Ariana Savalas in Chicago Concert Debut

February 17, 2010 10:06:16 AM PST
Ariana Savalas is now following in the footsteps of her father, Telly Savalas and forging a career in movies and music. Ariana is performing in concert at Davenport's in Chicago on Friday, February 19, focusing on "the Great American Songbook." While developing her talents as a true triple threat-singer, actress, and dancer-and listening to the pop music of her own generation, Ariana says her heart and soul are most captivated by the music of the greats. "I'm a very old fashioned person and love the romantic tenderness and innocence of that bygone musical era," says Ariana. "It's some of the sexiest music ever recorded, and my voice just gravitates naturally to these songs. When you think about their history, how many greats have sung them, it's a true privilege to carry on in that tradition."

Testifying to the enduring power of the songs, songwriters and artists from the 1930s-1950s, Ariana comes into her own as a romantic song stylist with a sultry and dynamic live show . She's got anew album in the works that will feature a colorful mix of standards and a handful of compelling originals. Ariana also appears on Corky Hale's latest CD release I'm Glad There Is You, with her rendition of "I See Your Face."

Growing up in Los Angeles, Ariana was entertained by fascinating stories about her famous father, legendary film, television actor and Academy Award nominated Telly Savalas The man known to a generation of TV viewers as "Kojak" died in 1994 when Ariana was just seven. Ariana and her family moved to her mother's home state of Minnesota (after the passing of Telly) where the singer attended a convent high school in order to participate in their renowned professional theater program.

One summer while vacationing with her family in Austria, she recorded a song for fun at a mobile karaoke station which came to the attention of STARTRAX, a European recording company. She recorded a single for them, followed by an EP with renowned European producer Jack White. STARTRAX, in association with OE3, the top Austrian pop radio station, promoted Ariana extensively and she began performing in Europe to crowds of fans. She was featured on all of the top Austrian television entertainment shows with audiences totaling more than five million viewers.

After touring Europe, Ariana was accepted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London to study Shakespeare and acting. Following her RADA training, she moved to Los Angeles to work with Robert Carnegie at the prestigious Playhouse West Theater, planning to return to London in the fall of that year. After just one month in Los Angeles, with no previous professional acting experience, she auditioned for and won the title role of Miriam Shafer in the feature film Miriam, a true story of a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor. The part required the 18-year-old Ariana to play a grueling range of emotions while portraying Miriam from age 15 through 50 years old. Her most recent film is Akrasia by Polish director Xavier Tatarkiewicz.

While continuing appear in independent films, Ariana?who also studied modern dance, jazz dance and ballet with renowned Atlanta based instructor Charles Carr--began focusing on her songwriting. Influenced by the standards, pop rock and her theatre years at the convent, she taught herself to play the piano and began composing songs colored by the many styles that defined of her unique musical upbringing.

"I feel like I have been given an amazing opportunity to bring this timeless music to a younger audience," she says. "It's a way to keep the music alive so that the current generation can better understand 'the greatest generation' that my dad had the good fortune in which to grow up."

Ariana Savalas In Concert
8 pm
Friday February 19
1383 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago