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Palo Alto Daily News - May 8th, 2009
By Paul Freeman

Sablan- 'The Song Has A Life Of It's Own'

San Jose’s Kristina Sablan lifts the spirits of
not only all who hear her lovely music, but also
of her fellow singer-songwriters.
Sablan and husband Darren Anderson created
Firesign Entertainment, which books musicians
— blues, soul, rock and jazz, in addition
to acoustic singer-songwriters
— into many Bay Area locales,
including Santana Row, each
They will be at Redwood
City’s Little Fox for Thursday
evening’s Hit Songwriters in
the Round. Joining Sablan and
Anderson will be Steve Krause
and Travis Hogue. In addition
to original compositions, each
will perform a cover penned by a
songwriter who inspired them.
“We’ve always wanted to start doing a
showcase to promote talented songwriters who
need the spotlight on them. The Little Fox is such
a beautiful listening venue, where people come
in, sit down, be quiet and actually listen to the
performers on stage.
“It doesn’t have to be just loud rock bands or
things you can dance to. People who can actually
write songs that come from the heart deserve
more attention. Most clubs just want stuff to have
people dancing or background music. It’s sparse
for singer-songwriters, so we’re trying to get that
moving forward.”
She and her husband are establishing the
Firesign recording company, having just released
Sablan’s own moving CD, “A
“I wanted it to have a spiritual
sense, reflective of something
beyond this everyday
world,” she said of the CD.
Getting a fledgling company
to blossom is a challenge.
“When you do it out of joy, out
of something you love to do, it
may be difficult, but you also
get great satisfaction from it.”
The satisfactions of art were imbued in Sablan
from birth. Born in Guam, she moved with
her family to Hollywood at 3, then back to her
mother’s hometown, San Jose, at age 8.
Her father was a musician/singer/songwriter
in Guam. Her grandmother, a classical pianist,
taught her piano. Sablan’s mother, a painter,
owns Bruni Gallery in Campbell.
Sablan, who sculpts, said of her mother Bruni,
“She’s been a big influence on me to pursue my
dream. She was always very encouraging, very
She knows how fortunate she is to have that
foundation. “A lot of friends had dreams of being
musicians or artists, but they didn’t have the
support of their families. Eventually, their parents
would say to them, ‘You’ve got to go into the real
world.’ And I see that these friends are marred by
it, very conflicted.”
As a child, Sablan’s mother took her to Paul
Masson Winery (now the Mountain Winery),
and toYoshi’s in Oakland, where she heard and
met such greats as Abbey Lincoln, Diane Schuur,
Carlos Santana and Miles Davis. From observing,
Sablan learned the finer points of music.
By 14, Sablan was experimenting with songwriting.
“In the beginning, I thought I had to go
by the book, by how they tell you to write a song.
I used to get frustrated by all the rules.”
After graduating from Cupertino High School,
Sablan (who now teaches singing) studied at San
Francisco’s John Ford School of Voice.
Sablan picked up the guitar in her mid-20s
and encountered innumerable performers at open
mics and cafes around the South Bay.
“They weren’t doing it for money, necessarily.
They’re doing it because they wrote a song,
worked on it, believed in it and wanted to share it
with people.
“The most important thing I learned was to be
free with what I did musically and not think of it in
commercial terms. Only then was the songwriting
rewarding. The song has a life of its own.”
Alife in music requires dedication. “You can
break through with your art, if you focus 100
percent on it. We all have to pay bills, but if you
commit to it fully, it can be what you want it to be.
“It doesn’t have to be just a dream. You don’t
just say, ‘Well, I’ll try it for five years and then
stop, if I don’t make it.’ That’s silly. Musicians
have to be very passionate people, very hardworking.
They go wherever the gig might take them.”
Sablan helps distinctive talents find gigs. “Every
song on the radio sounds like the same singer.
There used to be more interest in individuality.
“Someday maybe there will be a surge of
what there was in the ’60s and ’70s, when artists
were put into the spotlight because they were
unique and great and not just all the same. I hope
for that to come back.”
E-mail Paul Freeman at
Paul Freeman - Palo Alto Daily News (May 8, 2009)
Album Review
Rhonda Goodman
Reviewed 2009-09-23

Review of Kristina Sablan’s A Prayer
This is the perfect CD to play on a Saturday or
Sunday morning. A solo effort, Sablan’s voice
seems to float above the softly-played, guitar-
driven melodies. Her lyrics are deeply personal,
hopeful, optimistic, and spiritual. Her music
makes me think of the late John Denver.
FCC clean. Try 1, 2, 3, 11

1. & 2. [title track] Both songs hymn-like and could be played in a church service / 3. ** Great overall. 4. Long opening before the singing. / 5. Song has subtle gospel influences. / 6. Subtle country influences. 7. Electric guitar almost seems like a second voice, feels like a duet with the singer. / 8. Feels like a lullaby 9. Nice guitar harmonies. / 10. a passable remake of
the classic song first sung by Louis Armstrong.
11. Gentle and serene.

by Rhonda Goodman
GIVE A LITTLE: It's the time of year when everyone can show generosity for the less fortunate. Here are a couple of ideas if you're heading out this week:

Firesign Entertainment Group, a concert promotion company founded by South Bay musician Kristina Sablan and EMT/guitarist Darren Anderson, is linking its concert Thursday at the Little Fox Theater in Redwood City with a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

The 7 p.m. concert features Sablan and Anderson, as well as Miena Yoo, Tiffany Joy and a folk-blues group. Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door, and donation bins will be on hand for non-perishable food items.
kristina sablan and mira wooten

Kristina Sablan is a truly international performer. She was born on the Micronesian island of Agana, Guam, to a 100 percent native father and a half-Lebanese, half-Sicilian mother. Her father is a famous musician and cultural activist in Guam through his years of keeping the culture alive through music, while her mother is an internationally known portrait painter of famous jazz musicians. Mira Wooten's sound captures the essence of contemporary talents like India Arie and Eva Cassidy.

when: 8 p.m.

where: Don Quixote's, 6275 Highway 9, Felton.

cost: $8 advance, $10 at the door.

details: 603-2294 or
- Santa Cruz Sentinel (Aug 30, 2007)
Absolutely breathtaking lyrics, amazing composition, and simply the voice of an angel. Kristina clearly is the finest female singer songwriter on the market today. She captures the pure innocence in all of us. The art of her songwriting, both lyrics and composition, and her deliverence through such an angelic voice is truely an amazing find. Heartfelt lyrics, brilliant composition, and the voice of an angel make this artist one of a kind. Her CD 'Colours' is sure to touch your soul and pull on a few heartstrings. There is some of all of us within her lyrics on this CD. It is a must have for any music lover. I can not wait to hear what she comes out with next!
Kristina Sablan, singer/songwriter, offers a little something more relaxed and intimate for people seeking something different than the bands and crowds outside at First Fridays in Downtown Campbell. Darren Anderson accompanies on Bass Guitar.
Sheldon - Social Wave (Oct 10, 2007)
Absolutely beautiful vocals, such insightful songwriting.
This CD has helped me through such hard times in my life. Kristina's soul pours out through her unique and beautiful voice and lyrics. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a soothing and uplifting CD to listen to!
What people are saying...

"You sing from your heart. It affects ours. Such a deep, meaningful sound emanates from you. Your voice seems to reach deep inside your listeners, able to strum some of the hidden chords in our hearts”. ~ Gary Copsey

“You are going to make many people joyous!” ~ Erik Mathon

“Our daughter was mesmerized” ~ Bart Abicht

“Amazing voice – can feel your emotion through it!”
~ Kaylin Lustig

“Incredible, I hope you’ll sing accompanied by a symphony someday.” ~ Christopher Tichenor

“Beautiful voice - thank you for your performance!”
~ Patricia Sause

“Beautiful, outstanding voice, nicely done, very creative.”
~ Walter Monge

“You Rock!” ~ Tiffany Joy

“Wonderful, peaceful” ~ R. Driscoll