One afternoon in late September 2020, 3 women happened to coincide on a terraza in the neighborhood of Lavapies, Madrid. Over drinks and tapas, they discovered that they shared a passion not just for playing ukulele, but also for swing and early jazz from the 20’s and 30’s.They decided to get together one afternoon to jam together and that’s how The Lava Birds took flight!
The Lava Birds play vintage tunes from the golden age of swing; mixing lush vocal harmonies with a variety of ukuleles – soprano, concert, tenor, baritone and bass ukulele. Many of the songs they play are inspired by strong women from the blues and jazz era such as Bessie Smith, Trixie Smith, Julia Lee and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Elena began as a singer in the indie scene of her home town of Valladolid. She moved to Madrid 15 years ago and it was there that she fell in love with the ukulele over 11 years ago. Since then, the music of the 20s and 30s has been the inspiration for her repertoire.‘Nothing sounds as good on the ukulele as blues, jazz and Hawaiian rhythms’ says Elena. She has participated in various bands and projects as a singer and ukulele player, such as The Tiki Ladies.
Emma is from the UK and her passion for the ukulele was ignited during the lockdown of 2020. Since then, the ukulele has become her biggest passion and she is rarely seen without a ukulele in her hands. In a relatively short time, she has become an accomplished player and is recognised in the international ukulele scene. She has been mentored byVincent Cortese who himself was a student of the great Roy Smeck! Her love for jazz and swing started when she lived in Buenos Aires and spent the majority of her time on the Lindy Hop dance floors.
Yvonne is Irish and discovered her love of swing when living in London in 2009. It was then that she started dancing Lindy Hop and listening to the classic jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. She has been living in Madrid for the last 8 years where she has dedicated her time to studying singing and playing the ukulele. Currently she is a member of various Madrid based musical projects such as Tereshkova Swing and The Pipistrellas as well as The Lava Birds.