Natalia 'Saw Lady' Paruz is a New York City-based musical saw and novelty instruments player and busker. She is the founder and director of the annual Musical Saw Festival in New York City. She also organized the musical saw festival in Israel. She is a columnist of the 'Saw Player News' and a judge at international musical saw competitions.
Paruz has played the musical saw on many film soundtracks and can be seen as well as heard in the movie Dummy starring Adrien Brody. She has performed with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Zubin Mehta), the Westchester Philharmonic, the Royal Air Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, the Amor Artis Orchestra, the Riverside Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with PDQ Bach composer Peter Schickele and with the Little Orchestra Society. November 2007 marked her Carnegie Hall debut as a musical saw soloist and June 2008 marked her Madison Square Garden debut. Her musical saw can be heard in many TV commercials and she has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs around the world. Garrison Keillor of the Prairie Home Companion radio show has dubbed Natalia the show's 'official saw player'. As a studio musician, her musical saw has been recorded by labels such as Atlantic Records, Capitol Records and Universal Records, for albums of bands and composers such as John Hiatt. She played at many festivals, such as the Spoleto Festival USA, the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Utah Arts Festival, World Trade Center's Buskers Fair and at the Fingerlakes Chamber Music Festival.
Paruz often plays the musical saw in contemporary music, encouraging today's composers to write for this instrument.
Paruz is considered the most knowledgeable about the history of the musical saw, and her home is a pilgrimage place for saw enthusiasts and students. The December 3rd 2011 'Washington Post' crossword puzzle had Paruz as a question: "Down 5 - Instrument played by Natalia Paruz".
Along with her professional career Paruz makes a point to also perform on the streets and subways as a busker. She has busked in the USA, Italy, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland and France. Paruz also served as a judge at the Music Under New York auditions for subway musicians.
Paruz also plays a set of 65 pitched cowbells, English handbells, 4-in-hand hand bells, theremin and glass harp.
Awards and honors:
Paruz is a recipient of many awards, including:
a citation of honor from the New York City Council,
a citation of honor from the New York State Senate,
a medal of honor from Paris, France.,
She was chosen for the 'Best of New York' list of the 'Village Voice' two years in a row, as well as for the lists of 'Time Out New York', the 'New York Press' and the 'New York Resident'.
Paruz is a recipient of grants from the Queens Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.
In 2009 Paruz organized the Guinness World Record of the 'Largest Musical Saw Ensemble', which gathered 53 musical saw players to perform together.
In 2010 NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation honoring the annual Musical Saw Festival Natalia organizes since 2003.
In 2011 NY State Assembly member Aravella Simotas issued a citation of honor proclaiming the NYC Musical Saw Festival for its "9 years of artistic excellence in Astoria".
In 2013 Queens Borough President Helen Marshall issued a proclamation declaring June 1, 2013 to be the 'Natalia Paruz & Musical Saw Festival Day' in Queens.
Books mentioning Paruz:
City Lights: Stories About New York/St. Martin's Press,
New York Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff/Globe Pequot,
120 Jobs that Won't Chain You to Your Desk/Random House,
The Savvy Musician/Helius Press,
Overlooked New York/CreateSpace, by Zina Saunders,
Sounds of the Underground/Heidi Younger,
Teach a Man to Fish and Other Stories/Richard A. Schrader, Sr.,
Book in Czech - Zápisky osamělého poutníka s autoharfou/Martin Žák,
The Designs of Carrie Robbins/The United States Institute for Theatre Technology in cooperation with Broadway Press,
Buskers/Soft Skull Press,
Tampa Review 42/University of Tampa Press,
Get Lucky (How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You & Your Business)/Jossey-Bass,
Book in Spanish - Diario de un Músico Callejero/José Miguel Vilar, Editorial Renacimiento,
The Noise Beneath the Apple, by Heather Jacks,
Starting Your Career as a Musician/Skyhorse Publishing, Inc, by Neil Tortorella,
Music in American Life - An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture/Greenwood,
Movie soundtracks with musical saw by Paruz:
Dummy, directed by Greg Pritikin (2002),
El Carnaval de Sodoma, directed by Arturo Ripstein (Mexico, 2006),
I Sell the Dead, directed by Glenn McQuaid (2008),
American Carny, directed by Nick Basile (2008),
Bend & Bow, directed by Ted Fisher (2008),
The Heart Is a Drum Machine, directed by Christopher Pomerenke (2009),
Lullaby, directed by Ben Westbrook (2009),
Another Earth, directed by Mike Cahill (2011),
Strings, directed by Tal Arbiv (2012),
Caihong City, directed by Florina Titz (2013),
Theater soundtracks with musical saw by Paruz:
Monkey, Journey to the West, music by Damon Albarn (live show 2008),
Midsummer Night's Dream, music by Elliot Goldenthal (album recording 2013),
SawBones, music by Scott Munson (live show and album recording 2014)