Born: September 30, 1971 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
The seeds of Karen’s career were sown early on whilst studying composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She took up the saxophone as a sideline and soon found herself playing in the college jazz band and a busy soul band based in Liverpool. On relocating to London in 1999 Karen recorded her first quintet album “Till there was You” and it wasn’t long before she found herself working alongside musicians such as Scott Hamilton, John Dankworth, Danny Moss, Alan Barnes, Dick Sudhalter, Mark Nightingale and Cleo Laine.
In 2004 Karen began a three-year stint in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band, which took her to venues and festivals across the UK and into Europe playing alongside Joe Temperley, Stacey Kent, Acker Bilk and the great blues singer Elkie Brooks. During the same period Karen worked hard to establish her own band and she began a series of musical partnerships playing at the Ginza Festival, Tokyo, with Tina May and Nikki Iles, and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007, with US trumpet star Jeremy Pelt and South African singer Esther Miller.
Since 2008 Karen has played at the annual “Norwich Jazz Party” in the UK working alongside Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Warren Vache, Bucky Pizzerelli and Scott Hamilton. More recently Karen has been touring with fellow saxophonist Robert Fowler showcasing the great tenor partnership of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and she has been playing baritone in Alan Barnes’ Ellington Band, Arnie Somogyi’s “Mingus” project and the Dankworth Big Band.
In March 2011 Karen recorded her first quartet album, “Spirit” which features her friends and Nikki Iles, Steve Brown and Dave Green. The band have had a great time delighting audiences across the UK and is looking forward to more extensive touring in 2012.
Awards:British Jazz Award for Tenor Saxophone in 2010
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