To listen to Sharon Litwin’s interview with Theresa Andersson on WWNO Radio, click here.
Living with two cultures, between two countries, is something many newcomers to America learn to do. They carry with them their childhood and its memories as they embrace the newness of their adopted home.
Swedish New Orleanian Theresa Andersson not only knows how to do that, but she actively includes both in her music and her performances. She came to New Orleans in 1990 at age 18 with her then-boyfriend for, she says, “music and for love.” While the music is still the center of her life, the love interest changed. Now married to theater producer/director and puppet builder Arthur Mintz, she is the mother of a 10-month old baby girl.
Yet, although she has been here for more than two decades performing, recording and working with many of the city’s best musicians, she still remembers vividly the first impressions of her new home.
“I got on a plane one January day and moved to New Orleans,” she recalls. “When I landed in New Orleans I still remember the smell and the thickness of the air. I felt like I was breathing with a spoon, like I was breathing earth.”
At first she was very quiet, even a bit scared of her new exotic environment.
“Everything was very intense, so many cultures coming together,” she says. “It was incredibly inspiring and incredibly shocking.”
But soon she “got into the groove of New Orleans” and she’s been there ever since.
Over the years, in addition to performing with a variety of bands, she created her own unique one-woman show, combining her voice with loop-recorded electronic effects while playing guitar or violin. It’s something she took on the road to great success.
Recently, working out of her Algiers Point home-based studio, she recorded her latest album, Street Parade. And that’s what she’s going to showcase at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Friday, May 4, at 12:30 p.m. Unlike the past few years, when she performed alone, there’ll be a band on stage as well. But she’ll still be looping.
Should be fun to watch and to hear.
Sharon Litwin is president of NolaVie.