Martin Stepanik: Electronic Wirement, Pianoforte, Vocals
Anne Marie Fuerthauer: Vocals,Sounds,Images
Gernot Haslauer: Acoustic-Bass,Electric- Bass,Trumpet
Andreas Lettner: Drums
Christoph Gruber: Guitar
Christian Kronreif: Reeds
Since more than twenty years Martin Stepanik is one of the most interesting composers/keyboarders working in the wide field of electronic music and Jazz in Vienna. Leaving his roots of acoustic jazz and improvised music in 1985 Stepanik pioneered the new Viennese electronic music scene being a founding member of “Die Vögel Europas”. From 1986 to 1992 this band toured frequently throughout Europe and recorded with artists such as F.M.Einheit of “Einstürzende Neubauten” and Elliott Sharp.
Next step was Stepaniks founding of Lovely Rita in 1991. The project pursued, in a changing line-up (5 to 8 musicians), a consistent development from a jazz-inspired group to an experimental--electronic Popband.
The main musical interest of Lovely Rita has always been, to combine polyrhythmic grooves with the structure of a pop song.
From the very beginning Lovely Rita showed, with the help of coverversions, a reference to pop music of the 60ties and 70ties, as well as the novelty of her very own musical language.
In 2001/02, during a regularly monthly showcase at the famous Viennese Jazz & Music-Club „Porgy & Bess“, Lovely Rita developed with a range of well known artists a wide open form of their popsongs including a pop-oriented attitude to a couple of jazz standards.
The result is, beside others, a double program of their music in two yet unreleased albums, the red “Levitation” featuring Lovely Ritas’ own pop songs (plus a cover version of “Fool On the Hill”) and the blue “On The Edge Of Tenderness”, Lovely Ritas’ very origin interpretation of Jazz-Standards, from Gershwins “I loves You Porgy” to Duke Ellingtons’ “Sophisticated Lady” featuring German trumpet player Peter Tuscher as special guest.
Finally Lovely Rita was always gaining for the next change and new musical goals following their own traces to the unknown artistic future. The two new albums are by no means their final statement, Lovely Rita is a surprising musical act, on stage as well as on their albums, both for the musical scene and the audience.
„There should be a special reference to Lovely Rita, this unpredictable band, that is distinguished by ist permanent mutation of styles … with certainty the most important band of the year.”
Der Standard, Vienna
„Lovely Rita is a Vienna-based avant-pop band, making its NYC debut. Its leader, Martin Stepanik, claims he strives to put a human center into electronic music. As you may guessed, the band plays love songs and beatles-covers, though it also treads in experimental waters.”
Time Out, New York
"Many Bands, who decorate themselves with attributes as ,avantgardistic’, don’t deserve that. For "Lovely Rita" it is fitting best. And you can add: artistically highly valuable.“
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
"Once again "Lovely Rita" is counting on beauty itself. In any case her Beatles-Coverversions are part of the nonplusultra of local music history. Never before "Eleanor Rigby" has sounded so enchanting.“
Neue Zeit, Graz
"....one of this amazing songs of Martin Stepanik, in which a whole genre seems to condense typically. Pop music, that is originally music about pop music.“
Wolfgang Kos, Ex-Broadcaster ORF, Director of the City Museum, Vienna
" Tender Avantgarde – belongs to the most beautiful, that is thinkable and desirable in contemporary music.”
Reinhold Aumaier, Wiener Zeitung, Vienna
Lovely Rita played at Festivals as Lucerne, Biel, Zurich (CH), Nickelsdorf, Wiesen, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna (A), Lille (F), New York