Press photos by Shervin Lainez – shervinfoto.com
IVA is a Swedish-American crossover artist, singer songwriter, opera singer, bandleader and composer. Signing her original music with Universal Sweden after a Fulbright Scholarship year, she simultaneously premiered Sven-David Sandström’s Batseba at the Royal Opera, Stockholm while performing her popular music on national TV and radio. Now heard with her band The New Young on NPR and US tastemaker radio, she’s been tapped “Who’s Next” by M Musicians Magazine, “supremely talented” by Guitar World’s Acoustic Nation, and featured in Billboard.
Trained at Princeton, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, she teaches voice at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, The Brooklyn Music School, and has a thriving private studio, allowing singers to learn from multiple vocal techniques to find their authentic voice.
IVA is the youngest laureate of the Vasa Order’s Swedish American of the Year award, honoring her contributions to cultural exchange between Sweden and the U.S. Previous laureates include actress and singer Ann Margret, lunar astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and E Street Band Member Nils Lofgren. 
In 2019 IVA released her fourth album, “Traitor”, recorded with her band The New Young and produced by Jaron Olevsky (Amos Lee) with arrangements by Trey Pollard (Spacebomb).  She was awarded a grant for the project from the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
IVA plans to take the first song, Immense Tenderness, from the album and turn it into a one-act opera about victims of abuse, based partly on her own story of domestic abuse. She is a member of the Beth Morrison Projects Producers Academy.
IVA is based in Brooklyn, New York, and Delaware, where she is steward for a home on a National Park.  

 

photo Tommy Hellström

IVA: Core Members

IVA – vocals, piano
Ross Bellenoit, guitar
Sonja Bontragger, piano, vocals
Nate Gonzalez, guitar
Sam Nobles, bass
Jaron Olevsky, guitar, piano
Matt Scarano, drums

Press

An Interview with Keegan Kerns at Enspire magazine (10/21)

An Interview with Where It Begins magazine (09/21) – pgs 4-5

An Interview With Edward Sylvan at Authority Magazine (08/21)

Thrive Global Interview with Edward Sylvan (09/21)

K.I.S.H. Mag Interview (08/21)

Cliche Mag Interview (08/21)

Beach Sloth Review of “Immense Tenderness” (09/21)

The Faulkner Review (08/21)

BuzzMusic (07/21)

“Sounds of ScanFest — old meets new” – NJ Herald (8/18)

“Sounds of ScanFest — old meets new” – NJ Herald (8/18)

“Who’s Next” – M Music & Musicians Magazine (3/17)

“Who’s Next” – M Music & Musicians Magazine (3/17)

“Woman of the Month” – PhillyMan Magazine (9/17)

“Woman of the Month” – PhillyMan Magazine (9/17)

IVA Graces Us with “All That We Are” – Guitar World (7/15)

IVA Graces Us with “All That We Are” – Guitar World (7/15)

“Emily Tepe ‘IVA’ is Swedish American of the Year” – SVT News (Swedish Television) (7/15)

“Emily Tepe ‘IVA’ is Swedish American of the Year” – SVT News (Swedish Television) (7/15)

“Portrait of a Song” – Huffington Post (11/14)

“Portrait of a Song” – Huffington Post (11/14)

“IVA Doubles Up in Sweden” – Billboard (3/09)

“IVA Doubles Up in Sweden” – Billboard (3/09)

“Iva returns” – Montgomery News (7/15)

“Iva returns” – Montgomery News (7/15)

“Swedish Embassy, USPS throw party” – Linns.com (9/15)

“Swedish Embassy, USPS throw party” – Linns.com (9/15)

IVA to Release New EP ‘LEAP’ – Broadway World (6/15)

IVA to Release New EP ‘LEAP’ – Broadway World (6/15)

“Life-Changing Leap” – Out & About (3/15)

“Life-Changing Leap” – Out & About (3/15)

Sweden in America – Cover (12/14)

Sweden in America – Cover (12/14)

“Biblisk” – Culture Section Cover – Svenskadagbladet (Swedish National Daily Newspaper) (12/08)

“Biblisk” – Culture Section Cover – Svenskadagbladet (Swedish National Daily Newspaper) (12/08)

IVA at Melodies Cafe – Montgomery Media (4/14)

IVA at Melodies Cafe – Montgomery Media (4/14)

IVA – Shine a Light – Out and About (2/13)

IVA – Shine a Light – Out and About (2/13)

“IVA, Returning to Her Roots” – Out and About (11/11)

“IVA, Returning to Her Roots” – Out and About (11/11)

“No Drop-Dead (D)Iva” – Delaware Today (11/11)

“No Drop-Dead (D)Iva” – Delaware Today (11/11)

“Native Finds Pop Success in Sweden” – Greenville News (9/10)

“Native Finds Pop Success in Sweden” – Greenville News (9/10)

“Environmentally conscious songbird” – Ljuvalivet (9/09)

“Environmentally conscious songbird” – Ljuvalivet (9/09)

Ivolution – Cafe (6/09)

Ivolution – Cafe (6/09)

“Opera at the Movies” – SE&HOR (5/09)

“Opera at the Movies” – SE&HOR (5/09)

“Iva Goes Her Own Way” – Finest.sc (5/09)

“Iva Goes Her Own Way” – Finest.sc (5/09)

“Stars Encourage Awareness of Child Labor” – Camino (5/09)

“Stars Encourage Awareness of Child Labor” – Camino (5/09)

Cover – LEVA (3/09)

Cover – LEVA (3/09)

“Eco Pop Opera” – LEVA (3/09)

“Eco Pop Opera” – LEVA (3/09)

“IVA, A John Bauer Princess” – Expressen (1/09)

“IVA, A John Bauer Princess” – Expressen (1/09)

“Iva’s Voice Coach – Idol’s Kishti'” – Metro (3/08)

“Iva’s Voice Coach – Idol’s Kishti'” – Metro (3/08)

Reviews

“She blends an operatic approach alongside something more pastoral, even folksy in origin, alongside a distinct, expansive western twang. […] Her work brings together both a classic rock spirit alongside something a bit more contemporary. […] Lyrics here have a compassion to them for every verse touches the very soul in a way that absolutely stuns. […] Layer upon layer is applied with such care, for she considers each gesture making sure it counts in full.” Beach Sloth Review of “Immense Tenderness

“The “heart on the sleeve” style of song brought to mind the troubled love songs of Joni Mitchell’s Blue era and Immense Tenderness has a similarly deep and profound emotional resonance. Somewhat of an epic at nearly six minutes, it certainly doesn’t feel that long as IVA’s haunting voice and heartbroken words keep you captivated till the end.” The Faulkner Review

“Failure and mistakes are part of the process, especially when you’re innovating as an artist. Keep going and be easy on yourself. All learning opportunities are worthwhile. Rejection is part of the landscape, and we need help processing the shame that comes with it (therapy — it’s so good.) It’s not about perfection — it’s about awareness and taking the next steps towards what you want to do.” Authority Magazine

“The lyrics within this single [Immense Tenderness] are more than emotional; they’re striking, as IVA continues her vocal venture while touching on her past self before being with someone who drenched her in sorrow and sadness.” BuzzMusic

“If Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell ever were to have a love child, she would sound like IVA – sophisticated, heartfelt, authentic, and deeply moving.” Tonemill blog

“IVA is Philly/Jersey Man Magazine’s Person of the Month” Philly Man Magazine

“IVA is Featured artist in “Who’s Next”” M Music & Musicians

“The message is truly positive, urging all to reach their full potential and to become “All That We Are.” The soaring chorus is skillfully delivered by the supremely talented IVA, whose voice suits the message to a T.” Acoustic Nation – Guitar World

“(IVA’s) talent and humanitarian impulses have earned international acclaim, including major network television appearances and recognition as “Swedish American of Year.” But grace and a humble nature have kept this Tower Hill grad’s feet on the ground, rooted deeply in a childhood home always filled with music and a love of song nurtured by grandparents who were talented amateur musicians themselves.”  Anne Grae Martin – Town Square Delaware

“Iva’s voice has a haunting, soulful, seductive quality…she is one of those people who seem to have everything…possessed with a stunning combination of beauty, brains and talent”  Len Lear – Chestnut Hill Local

“IVA (pronounced EE-vah) established herself as a strong classical singer who was well-versed in opera and performed with Opera Delaware when she was just nine. Now, IVA is focusing her energy on being a singer-songwriter crafting and singing smart, intelligent contemporary music.” Denny Dryoff – The Times of Chester County

“Keep your eyes open for this remarkable crossover talent…she’s the real thing.”  Michael Trojan – TriStateIndie

“It’s not unusual for musical artists to reinvent themselves to adapt to the ever-changing trends of popular music. It’s quite uncommon, however, for an artist who is established in one genre of music to switch gears and successfully pursue a completely different style. But that’s what Wilmington, Delaware native IVA (pronounced EE-vuh) is doing, establishing herself as a singer-songwriter on her new EP, “Leap.””  Joe Szczechowski – Delaware County News Network

“Life-Changing Leap – Years abroad transformed area singer/songwriter and inspired her new album”  Krista Connor – Out & About

“Keep her name in mind, for both those who listen to [classical music] and those who listen to pop music. IVA pursues both genres successfully.”  Tommy Hellstrom – Sweden & American Magazine

“Her early recordings were targeted towards the dance market of Europe and her live performances were with the Royal Opera of Sweden. This is quite a range, but now she is discovering her own original music.”  David W. Wannop – Montgomery News

“As a crooner who blends classical with pop and jazz, she is IVA…Many opera singers attempt pop, but their training prevents them from relaxing enough to slide into the genre’s informality and soulfulness.”  Maria Hess – Delaware Today

“Lovingly crafted .. this is top quality, ultra commercial pop rock that should become massive all over Europe, and I absolutely love it.”  Phil Wooldridge – Ravenheart Music

“I have seen a rising star – remember where you read it first!”  Annika Sundbaum-Melin – Expressen Blogs

“A little jewel is this album that will please fans of pop/ rock with electronic elements, and this is the best pop/rock album I`ve heard in many years from a lady with a fantastic voice!”  Arne Asbolmo – Melodic Hard Rock Today

“IVA doubles up in Sweden”  Hazel Davis – Billboard

“The music grows and sounds more like Within Temptation but in a more unique way.”  Lea Pålsson – Groove

“It is a rarity to find someone who is willing to dive into the world of pop music when their background is so strongly grounded in opera, but that’s why this album works as well as it does.”  Jonathan Ostrow – Mic Control Blog

“Opera Singer Turned Rock Goddess”  Tony Mallett – Up Front -Cover

“A true singer in the making”  Roland Pettersson – Dala-Demokraten

“The absolute brightest shining star of the evening”  Charlotte Forsberg – Smålandsposten

“A crystal-clear, beautiful symphony”  Liselotte Rönnholm – Hälsa

Read more IVA press on ReverbNation.com


International Press

Education

  • MM in Voice – Manhattan School of Music, New York City 2004
  • Evening Division – Juilliard School, New York City 2002
  • BA with Honors in Music, Vocal Performance Certificate 2000 – Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Residencies 

  • Banff Center for Arts and Creativity Artist in Residence – Canada 2017
  • Fulbright Grant – Sweden 2004–2005

Awards

  • Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Grant 2019 (funded by the National Endowment of the Arts)
  • Delaware Division of the Arts Opportunity Grant 2016
  • Swedish American of the Year by the Vasa Order of America 2015
  • Swedish Women’s Educational Association Artist Scholarship 2005
  • Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize, Princeton University 2000 

Faculty Appointments & Teaching Experience

  • Vocal teacher, The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, 2018–present
  • Vocal and piano teacher, Brooklyn School of Music, 2017–present
  • Teaching Artist, Delaware Institute of the Arts in Education,  2012–present
  • Accent Music School of Contemporary Music and School of Rock, Wilmington, DE, 2011–present
  • Arts Academy at the Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE,  2011–2015
  • Private Vocal Studio – New York, Stockholm, Wilmington, 2002–present 
    • Styles: Pop / Broadway, mixed-belt, classical voice, crossover, musical theatre, jazz and pop rock
    • Artistic development guidance & songwriting coaching 

Languages

  • Fluent: English, Swedish
  • Conversant: French, Italian 
  • Diction: English, German, French, Italian, Swedish 

Instruments & Technical Proficiency

  • Voice, Piano, Guitar, Logic Pro, Garage Band

U.S. Performance Venues

New York City, NY

    • Late Night with Conan O’Brien
    • Pianos
    • Map Room, Bowery Electric
    • Rockwood Music Hall
    • Red Stage at Astor Place
    • Sidewalk Cafe
    • Norwood Club
    • Gudrun Sjoden
    • Brooklyn – The Waystation, 25 Kent Ave
    • Ithaca – Sacred Root Kava Bar

Philadelphia, PA

    • Barnes Foundation
    • Bourbon & Branch
    • Milkboy
    • Rittenhouse Soundworks
    • River Stage at Penn’s Landing
    • Sellersville Theatre
    • Tin Angel
    • World Cafe Live (upstairs)
    • Listening Room, Germantown Espresso Bar
    • Ardmore – Melodies Cafe
    • Kennett Square – Kennett Flash
    • Lancaster – Tellus 360
    • Newton Square – Burlap & Bean

Atlanta, GA – Biltmore Ballroom

Budd Lake, NJ – ScanFest in Vasa Park

Burlington, VT – Radio Bean

Cambridge, MA – The Lilypad

Washington, DC 

    • Vinyl Lounge, Gypsy Sally’s
    • House of Sweden

Wilmington, DE

    • Grand Opera House
    • Houppette
    • Ladybug Festival
    • World Cafe Live (downstairs)

International Performance Venues

Canada

  • Alberta – The Banff Center 
  • Toronto – Wenona Beer Craft Lodge

Sweden 

    • Royal Opera of Stockholm (role of Tamar in Sandström’s Batseba)
    • Kungsträdgården, Stockholm 
    • Royal Opera, Stockholm
    • Alcatzar, Nalen, Stockholm 
    • Karlstad Harbor, Karlstad
    • Kalmar Cathedral, Kalmar
    • Söderports Café & Restarant, Kalmar
    • Avalon Hotel, Gothenberg
    • Allé, Kivik

Visiting Barbara Dacey on WMVY Martha’s Vineyard

Radio Play

U.S. Radio

  • NPR – Under Currents Radio, National Programming
  • KNBA Anchorage, AK
  • KPFT Houston, TX
  • KRVM Eugene, OR
  • KSMF Ashland, OR
  • KUT Austin, TX
  • KXT Dallas, TX
  • WEMF Boston, MA
  • WERU East Orland, ME
  • WMVY Vineyard Haven, MA – Interview and Uncharted Waters
  • WSTW Hometown Heros, Wilmington, DE
  • WXPN Philly Local, Philadelphia, PA

Internet Broadcasters

Swedish Radio 

  • National Commercial Stations and State Radio P4