Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia are accomplished solo musicians who combine their talents to form an exceptional duo. Their performances encompass an array of styles, blending standards, originals, Great American Songbook classics, reharmonized pop covers and Latin jazz. Adriana's one-of-a-kind voice and multi-stylized phrasing blends seamlessly with Robert's tasty harmonic accompaniments and solo virtuosity. The resulting alchemy of this combination is a soundscape of orchestration rarely heard in duo format. Together, they inject new vitality into the jazz scene, crafting a distinct and invigorating sound.

From Skope Magazine: ”Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia™ present this wild, anything-is-possible sound on the virtuosic “QUENARA.” Only two elements exist within the soundscape – a voice and a piano. Yet, with these two aspects, they craft something that feels all-consuming. It is easy to get lost in the complicated arrangements they offer to their audience. Right from the beginning of the journey, it is evident that this duo labors over everything because they create their world and invite the listener in. Their previous experience in other bands and the academic way they operate with their instruments reveal an outstanding level of depth in the atmosphere."

Download our EPK  https://robertadriana.com/EPK
 

New Release:

QUENARA

Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia™

Pianist Robert Prester and singer Adriana Samargia perform often-startlingly original versions of seven standards, four of the pianist’s originals, and Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better.”
In a set of music that is continually full of surprises, the duo sounds very much like a complete orchestra.
Robert Prester is a virtuosic pianist who is
Pianist Robert Prester and singer Adriana Samargia perform often-startlingly original versions of seven standards, four of the pianist’s originals, and Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better.”
In a set of music that is continually full of surprises, the duo sounds very much like a complete orchestra.
Robert Prester is a virtuosic pianist who is consistently brilliant whether performing classical music or jazz. Adriana Samargia has a distinctive and powerful voice, digs into the lyrics that she interprets, and has created her own very original phrasing. Together they make for quite a potent team on Quenara.
Prester and Samargia call their collaborations “Music Without Limits.” One can understand why when listening to Quenara, a set of often-stunning performances that alternate standards with Prester’s originals. The results are never predictable but are always ultimately logical and inventive.
Quenara begins with a high-energy version of Howard Jones’ 1985 hit “Things Can Only Get Better” and Prester’s “Altar Ego” which is about contradictory thoughts and actions, and about knowing oneself. From the start, it is obvious that Prester is very much a complete band by himself, while Samaragia’s powerful singing is unlike anyone else. She displays quiet but passionate feelings on “You Go To My Head,” takes Prester’s “Can’t Get Over You” through several different moods while often being celebratory, and includes some refreshingly surprising note choices in the melody of Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments.” The title track “Quenara” exemplifies the artistry of this album with Samargia’s other worldly vocal coupled with the rich harmonies and haunting melody of Prester’s composition.
Of the other performances, some of the highlights include the singer’s stunning high notes on “Lover Man,” the wistful feeling on which she closes “But Not For Me,” and the pure joy that she gives Chick Corea’s “You’re Everything.” Throughout the set, Prester’s piano playing not only accompanies and inspires her flights but acts as a second voice filled with unpredictable playing of his own.
Robert Prester began playing piano when he was three, had extensive classical training, and developed his own original voice within jazz. He earned a Masters of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and composed the soundtrack for the CityKids Foundation show, appearing with Herbie Hancock and Grover Washington Jr. Prester spent time living and playing music in Honolulu (including with the Honolulu Symphony), New York and Florida before settling in Philadelphia. Among his recordings are four jazz albums (including Dogtown which features his original compositions) and “Rapsodya,” his interpretations of classical solo piano pieces including his original piano sonata in three movements.
Adriana Samargia’s musical journey began as a Balkan folk singer. She later studied classical and jazz voice at several music colleges, the most influential being Foothill College where she developed a love for a cappella music and jazz harmony. Her skill was honored with the esteemed "Best Jazz Vocal Soloist" student award by Downbeat Magazine. Samargia founded and has directed The Parson Brown Singers since 2001. Her colorful singing has been heard in a wide variety of settings over decades including on First Snow, a recording of winter songs that matches her voice with Robert Prester’s piano and The Parson Brown Singers.
Quenara is one of the most exciting and original piano-voice duet albums of recent times, featuring Robert Prester and Adriana Samargia at their most creative and passionate.
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Our Wintersongs album

First Snow

Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia™

First Snow
Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia
Featuring The Parson Brown Singers

Co-produced by Robert Prester and Adriana Samargia, Commonwealth Ave. Prod. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Robert Prester, The Studio at Upsal. Engineering Consultant, David Schanzer, Lakeshore Recording Studios, Robert’s Steinway B thanks to the generosity of
First Snow
Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia
Featuring The Parson Brown Singers

Co-produced by Robert Prester and Adriana Samargia, Commonwealth Ave. Prod. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Robert Prester, The Studio at Upsal. Engineering Consultant, David Schanzer, Lakeshore Recording Studios, Robert’s Steinway B thanks to the generosity of Michele Kaufman, Inside liner notes by Bob Seymour

1. Joi to the World, George Frideric Handel
2. First Snow, Robert Prester
3. Comfort, Comfort, O My People, Johannes Olearius
4. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Coots and Gillespie
5. Away in a Manger, William Kirkpatrick
6. In the Bleak Midwinter, Gustav Holst
7. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Edmund Sears
8. Of the Father's Love Begotten, A.D. Clemens (Divinum Mysterium)
9. All I Want For Christmas is You, Mariah Carey/Walter Afamasieff
10. Manger Song of Mary, Markham and McFeeters
11. Masters in this Hall, Gustav Holst
12. Blue Christmas, Hayes and Johnson

Album Liner Notes:
Of all the enchanting elements that make up the spirit of the Christmas season, perhaps none defines it more for us than the music. From pieces that span generations and centuries to new favorites from our own time, it resonates with listeners around the world.  What a treat that with “First Snow,” Robert Prester and Adriana Samargia share their artistic gifts with us, with a set of wintersong gems seen in a fresh light – including the sacred and secular, the solemn and the swinging, the serious and the seriously fun. The duo share a background in jazz and classical music, with Adriana also known for performances of sacred music and American Popular Song. Robert recorded four impressive jazz cd’s of original material before returning to solo classical performance recently with.  “Rapsodya,” which includes his own new sonata. Specializing with his own music in Latin Jazz, he also plays a big part in the Brazilian Jazz recordings of guitarist Phill Fest. Adriana and Robert first shared the stage in 2012, and the inspiration they find in creating together has obviously only grown since.  For this session, you’ll likely hear a couple pieces you didn’t know, and you’ll certainly hear new twists on some old favorites. The set is filled with intriguing arrangements – a groove where you didn’t see it coming, or a reharmonization that changes the feel of a familiar tune (such as the minor key mood that makes for a whole new “Midnight Clear”). And we’re treated to multiple appearances by The Parson Brown Singers, featuring Adriana’s arrangements of their delightful vocal harmonies. The highlights on this distinctly different Christmas album start right at the top, with Adriana’s exciting vocal arrangement of “Joy to the World.” We’re drawn in by the World Music concepts applied to Handel’s melodic line, Robert’s sparkling piano solo which builds with the spice of Dave Schanzer’s full complement of Latin percussion, and the vocalists returning for a celebratory finish. Right out of the gate, the stage is set for musical surprises to come. I can’t stop hearing the timeless beauty of Gustav Holst’s setting of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” (with a lovely bridge added by Prester and Samargia) or – Holst again – “Masters in This Hall,” its joyous message told in swinging scat-singing fashion with lively vocal/piano trades as the duo make it their own. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” goes back farthest: a lyric with ancient roots, with a long history as Gregorian chant, it features Adriana’s beautiful vocal with a reharmonized setting I wish those medieval monks could hear. And how about the Mariah Carey hit, a holiday anthem for a new generation since its introduction a quarter century ago? Adriana loved covering a singer she’s long admired, Robert is right in his wheelhouse with the Latin feel the arrangement takes on – and it’s amazing how seamlessly it fits between a 17th  century Advent hymn and “In the Bleak Midwinter.” The title piece, “First Snow,” the sole original, is one they’ve done for years. Robert began playing it on the bandstand, and Adriana would join with a quiet, wordless vocal. And eventually, she said “You know that song – it’s about snow falling…” I think you’ll hear that she’s right about that.  The album concludes with The Parson Brown Singers updating of the gift Elvis (with The Jordanaires) gave us in 1957, “Blue Christmas.” This is the group in true a cappella mode, with new opening and closing verses, composed by Adriana, that reflect this particular ‘bleak midwinter,’ as they sing in a moving way of missing loved ones at the holidays in this year that has changed all of our lives. This remarkable album shows two artists digging deep into their wide experience to celebrate the season. Ranging from ethereal to exuberant, Adriana delivers the message of the holiday in deeply affecting fashion. And on their arrangements incorporating blues, gospel, Latin rhythms, and straight-up swinging, along with a beautiful way with a pretty melody, Robert burnishes the reputation he’s established in the jazz world as a pianist of true originality and a virtuosic touch. They’ve given us something special for this Christmas,  and music you’ll return to for inspiration in holiday seasons to come.
Written by Bob Seymour, Jazz Director for WUSF, Tampa, 1981-2016
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