Facts and Funbits
Karen is a southern Alberta girl from a farm north of Picture Butte called Porkka's Corner. Her family moved to Lethbridge when she was 8 but she continued to have the best of city and farm life for many years. Nature has always influenced her life and her music. Nurtured by a diverse family record collection and school music programs, she grew up a self professed "band geek", influenced by all kinds of music... Classical, Big Band, World, RnB, Jazz and Folk. Fast forward many years later she brings all those influences together in her writing and recording with several projects. Snippits from each project are heard be heard on the website.
Karen is an active member of the Edmonton music community. She teaches in her home studio offering lessons in voice, songwriting, theory and improvisation. After receiving certification as a holistic health practitioner, Karen focused her studies on sound, breath and body awareness utilizing various techniques that are helpful for singers and anyone else wishing to learn ways to establish a deeper connection with themselves.
Karen has had the honour of playing with some of Edmonton's finest musicians, artists and arts organizations. Mo Lefever, Jamie Philp, Thom Golub, Thom Bennett, George Koufogiannkis, Ron Ceilin, John Neelin, Rhonda Withnell, Anna Beaumont, Peter Belec, Bob Tildesley, Kevin Parkinson, Dwayne Hrynkiw, Brett Miles, Mile Zero Dance, Gerry Morita, Amber Borotsik, Gord Graber, JC Jones, Troy Nowaselski, Arts on the Ave, Mark Klemm, Bill Richards, Don Ehret, Farley Scott, Stefan Kijek, Garth Prince, Carrie Day and more. Karen was also part of the music ministry team at the Centre for Spiritual Living for 5 years.
Improvisation is Karen's wheelhouse and deep love. Inspired by her work with local musicians and dancers she pursued training with vocal improvisation master Bobby McFerrin and members of his Voicestra, Joey Blake, David Worm and Rhiannon with whom she completed a year long intensive training plus a year of internship as an assistant with singers from around the world. She now brings this love and depth of experience to the Improvisation Network of Edmonton or V.I.N.E. Choir offering weekly classes, workshops and collaborations with other musicians, visual artists, film makers and dancers.
In 2016 Karen took a Community Choir Leadership training program in Victoria, BC, Canada and started the Soul Song Circle Singers which is part of the Ubuntu Choir Network who believes it is our birthright to sing. The
Karen acknowledges that much of her musical upbringing and influences are rooted in black music and music from around the world which she holds in great gratitude and respect. Her approach to making music is held with sacred joy, making singing a safe and fun experience...."'cause there is nothing more serious than fun!" - (Don Cherry - jazz trumpeter)