Midsummer Night Swing festival at Lincoln Center. That remains my favorite concert, simply because I remember being in the audience when I was ten years old and thinking “oh how cool it would be to perform on that stage someday”.

Moments like these are like honey. It’s so magical to be on the stage you used to dream of as a child. We just performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and it was an eye-opener for me.

I had sort of an epiphany – if you will – that “happy music” is a real calling for me. I want to develop this particular concept, mixing 1930s hot jazz, Gypsy jazz and Western swing, creating a sound of joy that is reminiscent of both American and European music.

Something old and something new. I am excited to start working on that repertoire and writing music for it. In addition to that, I have a new Avalon CD coming out in the fall and I am collaborating with bassist Elias Bailey and guitarist Vinny Raniolo on a trio CD.

I will also be starring in a feature film called “Swing Rendez-Vous”, a Woody-Allenesque jazz fairytale by French director Gérome Barry that we’ll start shooting in September - so there are many projects to look forward to!

Tatiana Eva-MariePostwar Paris in the 1950s - I would have loved to be part of the existentialist movement, swing dance in medieval cellars, talk philosophy at the Café Flore, write poetry and hang out with Sartre, Vian, Gréco and all those cats. What an inspiring time to be alive that was.

Tatiana Eva-Marie now lives in New York City, where she is continuing her artistic career. She is the lead singer of Avalon Jazz Band and collaborates with numerous talented artists on film, music and theater projects.

“What I love about my career here in New York is that I play here at the Keep for tips, but the next day I’ll be performing for The Mad Men premiere in Los Angelas.”

“I feel it’s rare, and very charming.” Tatiana has been a performer at The Keep since it opened, and owes it all to her own curiosity. Living only a block away from the bar, she would frequently walk past it when it was in its beginning stages, and would poke her head in to gaze at the antiques and curios that were decorating the bar.

The Keep is an eclectic bar/salon on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border that's as retrospective as a speakeasy while also possessing the social exuberance of a dive bar, The Keep holds a regular impromptu jazz jam session every Wednesday night.

This led her to meeting the owners, and when it came up that she was a musician they found an immediate opening for her talents. It was a chance encounter that follows a repeating trajectory that Tatiana has found throughout her career and her life.

Tatiana Eva-Marie“The secret to my success has always been about saying yes, and thinking about it later.” At the age of 4 she made a duo album with famous children’s performer Henri Dès, and then released her own solo album two years later at the tender age of 6.

Still, despite her musical upbringing, Tatiana decided to “rebel” against her parents by pursuing an education based more around acting and medieval poetry. Ironically though, this only called her back towards being a musician.

With her mother being Romanian, Tatiana grew up listening to a lot of gypsy based music and its influence in her household which helped her make money while in school.

She would often perform as a dancer for the eastern mafia (factual), performing pieces that combined gypsy jazz with more traditional folk. “Some of the first people to play jazz in France were gypsies,” Tatiana explains. “It all keeps coming back.”

It was through her acting ventures, however, that Tatiana truly found her place as a musician. While working in theater, she was offered the opportunity to write and direct her own play, and she of course said yes without hesitation.

She would go on to write and direct two musicals, Rhapsodia and The Magic Violin, which encompassed her knowledge on medieval studies and jazz. Both plays were largely successful at the Avignon Theater Festival.

Tatiana Eva-MarieWhen Tatiana moved to America, she has flourished as a musician and played a number of high-profile events (including a personal performance for the prince of Saudi Arabia).

Even though Tatiana ultimately went with a musical focus for her career, she still has found that it has allowed her to pursue her other passions. “I still translate Medieval Poetry just for fun,” Tatiana says.


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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures – such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard (which walks on water, too) – that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution hasn’t made it an option for humans – yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It’s a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What’s more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US, Arabic (Arab Scientific), Japan (East Press)

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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