▶️ Women’s empowerment: Grammy-nominated artist shares story of unique album

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It’s an album that’s more than just music for one artist. It’s an inspiration through stories of women.

“The album is essentially women’s empowerment,” said jazz vocalist and composer Thana Alexa. “It’s about what it means to be a woman. What it means to feel like a woman and the relationships that women have, the roles that we play in society.”

American and Croatian, the Grammy-nominated artist is playing her album “ONA” in Bend Wednesday and Thursday at One Space Event Studios in Bend.

ONA means “She” in Croatian and the album creation was inspired by the stories of the woman in her family.

“My family is from Croatia. My grandparents escaped communism and after World War II, made their way to Germany and after Germany, waited for their papers and came to the United States,” Alexa said.

Alexa says the performance starts out in song with stories from the two leading voices in her life, her grandmother and mother.

“Then it kind of branches out and we go through my personal experiences and the relationship that I have had in my life and the experiences that I’ve had,” she added.

Out of all the family stories, she says the things that inspired her the most were the speeches and stories at the Women’s March in Washington, DC, in 2017.

Her album came out at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and her tour was canceled and rescheduled four times.

She was finally able to perform in a live tour again this month.

“What we’ve experienced in the last week or so on the road, we are really feeling the music as this living, breathing organism that we didn’t really know existed until now,” Alexa said.

Traveling through the West Coast, it’s time to play at what Alexa says is her favorite stop on the tour, Bend, Oregon.

“It’s a beautiful town and we love being here. It’s just, it feels more like a vacation than anything else,” she said

The album ONA was nominated for two Grammys — Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo by violinist Regina Carter.

“This album really taught me to listen to myself and believe in the stories that I am telling.”

You can find ticket information here.

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