"little did i dream"
Laura Karst's debut album, Little Did I Dream, received enthusiastic reviews from All About Jazz, Indie Music Reviewer Magazine, Bop-n-Jazz, and O's Place Jazz Magazine.
It was recorded with some of the San Francisco Bay Area's finest jazz musicians. The CD comprises eleven songs that showcase Laura's warm and smooth alto voice, her interpretation of lyrics as a true storyteller, and her versatility as a singer of a wide range of jazz styles, and in a variety of languages. The album includes swing, scat, bossa nova, samba, waltz, and ballads -- tunes ranging from the 1940s to the new millennium -- sung in English, French, and Portuguese.
Recommended listening if you like Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, or Ella Fitzgerald.
full track from the album:
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 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.
For five years, from 2014-2019, Laura sang in the 5-member vocal jazz ensemble JAZZ-ology, under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Austin. During Laura's tenure with this group, they won DOWNBEAT magazine's 2018 and 2017 national first place award in its category, and also DOWNBEAT's 2016 "Outstanding Performance" award. In 2017 her group was selected as one of six national finalists by the Monterey Jazz Festival, for its "Next Generation" competition. In 2018 they performed a sold-out show at Club Bonafide in Manhattan, receiving a standing ovation. In 2019 the group was one of the six vocal jazz ensembles from the country invited to perform at the Jazz Education Network's international convention in Reno, Nevada. Also in 2019, they released their CD, Feelin' Good, and went on a 5-city concert tour of jazz clubs in France, where they received standing ovations and encores at each venue. In the Fall of 2019 Laura retired from singing with this group, in order to focus more on her solo projects, but she continues her work as JAZZ-ology's manager.
Laura has also studied jazz solo voice with Madeline Eastman and Kate McGarry, as well as with renowned European jazz vocalists Thierry Péala and Laurence Saltiel in master classes in France.
As a lyricist, Laura has collaborated for many years with the award-winning, European jazz composer and vocalist, Loïs Le Van. His new album, Vind, released in September 2019, features exclusively Laura's lyrics, and was selected as Album of the Month in Jazz News Magazine (Oct. 2019).