San Francisco Bay Area jazz vocalist Laura Karst surprised her audiences when they learned that, by day, she was the Chair of a prominent college’s French department, up until her retirement in 2017. She enjoyed her day job, but singing jazz has been her one true love. Her debut solo album, Little Did I Dream, was a labor of that love, and the result of years of serious study of the craft of vocal jazz. Now that she has retired from teaching, she is involved in numerous vocal activities, both jazz and classical. She is currently in the planning stages of a second solo jazz recording project. Stay tuned!
Laura is a very experienced solo performer, having gigged in a number of Bay Area jazz venues, including, to name a few, Angelica's Main Stage in Redwood City, Café Pink House jazz club in Saratoga, the elegant Lobby Lounge of the San José Fairmont, Tarragon in Sunnyvale, Sumika in Los Altos, and the Octavia Lounge jazz club in San Francisco. In 2017, Laura was the invited guest artist at the Hilo Bay Café in Hawai'i. She has also performed in several jazz clubs in Paris: Autour de Midi et Minuit, Péniche le Marcounet, Le Caveau des Légendes, Le Café Universel, and La Crêperie ELO.
Laura has studied solo jazz voice with the internationally acclaimed jazz educator and clinician Roger Letson for many years, in his workshops and master classes in California and in France. Laura also had the honor of singing in the prestigious and award-winning 6- member vocal jazz ensemble, Vocal Flight, under Letson’s direction. This group won two major national awards during Laura’s tenure with them: First Place at the 2007 Reno Jazz Festival, and DOWNBEAT magazine’s 2008 “Outstanding Performance” award.