Sonja Kandels’ singing style and her artistic ideas emanate from her childhood experiences in Africa. After studying arts and jazz music in Germany, she began performing as a jazz singer. For her music projects and workshops, Sonja has been granted several scholarships from the German government, some of which led her back to Africa in order to work with musicians in Senegal and Cameroon or to study the Baka Pygmies in the rain forest between Cameroon and Congo.
Today, Sonja’s artistic work as a singer and bandleader is a multifaceted, dynamic fusion of African music and modern jazz, far beyond stereo-typical folklore or drumming groups.
With the greatest ease, Sonja Kandels is singing in English, French, Portuguese, or African dialects. And when all these languages are not sufficient to express her feelings, she sings in her own fantasy language, using her voice as an instrument and reproducing the whole ethno-sound in a natural way.
In 2005, Sonja founded the choir project “The Power Of Voice”. Based on workshops on African tradition and singing and meeting other choirs, the Power of Voice project found international recognition and stages in Europe and Africa.
As a painter, Sonja Kandels enjoys portraying scenes of life or playing with our African heritage.
A dynamic fusion of traditional African sounds and modern jazz. With her music and her vocal workshops, Sonja Kandels takes her audience on a journey through Jazz music and its roots in several African regions.
is her much acclaimed choir project for children and choirs. Sonja has been conducting workshops in Europe and Africa reaching thousands of people and captivating both children and adults by her natural and authentic way of teaching and imparting her knowledge of jazz music and African culture and traditions.
Watch new videos of Sonja's work with young talented singers in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Visit an exposition at Rudolf-Steiner-Haus in Bonn with her paintings from 30 May to 4 September (Finnisage concert on 4 September).
New Video: When the moon
Live @ Johannesburg
Live · Pygmysinging
Sonja Kandels Band LIVE snippets
Power of Voice
Africa Forum: Choir sings AyAy Bimbam
Power of voice
Africa Forum w/ Horst Köhler TV docu
Vocal seminar, Video by Goethe Inst., Dakar