Composer and singer Rosa Morena Russa (real name Kateryna Ostrovska) makes a contemporary music. She composes across cultural boundaries, engaging with a wide variety of musical traditions and combining them into a unique blend in her music.
Kateryna was born in the south of Russia into a Jewish family of musicians, and grew up in Russia and Ukraine. She came to Germany at the age of 17 and studied law alongside her musical career, but without working consistently in this profession.
Already as a child she stood on stage and was allowed to travel Europe during the “Jewish Perestroika Renaissance”. As an adult, she went to Brazil and lived for some time in Rio de Janeiro to learn more about Brazil’s fascinating musical culture.
In 2013, her multicultural experiences resulted in the debut album “Está ficando Russo!” (DaCasa Records/Galileo MC), which was highly praised by the German and Russian press, she was even celebrated as the inventor of her own genre “Bossa Russa Nova”. The “JAZZTHETIK” described her multilingual songs as “small masterpieces… with a catchiness that also distinguishes classics” and the “MAGDEBURGER STADTMAGAZIN” as a “consummate multicultural mixture”.
In the following year 2014 Kateryna produced a modern sounding klezmer album “Tunklgold” in collaboration with the “Hamburg Klezmer Band”.
The album “Trick-Trague”, which also includes her multilingual original compositions, was recorded in Rio, Hamburg and Berlin and was released in April 2019, mixing “not only musical styles, but also mentalities tainted with clichés…” – “DIE WELT” This album has attracted audience interest not only in Europe, but also in Brazil, and has been played on web radios in Rio, in addition to German radio.
The “CAPRIXABA” album, released in 2020, no longer has a European reference and was produced entirely in collaboration with the Marcos Alma (Nheengatu Criações) in São Paulo. In this album Kateryna moves away from the sung word and works with sound-painting vocalise, jazz and choro influences are dominate in this album. Unfortunately, the big release in SESC Vila Mariana in São Paulo could not take place because of the pandemic.
In 2021 the single “Pagode Russa Mesmo” was released in cooperation with Berlin percussionist Matthias Haffner, an arrangement of the classic by Luiz Gonzaga, enriched with a critical Russian lyrics against the regime of Putin, Trump and Bolsonaro.
In the same year Kateryna began work on the project “Blondzhendike Lider”, which includes modern settings of Yiddish poetry. It became a big project with prominent international participation and with support of various public grants. The album was released on 23.9.2022 under the artist’s own name (Kateryna Ostrovska) and had a considerable press response.
Currently, Kateryna is working on the album “Chora Berlim”, which contains ten self-composed choros and is created in close cooperation between choro musicians from Brazil and Germany. Among others, the participants of “Rodas Hamburguesas de Choro” – an informal musicians’ meeting co-founded by Kateryna – are involved. The album will be released in 2023.