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 weekend. 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 Prayer.” “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 supportive.” 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

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” - by Rhonda Goodman

— KZSU Stanford

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.” - Sal Pizarro

San Jose Mercury News

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

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!” - B. Thorpe

Freelance Journalist-San Francisco

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

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!” - Jenni L.
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”