- Karen Gray Bio
- Karen Gray MP3
Karen has been featured on many of the Washington area's most exciting stages and at events including:
- The Smithsonian Jazz Cafe
- The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
- The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival
- The Adams Morgan Day Festival
- The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Steinway Concert Series
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum's "Take-Five" Series
- The Silver Spring Jazz Festival
- The Sheperdstown Opera House
As a teenager I worked in a record store, and there I discovered the music I love. I was not interested in the hits on the Pop and Soul charts, even though that was the focus of my job.
The first album I bought was a collection of recordings by The Glenn Miller Band and from it I learned "Moonlight Serenade" and "Tuxedo Junction." Then I bought albums by the Manhattan Transfer and learned "In A Mellow Tone" and "Love for Sale." Then I started listening to solo vocalists, learning "Sentimental Journey" from Dinah Shore and "Moonlight in Vermont" from Willie Nelson. (Strange, but true.)
As I listened I learned, because I loved the songs, each one a distinct creative masterpiece offered up for personal interpretation! My "accidental repertoire" included well over 200 songs by the time a chance encounter led to my first professional gig many years later.
Lucky me, singing is now a huge part of my life. Since my daughter was born (2007) I've cut back a bit, but I still perform once or twice a week. Festivals, restaurants, concerts, parties! It's jazz for me. That's what I sing, and what I listen to, almost exclusively.