A singer who also plays the cello, or a cellist who also sings...? - that might depend on when or where you meet Gudula Urban! But whatever the occasion, she just loves to make music, jamming with creative people, going after her own ideas, recording, playing and singing with her heart - jazz, classical, soul, crossover, funky stuff, gospel, world music, some latin and lots of improvisation!
Born in Vienna, Austria, Gudula Urban began to play the cello at 6 years old and started her studies at the University of Music & Performing Arts in Vienna at age 13. Meanwhile her father had shown her a few Boogie Woogie licks on the piano and hence she discovered her love for improvised and jazz-tinged music at an early age. With 15 she taught herself to play the guitar to make the accompaniment of her singing somewhat easier than on the cello.
She continued to study cello performance at Mozarteum University for Music in Salzburg and at Peabody Conservatory, Institue of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, being a recipient and nominee of several scholarships.
Major cello teachers: Frieda Litschauer, Tobias Kühne, Heidi Litschauer, Yehuda Hanani, Ronald Thomas
Master Classes with Arto Noras and Earl Carlyss (Juillard Quartet)
important musical influence: Sandor Vegh with Camerata Salzburg
While in Baltimore she also studied Theology at Maryland Bible College & Seminary.
Online Jazz/ songwriting classes Berklee College of Music, USA: Gary Burton, Dede Stewart, Jimmy Kachulis
private singing lessons with Karin Bachner, Leila Thigpen, Christine Macho.
Gudula has performed as a soloist playing cello recitals in Austria, Thailand and USA, she has toured all over the world (Europe, USA, Canada, South America, Japan, Korea, China, Africa) with diverse orchestras like Jeunesse Musicale World Orchestra as a solo cellist, Camerata Salzburg, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Volksoper Vienna etc., and as a chamber musician with eXtracello, Trio Vivo Wien, and several other ensembles.
As a jazz-cellist and singer with her own group Gudula Urban & Band she has performed in several Europen countries, with the black Gospel vocal ensemble "Seven" in USA and Canada, and as a country fiddler player in Europe and USA.
Gudula Urban was invited to lecture as cello & chamber music professor at Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok, Thailand.
While doing all this her desire to sing her own songs kept growung til she finally recorded her debut album "smile on my face" (2004), a jazz-soul-gospel-latin tinged album, which she then took it on the road with her project, GUDULA URBAN band
Currently Gudula Urban is working as a freelance musician in Vienna, Austria, performing at Festivals in Austria and other European countries with the very unique cello-quartet eXtracello, with whom she plays the cello, sings and for which she also composes and arranges (www.extracello.at).
She also performs with her trio URBAN SHOE with the young and exeptional accordeon player Paul Schuberth and the wonderful percussionist Willi Platzer, all original music by Paul Schuberth and herself (www.urbanshoe.at).
She performed and recorded with Hang player Gunter Friedrich in Duo FREi! completely focusing on improvised pieces, creating real time compositions.
And she continues to tour many countries including China, Russia, Poland, Japan, Bulgaria with several Viennese orchestras, as a chamber musician, and as a side-woman in diverse bands.
Last but not least Gudula is always working on new songs and tunes for her heart & soul project
GUDULA URBAN Band - performing, recording and planning, stay tuned!
Artists Gudula had the privilege to work with: Claudio Abbado, Dominique di Piazza (John McLaughlin Trio), Sandor Vegh, Leon Fleischer, Beat4Feet, Willi Resitarits, Karl Ratzer, Philippe Entremont, Franz Welser-Möst, Bernhard Landauer, Zoreh Joyah, Renald Deppe, Ines Reiger, Basma Jabr, Orwa Alshofe uvm.
Ensembles, Bands. Orchestras: eXtracello, URBAN SHOE, GUDULA URBAN Band, Living Transit, Trio Vivo Wien; Volksoper Wien, Jeunesse Musicale World Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugenrochester, Wiener Kammerorchester, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Schönbrunn Festival Orchestra, Wiener Mozart Orchester, Wiener Kammerphilharmonie and many more
Festivals & Venues: Salzburg Festival (A), Ludwigsburger Schloßfestspiele (DL), Austrian Music Festival in Bulgaria (BG), Diabelli Sommer Mattsee (A), Jazzfest Wien (A), 20 years Porgy & Bess Festival Vienna (A), Santory Hall Tokyo (JP), Musikverein Vienna (A), Konzerthaus Vienna (A), Stadthalle Vienna (A), Thailand Cultural Center Bangkok (Th), Brucknerhaus Linz (A), Festwochen Gmunden (A), Xong Festival (I), Imago Dei Festival Krems (A), Jeunesse Musicale Tours (A), Gut Gerdshagen (DL), Stadfestwochen Hallein (A), Musiksommer Bad Schallerbach (A), International Accordeonfestival Vienna (A), Radio Kulturhaus Vienna (A), ARTS Traunstein (DL), Wellenklänge Festival Lunz am See (A), Stiftskonzerte St. Florian (A), Styraburg Festival (A) and many more.
TV Documentaries, Radio Airplay and Live Radio Performances with eXtracello and Gudula Urban Band at ORF, 3sat, NÖ1 TV, and Ö1, the Austrian Cultural Radio Station.
Countless CD productions.