h1

Bye Aug! Hi Sept news & reviews

August 30, 2018

One more day of August remains as I write this and I know many people are making plans for what is typically a final long weekend away before heading back to school and university when autumn kicks in with earnest. I do love this change of season so very much! The colours in flowerbeds boast the bold yellows and oranges and other shades that beckon my eyes to stay, to remain transfixed in appreciation. Ah but, indoor music work is what is beckoning me too and, right now the inside work especially NEEDS me.

There are many “to do” lists and I’m trying to keep on top of it. How to keep things in balance? That is another skill!  I am trying to make the time to go on bike rides and long walks when I am able to so that I don’t miss the spectacular seasonal shift.

Whereby there’s only one day left in August, there are 11 days remaining in my indiegogo campaign. You can pre-order the CD, VINYL or other items related to this recording or, simply help spread the word about the campaign to others. I’m currently at 25 % of my goal. Thank you everyone who has come on board already!!!

Here’s the link:     Karin’s indiegogo campaign

Karin-sings-2018

In advance of the official release of my new recording I sent just a few advance copies to people in the industry who have supported and taken an interest in my career over the years to see what they might have to say about “This Could Be The One”.

I’d like to share a review that CKUA Radio host and producer Dianne Donovan wrote regarding my new recording. Dianne has supported my musical efforts for many years now and I’m grateful that she took the time to listen and to share her comments in the form of this review which you’ll see below.

TCBTO CD cover 1

On Karin Plato’s-This Could Be The One

For two and a half decades, B.C.-based jazz vocalist,  Karin Plato, has been carving her own place on the Canadian jazz scene. Her vocals are often beautifully understated, yet, with such an expert control of her instrument, she brings fresh readings of old standards and crafts her own intricate tunes with a delivery that sounds effortless.

Her new release, This Could Be The One, just may be the most fully realized Karin Plato album yet! The majority of the tunes are by Plato herself. A fine composer, she writes some lines that a lesser singer would not be able to execute. Yes, there’s the delicate voice that seems caress each note but on this release, she is also singing OUT!

The CD kicks off with the strong title track, This Could Be The One, a breezy tune with deft phrasing and some lovely interplay with the rhythm section, accentuated by clarinetist, James Danderfer.

The mood shifts with the gentle, Sweet Summer, and we slip into bluesy suspended-animation with, July, wherein we hear the full range of Plato’s vocal range, and colour. Ms. Plato’s use of dynamics (an oft-neglected skill) has always been a long suit of hers, Jwith which, she continues to surprise, delight and “bring the listener in”.

Her take on Hank Williams, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, would even make the cynic tear-up.

On her tune, Insomnia, Plato turns a “condition” into a haunting companion.

This Could Be The One, is a stunningly beautiful, intimate release. Karin Plato, is a singer’s singer but she is so much MORE! She is a a revelation for anyone with ears, feelings and heart.

Dianne Donovan/vocalist

Producer/Host

Voices in Jazz

CKUA Radio Network

***********************************************

SEPTEMBER ~ Karin’s album release concerts:

Sept 7 at PYATT HALL (Vancouver)

with special guest vocalist Marcus Mosley

TIX here:

Pyatt Hall concert

Sept 14 at BLUE FROG STUDIOS (White Rock)

with special guest vocalist Rebecca Shoichet

TIX here:

Blue Frog concert

 

Advertisements
h1

This Could Be The One

August 20, 2018

KP-CONCERT-POSTER

Can a poster say everything I need/want to say about my upcoming album release concerts? Well…perhaps but maybe not quite everything.

Here are the facts as I know them:  WHAT + WHO + WHEN + WHERE  + HOW 

Indeed, these things have been covered by the information included on the poster.

And now this…jazz is not really a “popular” form of music. It’s true! The music that I sing/play/compose  is regarded as very mainstream, straight ahead kind of jazz and has some people interested while others hearing/seeing the word JAZZ may turn away to something else. My hope is that some people who are about to turn away when they see these concerts advertised somewhere (on social media, on the radio, on a poster etc) will consider coming. WHY?

Ahh….that is a question I will now try to answer! I believe that my band mates and I will be sharing a wide range of music at these concerts. Yes, there will be the sensibility and musicality of my fellow musicians who are without a doubt jazz musicians and yes, that’s what we’ll be performing.  I too consider myself a jazz vocalist above all else with an “in the moment” approach to singing the songs. We’re more than too!

The experience of hearing us live will be so much more. There will be accessible music. We will include the familiar. We will include some surprises. We will include improvisation. There may be pop. There may be a folk tune. Dynamics, energy, interplay, groove…

AND… lots of this music (which appears on the recording) is brand new. So there will be the element of fresh for your ears.

I think we could win over some new fans. There have been times at some of my concerts that people have come up to tell me that they thought they disliked jazz however they liked the type of jazz that we were playing.

Okay then! This Could Be The One….title of my new recording AND possible describing potential new fan to jazz as well.

Thanks everyone.

Karin

 

h1

August days ~ sunshine & shades

August 3, 2018

August is here and that means its just over a month now and I’ll be officially releasing my new recording “This Could Be the One”.  My band and I will be performing two concerts in September (Sept 10 & Sept 14) and tickets for both concerts are on sale now.

This drawing below is by my husband Gorm, the artist who created the character “BO” for the graphics of the new CD and VINYL packaging. This BO drawing relates to the song “Sweet Summer”  my song which appears on the new recording. Hopefully the sunshine and shades continue in this month of August!

GD-signature-on-Sunglasses-art

I’m also in the midst of an indiegogo campaign which includes pre-sales of the new CD or VINYL plus there are various other perks available related to the project.
Just in case you are interested in checking out the indiegogo campaign I’m including a link here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/karin-plato-releases-new-independent-jazz-record/x/19056504#/   here you can view a video all about the recording as well as take a look at the “Plato Perks” available in this campaign.
Now, I’m getting ready to teach a few weeks at music camps: PSGW followed by BC Swing Camp.
Have a wonderful August everyone!
Karin
h1

New Joys coming up

July 18, 2018

Two days in a row for me to be writing on this neglected Plato’s Words Blog!! Even I am surprised by this. The reason I am here again so soon is that my friend and webmaster Paul Norton has just finished the new 2018/2019 site for this year’s JOY OF JAZZ CONCERTS series that I am the curator of and I want to let everyone know all about it.

CMYK banner-JOY

I am excited about this year’s series as you will find out in a moment!

Three highly acclaimed and celebrated jazz artists will be a part of this series and this is the DO NOT MISS event for jazz fans. Grammy Nominee vocalist Kate McGarry along with Keith Ganz and Gary Versace will be at Pyatt Hall on January 10, 2019  YES, you read that correctly. Tix available soon.

Kate McGARRY

Many Vancouver fans may recall that just a few years ago Kate and Keith made their Vancouver debut at St. James Hall. We are so thrilled that they will come again as a trio celebrating their incredible new recording THE SUBJECT TONIGHT IS LOVE.

On a personal note, my husband Gorm and I were able to be in NYC this past February when the trio performed an album release concert to their devoted NYC fans plus two of their super fans (there are many of us!) from Vancouver. We were deeply moved by every single aspect of their concert. Kate, Keith & Gary are bringing that magic HERE! 

Kicking off the season on September 7 will be my Karin Plato Quintet performing one of two album release concerts. Of course I am buzzing about the Quintet concert, however, today I’ll let you know about the rest of the season which, excites me immensely.

Looking ahead a bit further into the fall season will be the Joy of Jazz “mini-invitational” series of concerts taking place at HOOD 29 (formerly called Cottage Bistro) and this year, for the most part, the series will feature primarily, though not exclusively, VOICE and BASS combinations.

I am thrilled about the artists performing in these concerts! We’ll be paying tribute to a very special woman and special jazz vocalist SHEILA JORDAN who made the whole voice + bass combination into a true art-form.  Sheila celebrates her 90th birthday this coming November so we’ll perform some of the music that she has recorded. For those who don’t know, Sheila continues to tour around the world spreading the word of bebop and more. She’s a true inspiration to say the least!

NOW, look at these sweet combinations of voice & bass artists:

Laura Crema & Conrad Good

Steve Maddock & Paul Rushka

Guido Heistek & moi (voice & Uke)

Natasha D’Agostino and Brent Gubbels.

These invitational concerts have become dear to my heart. They’re intimate and collaborative and I get to sing and play with colleagues but I also get to hear them as they perform their solo and duet pieces with each other. Those who have attended in the past know how truly unique these evenings can be.

Here’s the new website where you can read more about the entire series of concerts; the artists, the dates, the details:

http://www.joyofjazzconcerts.com/

Enjoy your summer days everyone! K

 

h1

Simmer in the Summer

July 17, 2018

WORDPRESS-test-photoI’ve been carefully simmering a little something special for several years now musically speaking, and although still in the simmer stage, I’m happy to announce that a new recording made with some very talented people will be officially released this coming September. The recording is called THIS COULD BE THE ONE and the music will be available on CD and on VINYL. In another post I’ll rave about my band mates and other various guest artists and, I’ll write about the artistic elements of the graphics and more.

What does it mean to “release” the music when you are an independent artist not affiliated with any record label and, for the most part with so very few music stores carrying CD’s and records?   Well, for an independent artist it means that it is DIY for the most part. The STORE will be located on my website and the “royal we” ~ me, myself & I  will be the artist, shipping clerk and package person. I know that many people  purchase music via download or they simply stream the music of their choice. I am still a fan of the actual CD or, the actual vinyl record. I am hoping there are other music fans who might choose to listen to the higher quality sound that the CD and the vinyl possess.

Back to my summer simmer… More soon including a new website and other news.

h1

Getting to know Natasha D’Agostino

May 15, 2017

I remember performing my first ever jazz festival gig in Vancouver several years ago now. Such excitement in preparing arrangements, making sets and feeling “validation” somehow to given a jazz festival gig. Ah yes! Ever since that first time I have loved our Vancouver Jazz festival whether I am performing or attending a concert or workshop. It’s Christmas for this jazz fan what with all those musical offerings available.

I’m not sure what Vancouver vocalist/composer Natasha D’Agostino is feeling about her first official appearance at this year’s Jazz Festival but I imagine there is some level of excitement. I’ve done a short series of interview questions with Natasha which appear below these first preview paragraphs.

In the past, several months I have had many occasions to share the stage with the ever so talented Ms. D’Agostino.  These have been wonderful happenstances for me since, it seems that our two voices have quite a natural blend and I adore the timbre of her voice.  Certainly, it appears that Natasha could blend with almost anyone’s voice because she possesses such keen sensibilities when it comes to music. Her “in the moment” choices of phrasing and colour are simply spot on with respect to the melody, lyric and harmonic structure. Is this because she has come through the Capilano University Music program? Perhaps some of her superb skills have been shaped in that very challenging and complete immersion in jazz studies.

Natasha Karin DUO

Is it possible she already had (and has) the true instinct of a jazz musician; the listening and responding, waiting and communicating with fellow musicians so that “it” is no longer just about the individual. At times, of course it is that too! Natasha has a distinctive vocal sound and she’s been on the scene singing all sorts of gigs and truly gaining the valuable experience of making music with many different players.

There’s something about Natasha’s approach to singing that captures a listener almost immediately and it’s the reason I like sharing songs with her.  It’s not just because she has a beautiful voice. It appears to be more about her candid and honest connection with the song and with the people she’s making music with.  Don’t miss Natasha and her group performing at this year’s Jazz Festival July 2nd 12:00 noon on Granville Island Market Stage. I know this will be great!

Here is the Q & A I recently did with Natasha.

What are some important things you will take with you following your years of study at Capilano University?

Capilano University’s Jazz Studies program was overall a really great experience, and I feel really equipped to pursue a future in music because of the high level of education that the faculty has provided the students with. I remember some of us would get a chart for Nitecap, one of the vocal ensembles at Capilano, and we would look at each other, thinking, “We are never going to be able to do this!” Through the mentorship of the instructors, and the strong community between the students, we always surprised ourselves with what we could accomplish. It is a very growth-minded and encouraging environment. One of my favorite things about studying there, was seeing how passionate our instructors are about music. So many of them are involved in musical projects of their own, and so we students were fortunate to be exposed to so many different things, and there was never any shortage of inspiration to pursue our own creative endeavors with.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

I’ve always loved creating, performing, and singing, but it wasn’t really until the last year/year and a half or so that I started to become really inspired to write and explore some of the musical ideas that I had, and in that process, I found that I love writing music, connecting with people, and having all of the amazing experiences that come with playing music and collaborating. This realization made me really excited and inspired to pursue music and really immerse myself in the journey.

Describe your childhood experiences related to studying music?

I was a busy kid who always wanted to do everything, and so music was thrown into the mix with all kinds of sports and activities. I remember starting piano lessons when I was about 9, and though I only pursued them for a couple of years, I had a really amazing teacher who to this day is one of my closest friends, and so she was always around to answer my questions as I became more curious about it. I became involved in the drama and choir program in high school, and I really loved being a part of the musicals, and singing in the different choirs.

Who are a few of your favourite musicians and what is it about their music making that appeals to you?

I love listening to a wide range of music and artists, but I always find myself coming back to musicians like Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Carmen McRae, Fred Hersch, and Wayne Shorter. The list can go on, and I know I’ve missed many, but these musicians have always inspired me with their endless creativity, and deep exploration of the music.

You are appearing at the 2017 Vancouver Jazz Festival headlining your own group. Could you describe a little bit about what a listener might hear coming to your Jazz Fest show?

I am so excited to be playing at the Jazz Festival this year, and I am even more excited to be sharing the day playing with some of my closest friends. A lot of us have gone through school together and watched each other grow, so it is really special to share this with them. Most of the music that we will play will be my original material, which is heavily influenced by some of the people I mentioned earlier. Wayne Shorter, Kenny Wheeler, and Norma Winstone have notably influenced me, and so a lot of the music is introspective, open for collaborative improvisation, and inspired by a lot of the material released on the ECM record label.

Natasha-FRANKIES

 I know that you are a composer. Do you have a regime whereby you try to create something each day, week, etc?

I’ve definitely had a lot of fun writing and exploring ideas over the last year or so. Truthfully, I’m not very good at being disciplined in this area, and I often work in spurts of inspiration. However, I think when I started writing, I would feel the pressure of having to complete an idea or write something that I deemed “finished,” in one sitting, so that would often leave me too overwhelmed to start. Lately, I’ve been enjoying journaling a lot, and so sometimes I’ll spend just a short time writing down a few ideas I have, and then coming back to them in later sessions. This has allowed for a much more freeing creative process, and it has encouraged me to sit down more often at the piano and dive into the things I hear. Nowadays, I’ll probably sit down at least once a day to do this sort of thing, even if only for a short while!

When you are composing music, do you begin with a melody, a harmonic or rhythmic idea or with a lyric that you’ve written?

Often times when I am writing, I hear the harmony first. I’ll usually sit at the piano and play through a harmonic progression I’m hearing and go from there. Sometimes this is inspired by some kind of rhythmic idea that will influence the phrasing of the melody. I usually find it hard to write lyrics until all the other pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place, and sometimes I’ll feel that everything I want to say has been said without adding any lyrics, so I’ll just leave it wordless. If I am writing lyrics, I often find that hearing all of the other elements together will inspire some kind of image or storyline I want to explore further with text. Lately, I have been trying to come up with more melodies first, and harmonize them later at the piano, to see if that will move my ideas into a new direction.

Are there particular instruments you are drawn to and which you like to include in your ensembles?

To be honest, I’ve never really written specifically for any instrument, and I have been really fortunate to have friends and other musicians who are willing to play through my material with me. I find it really exciting to play the same music with different musicians, and different instrumentations, and then see what that does to the music. Anytime I’ve played with various ensembles, I always leave hearing something I hadn’t heard before, or having an idea that has come to life in the moment, so I love collaborating with a lot of different people, in order to keep the ideas flowing!

 Do you have a practice regime that you apply yourself to on a daily basis?

Lately this part of my life has changed a lot, and especially with recently being out of school, I have been thinking a lot about how to come up with a practice routine to stick to daily. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but as of late, I will usually start by doing some ear training. I started using an app called Harmony Cloud to help, and then I’ll warm up by doing some scales and patterns, and move on to playing a few tunes I know. After that I’ll usually have some specific pieces of music I need to learn or work on, and so I will spend the rest of the time doing that. I’ve been really into transcribing different solos lately, and I’m having a lot of fun reading through the Miles Davis Omnibook!

Are there genres other than jazz based music that you are interested in?

I grew up listening to a lot of music from the Motown label, and I have always loved listening to soul and R&B. Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” is one of my favourite records of all time. I also really love listening to Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Carole King. The list could go on! I’ve also really enjoyed getting familiar with Classical music over the past few years, especially some of the 20th century material like Debussy, Ravel, and Schoenberg.

Do you have plans on making a recording? 

Yes! I’m actually really excited about this. I’m working on getting my original material together, and fleshing out some of my ideas, and my plan is to go into the studio sometime at the end of this year.

Are there any gigs you’d like people to know about coming up for you this spring/summer?

There are some fun gigs coming up that I am really looking forward to. One of them is a Jazz Duet Show, with you and an amazing band on May 28th, and I’m also looking forward to being a part of Pascal Saunier’s “Le Destin du Jazz-Club” next month on June 14th. I spent a year living in France in my early twenties, and so I am really excited to work on singing in French, and I’m also very excited for the Jazz Festival show on July 2nd!

Natasha-RED-ONE

h1

Getting to know 2 master musicians

December 23, 2016

promo-pic-johns

The first time I sang with  John Miller and  John Reischman was in 2006.   Rosemary Campbell selected the three of us to perform together at the faculty concert in Sorrento where we were teaching in Swing Camp. Since that summer we have spoken  of playing music together once again and now finally,  approximately 10 years later, it’s going to happen.   Tuesday, January 3rd in Vancouver  will be the 4th concert of the Joy Of Jazz Concert Series on the Cottage Bistro Stage and this will be a rare and wonderful opportunity to come and hear us perform as a trio. http://www.joyofjazzconcerts.com

 John Reischman (mandolin) is typically busy touring with his acclaimed group The Jaybirds. The Jaybirds have a new recording coming out in 2017. John is a Juno–nominated and Grammy–award winning artist and is regarded as one of the truly great mandolin players of his generation.

John Miller (guitar) is truly versatile musician playing music that includes incorporates swing, country blues and latin jazz styles. He is a prolific composer, a highly respected teacher and he performs regularly in several ensembles in the USA.

These two gentlemen have been playing and recording together for over 20 years. They have recorded three  CD’s together. Seeing them perform as a duo is a truly inspiring experience.

I don’t know these two musicians very well but what I do know after spending time with them and in seeing them in various settings with others, makes me admire and appreciate them; not just their musicianship but how they carry themselves as true gentlemen. They are indeed gentle and funny and thoughtful. How lucky I am to get to sing with them both!

q-a-johns

Here are the 10 questions I posed in early December when we had our second rehearsal for the “Winter Moon” concert coming up in January 2017.

Do you enjoy the winter season and do you celebrate Christmas or Hannukah etc?

John Reischman ~ I do enjoy winter. Not as much as autumn or early spring, but it is nice to slow down for a bit and spend time with family at Christmas.

John Miller ~ I truthfully do not enjoy every aspect of winter.  I’m not a fan of it getting dark around 3:30 or 4:00 PM, and feel much better once we get past the Winter solstice.  Look out for those pedestrians!  I like cold clear weather.  I do celebrate Christmas every year.

Have you a favourite song or instrumental piece about winter?

J. R. ~ I really like the Vince Guaraldi sound track to a Charlie Brown Christmas. Gordon Lightfoot’s Song for a Winter’s night is really nice. I also like the traditional song A Roving on a Winter’s Night.

J. M. ~ I have lots of favorite hymns.  For secular songs, I really like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Here We Come A Wassailing”.

What do you like about playing music with each other after all these years?

J. R. ~ I still enjoy the same things about playing music with John Miller that I did when we first started. He has a fantastic rhythmic feel coupled with interesting and usual chord voicings, and he is an endless source of beautiful original tunes. Plus he is a great friend and funny too!

J. M. ~ I always feel like playing with John Reischman is like attending a concert as well as playing one, it’s such a treat to hear what he does.  Plus, it’s good to spend time with a good friend

Do you play music every day?

J. R. ~ I’m sorry to say that I don’t. Life gets busy so there’s not always time to play. I do have instruments hanging on the wall to make it easier. Last year I was able to get into a routine of playing/practicing everyday and I hope to get back into that routine.

J. M. ~ I think of myself as playing every day, but I suppose there are occasional days when I do not play.  I should play every day, certainly.

Are there names of any upcoming artists in the world of instrumental music in any genre that you can recommend to listen to or watch for?

J. R. ~ One of the younger musicians I play with from time to time name is Molly Tuttle. She is a triple threat; singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter, and she excels at all three. She is known in the bluegrass world, but her music crosses over into Americana and folk. I’ve known her since she was a little kid so it’s great to see her come into her own. Her first solo recording will be released early in 2017.

J. M.~ I think that musicians I think of as up and coming have often been around for a while.  I really enjoy Classical pianists Alexandre Tharaud and Igor Levit and Jeremy Denk.

When you are performing concerts, do you have any pet peeves about certain things that you think shouldn’t happen while attending a concert?

J. R. ~ Well, it’s always annoying if you are playing a concert and someone is talking.

J. M. ~ I don’t like it when the sound person plays either a recording by the artist(s) performing the show on the sound system between sets, or plays some other music, completely at odds with what the performer does, between sets.  I much prefer the only music sounding at a show being what you hear being made on the stage as it happens.  Having music going non-stop de-sensitizes us to it.

Other than the instruments you play, what might be an instrument that you are particularly drawn to?

J. R. ~ I love the fiddle, and the tone that some get from a clarinet. Uilleann pipes are very cool.

J. M. ~ The piano

What is your favourite place to visit when you are on vacation?\

J. R. ~ I love the west coast of Canada and the US, from the ocean to the mountains, so I’m happy I live where I do!

J. M. ~ A place I can feel relaxed in–I don’t want to be tense on a vacation.

Do you enjoy composing your own music and how do you typically begin that process?

J. R. ~ Yes! I’ve had a bit of a dry spell lately, but I have some ideas recorded on my phone that I have have been reviewing. I think there is some potential there. About twenty years ago I had a lot of melodies come to me when walking. I still walk, but the tunes have not found me!

J.M. ~ I do enjoy composing but don’t have a set routine in how I go about doing it.

Do you enjoying teaching others?

J. R ~ Yes, it’s something I’ve been doing more of in recent years.
J. M. ~ Very much

Thanks to both of you for answering my questions. I look forward to making music in 2017!