Nijole Sparkis‘s album “Parallel Universe”.
Produced and Arranged by Fritz Heede
All songs written and performed by Nijole.
Nijole (nee-YOH-luh) Sparkis is a true Lithuanian-American artist – born and raised on Chicago’s South Side in a tight-knit Lithuanian community, she combines her American pop music instincts and song structure with the Lithuanian love of singing and choral harmonies she grew up with. (Lithuania is the country that staged the Singing Revolution in 1991.) While Nijole grew up singing and acting in the Lithuanian language, her ears were drawn to certain exotic elements in American rock found in such hypnotic songs as Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, George Harrison’s “Within You/Without You”, or the David Bowie “Lodger” album, all of which have an Eastern influence and which inform Nijole’s music.
Her studies of Jazz and 20th Century Music at De Paul University — where she earned a Music Theory degree magna cum laude — helped give her the vocabulary for what she was hearing, resulting in strong memorable melodies with haunting chord progressions.
Since then, Nijole toured the Midwest and played clubs and festivals in Los Angeles with all-originals bands, as well as acted in performance art and avant-theatrical shows and college films. She also opened her own voice teaching studio, The Vocal Point, taught singing at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and had a brief stint teaching singing for the Disney Channel. Nijole sang the Theme Song for the DVD release of “Timothy Leary’s Dead”. Her favorite female vocalists are England’s Kate Bush, Australia’s Lisa Gerrard, Ireland’s Sinead O’Connor, Norway’s Anneli Drecker (Bel Canto), Russia’s Milla Jovovich, Scotland’s Eddie Reader, Canada’s Loreena McKennitt, India’s Najma, Morocco’s Amina, and Egypt’s Natacha Atlas.
Fritz Heede – Keyboards, Guitars, Sitar, Turkish Saz, Mandolin.
Gilbert Levy – Drums and World Percussion
Suzanne Teng – Flutes
George Hamad – Arabic Violin