Primary Instrument: Vocalist
San Francisco Bay Area jazz vocalist Laura Karst recently released her debut solo album, Little Did I Dream. It was recorded with some of the Bay Area’s finest jazz musicians, and produced by the internationally acclaimed vocal jazz educator and clinician, Roger Letson. The CD comprises 11 songs that showcase Laura’s warm, alto voice, her interpretation of lyrics as a true storyteller, and her versatility as a singer in a wide range of jazz styles, and in a variety of languages. The album includes swing, scat, bossa nova, samba, waltz, and ballads. They are tunes ranging from the 1940s to the new millennium, sung in English, French, and Portuguese. In March 2012, Karst's performance on this recording was honored in the Indie Music Reviewer Magazine.
Karst has performed frequently as both a soloist and as part of vocal jazz groups. She has studied solo jazz voice with Roger Letson for many years, and had the honor of singing in the prestigious and award-winning 6-member vocal jazz ensemble Vocal Flight under Letson’s direction. This group, consisting of three male and three female vocalists, won two major national awards during Laura’s tenure with them: they took First Place at the 2007 Reno Jazz Festival, and their album Make the Move won Downbeat magazine’s 2008 “Outstanding Performance”award.
She has also studied with Madeline Eastman, as well as with the renowned European jazz vocalists Thierry Péala and Laurence Saltiel in master classes in France.
Laura Karst is experienced as a solo performer, having gigged in a number of Bay Area jazz venues, including Angelica's Bell Theatre and Bistro in Redwood City, the elegant Lobby Lounge of the San Jose Fairmont, Tarragon in Sunnyvale, Sumika in Los Altos, and the Octavia Lounge jazz club in San Francisco. She also recently performed in Paris (July 2012), at the Caveau des Légendes and at the Café Universel.
Little Did I Dream is streaming on Pandora, and other Internet sources, and is available for purchase and downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and numerous other on-line sources.
Awards:DownBeat Magazine's 2008 Outstanding Performance Award (awarded to the 6-member vocal jazz ensemble Vocal Flight), First Place at the 2007 Reno Jazz Festival (awarded to Vocal Flight in the College Vocal Jazz Ensemble category).
Laura is billed as a jazz vocalist and she is true to form punctuated by a
swinging quartet. She sings classic tunes arranged to fit her warm tones with
both French and English lyrics...Adam Shulman's fleeting work on piano is a
perfect complement on several tracks. Karst also teaches French and chairs
the department at DeAnza College in California but her passion is singing and
she's good at it!
—O's Place Jazz Magazine, August 5th, 2012
Breathy, brooding and languid. Laura Karst has a sweet voice and her pianist Adam Shulman is a great accompanist. Review of Laura's rendition of the ballad There's No You. —-All About Jazz (featured download of the day), January 20th, 2013