I grew up just beyond the skyline of New York, immersed in the cultural heritage of my Latvian (Eastern European) émigré community. After early studies in piano and classical guitar, I went on to pursue my love of singing. This led to a richly diverse performing career in a wide variety of styles, including chamber music, opera, music theater, art-rock, folk music, jazz and tango.
In addition to my work as a vocal soloist, I create collaborative projects that incorporate story-telling with music and video. I am drawn to subjects that deal with the possibility of transformation and redemption – and exploring my own roots, both as personal history, and through mythological archetypes.
My original songs can be heard on the recordings Elevator into the Sky (poetry of Anne Sexton); Saskandinot (Latvian ballads and drinking songs), and High We Shine the Sky – a duo with Jim Matus.
“Laila Salins captivated the crowd with her tender performance of these melancholy songs.” (New YorkTimes)
“Exceptional in her singing ability, feeling for style and performing intensity was Laila Salins in the part of Arsamenes.” (New Zurich Times, Switzerland)
First impressions: the free plasticity of movement of Laila Salins’ cat-like Carmen. The voice has the brightness of a soprano, and the portrayal, too, emphasizes not fatality, but rather a boundless vitality and love of life. (Literature and Art, Riga, Latvia)
“Miss Salins is an engaging and communicative singer who colors words imaginatively and phrases with great sensitivity.” (New York Times)
The demanding alto solo of Rhapsody op. 53 was ideally suited to the soloist Laila Salins, whose strong and highly expressive voice was well supported by the sensitive accompaniment of the orchestra. Laila Salins proved herself to be, moreover, a figure of great artistic maturity, able to extract new insights from Brahms’ work. (Neue Zurcher Nachrichten, Switzerland)
Ms. Salins surely has one of the most remarkable vocal ranges of any singer I’ve heard… it is as clear and limpid as a pinot grigio at the top and as earthy as a merlot at the bottom…” (Southampton Press, New York)