Snowflake Season

November 22, 2022

Today is November 22nd 2022 and I am going to post about (gulp) Christmas. Still, I see that several neighbors have put up Christmas lights and, the truth is December is just around the corner. I tend to have mixed feelings about the Christmas season, and I suppose I am not alone in feeling this way. There is such a mash up of emotions all swished and swirled together and along with that comes the MUSIC. Ah, yes Christmas music! The sacred, the secular, the popular, the annual favourites, vocal and instrumental, the new ones you discover or write yourself.

*photo depicts Plato’s Pinecone People made by me many years ago and posed in the snow last December while visiting my Mom on the prairies.

Christmas Music: It’s true I’ve always loved hauling out the Christmas music books and producing new arrangements of standards and I’ve also written songs related to the season. Do you know my tune “Olive, the other reindeer”? Ha ha! You probably do NOT know that one. Maybe if you live in Vancouver, you have heard it since I have sung it in performance with We Three Queens. It’s fun and it’s silly and no, I have not recorded that one. *There is another song or two written about that less than famous reindeer if you do some swifter than a reindeer can fly internet search.

Yesterday while digging through my Christmas box, I found my song “Fa, La, La It’s Christmas” and a few other KP compositions which I had honesty forgotten about. A few are “throwaways,” but others seem catchy somehow and worth revisiting.

Moving forward and looking back at the same time:

Over 20 years ago now I recorded a Christmas Jazz album called “snowflake season”. The recording features some wonderful musicians and quite a cross section of music. Swing, Bossa, Ballads, more. Much has happened in life since that recording however, I still enjoy all the song choices I made. It is not a “commercial Christmas cd” if, you know what I mean? *Admittedly I don’t play my own album much during the holiday season because I have other annual faves I turn to. More on that another day. snowflake season is available on various streaming platforms and, the physical CD is available from my online store: https://www.karinplato.com/past-cds

Christmas Jazz Concert featuring KP Quintet:

Lucky me! I will be singing and swinging Christmas Jazz at The Anvil Theatre on St. Nicholas Day December 6th. How appropriate that the concert lands on St. Nicholas Day! A family tradition for us was this: When we were children on the evening of December 5th, we would set out one of our shoes at the front door and in the morning, St. Nicholas would have put chocolate or marzipan treats or some other Christmas delight in there for us. Yeah, we liked St. Nicholas!

Tickets are available now. https://anviltheatre.ca/event/piva-presents-a-jazz-christmas/ I hope you decide to come to the concert. I am currently working on the program of songs and certainly I will perform a few from my album snowflake season. The band I have assembled is exceptional: Miles Black, Tom Keenlyside, Conrad Good and Dave Robbins. The Anvil Theatre is located in New Westminster and is easily accessible by skytrain.

In closing, may the season that we are facing be filled with good chocolate and good music and if possible some real joy.

Thanks! Karin


Getting to know Caity Gyorgy

August 2, 2021

I feel fortunate to have had some wonderful experiences and to have made new musical discoveries during this challenging time of pandemic. Globally many musicians and arts societies continued to present live streamed music and I listened and watched several artists both familiar and some new to me. One of those new artists this past year was vocalist Caity Gyorgy.

photo of Caity by Jacob Wutzke

I became a fan of Caity after I watched a few of her “live from home” livestream concerts that she performed with her partner drummer Jacob Wutzke and I also watched several of her “lift a day” videos where she sings her transcriptions of instrumental solos. I watched her livestreamed University graduation recital and I ordered her “No Bounds” album which I listened to repeatedly. I appreciate every aspect of what this talented vocalist, pianist, composer and arranger can do!

cover of Caity’s “No Bounds” album

Caity’s voice has a breezy relaxed quality, and she always sounds effortless and free while she is singing. Her improvisations are exceptional and in her own compositions her music and lyrics and arrangements are sophisticated and complete. She possesses confidence and poise that I am drawn to, and I appreciate her attention to detail in everything she puts forwards in her career. Caity is articulate and bright and yes, I am a super fan!

Caity Gyorgy is making her Vancouver debut on August 8th at Frankie’s Jazz club featured in a quartet led by Ilhan Saferali. The following day after we will present Caity in a duo concert with pianist Miles Black in an intimate “Jazz in the Garden” presentation in our garden in Vancouver.

Since I have not yet met Caity in person I thought it would be fun to do a little Q & A with her to get to know a little more about her. The following is the Q & A with Caity.

Getting to know jazz vocalist/composer Caity Gyorgy Q & A with Karin Plato

Q. Where did you first study music and which instruments do you play?

A. I grew up in Calgary so a lot of my formative music moments happened there! My mum put me in music lessons when I was about 9 or 10. I was mostly singing pop music, I really liked Lady Gaga at the time. I had a wonderful teacher named Alia Hoppenbrouwers and she was so encouraging and supported me through all of my musical phases including my Beatles phase, Blues/Aretha Franklin phase, Motown phase and finally Jazz phase! I went to an arts school for junior high where I took band and taught myself how to play the flute as I wasn’t taught by the director. I unfortunately developed very bad technique that was never corrected for the 3 years that I was at that school, so now my flute playing isn’t very good, but I still have a flute and I like to practice sight reading with it! In high school I was very fortunate to be accepted into the Performing and Visual Arts program at Central Memorial High School where I took Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz Choir, and music theory. After high school I went to Humber College in Toronto, Ontario to study vocal jazz. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been able to get my piano chops up too, which has been extremely helpful during the pandemic as I’ve had no other harmonic instruments to accompany me. I’m now at McGill pursuing a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance specializing in voice

Q. Who are some of your influential teachers who have inspired you?

A. Alia Hoppenbrouwers was my first private teacher who made learning music and singing so much fun. She was so incredibly supportive of whatever music I wanted to sing, and I’m extremely grateful for that. She would let me try to sing any song I wanted, and I think that explorative approach to learning different styles of music was instrumental (no pun intended) to helping me discover my passion for swing and Bebop music!

In high school, my choir director Anne Gray was incredibly inspiring. She’s an incredible director and so professional and on top of everything. I learned a lot from her “zero tolerance policy” (Don’t be late, learn your music, ‘leave your diva at the door’). In her choirs I learned the importance of learning and memorizing music as well as helpful techniques to memorize music. She also put an emphasis on sight-singing at the beginning of most classes which helped me to really develop my reading chops, which was amazing for college. Her dedication to the music and to masterful performances of repertoire helped to shape me into the musician I am today

At Humber College I studied with Lisa Martinelli for three out of my four years. Lisa means so much to me and she has helped me so much as a singer and musician. I credit her to the development of my upper register and mixed voice. Lisa would always give me recommendations of what and who to listen to. She introduced me to Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, Norma Winstone and so many more wonderful musicians. Her first-year vocal masterclass provided me with necessary skills that have made me into a professional. She had fantastic assignments that some teachers gloss over; creating a setlist, creating a gig poster, making charts, analyzing lyrics etc. Each unit, (whether that be swing, scatting, ballad, Bossa) would come with a performance and for that performance each singer would have to create a hand written chart which we would be graded on. She hired a house band to come and play for us, so if our charts were in any way confusing, we found out while we were performing! We needed to have the appropriate key signature, time signature, tempo marking, BPM, composer, lyricist, four bars per system, Codas, intro, ending, the works! Lisa’s mentorship and guidance helped to turn me into the professional I am today. She means so much to me!

Now, in my Master’s Degree at McGill I am very fortunate to have had two wonderful teachers who made pandemic learning worth it! Ranee Lee and Christine Jensen. Both are fantastic musicians who I look up to immensely. Ranee was incredibly supportive as I was managing the world of record deals this past year. Christine was my ensemble leader and gave great advice throughout the year. I’m excited to be studying with her this coming up year. She also just recorded on my new album!

Of course, there are so many more teachers and mentors that I’ve been lucky to learn from. Big thank you to Jocelyn Gould, Pat LaBarbera, Mike Downes, and Dave Neill.

Q. What is it about jazz-based music that you are drawn to?

A. I love the improvisatory element of it. It’s challenging and I love a challenge. I also love the idea of a standard repertoire. I think it’s so fun to interpret songs in so many different ways. Of course, I love the swing feel, and there’s nothing better than when the whole band is locked in and swingin’ hard! Over the last few years, I have loved learning the language of straight ahead and bebop music. It’s incredibly satisfying to solo over changes and make each one of them!

Q. Are there particular instruments that you are especially fond of?

A. I really love tenor saxophone, especially when Hank Mobley plays it. I love alto when Bird and Stitt play. I love the upright bass in general, it’s such a beautiful instrument. So rich and welcoming

Q. When you are composing songs do you create the melody and the lyrics simultaneously or separately? Do you do this at the piano or away from an instrument?

A. It really depends. My composing changes all the time. Sometimes I’ll start with a lyrical idea and go from there. Sometimes the chords, melody and lyrics come all at once. Sometimes lyrics first, sometimes melody first. Sometimes (but not as often) chords first. I love using my iPhone voice memos app and I’ll often sing into it if I think of a melody I like. The same goes for my note’s app, I have lots of one sentence lyric ideas on my phone just waiting to be developed. I prefer composing at the piano, the only issue with that is that my piano skills are not up to the same level of my ears yet, so it can be a challenge to figure out the kind of chord I’m hearing in my head.

Q. Do you believe that one of the following is the most important aspect of being a good musician? 1. Groove 2. Melody 3. Harmony 4. Other

A. I think groove is probably the most important. If the time doesn’t feel good, I don’t think anything else will. When the time isn’t locked it, everything is unstable and people get nervous. Not to be cliché but it really doesn’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing haha!

Q. Do you have favourite composers of jazz standards whose songs you are influenced or inspired by?

A. I really like the lyricism of Dorothy Fields. She combines humor, wit and passion into all of her lyrics. I love her writing, especially on the tunes she wrote with Jerome Kern like “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight”.

I also love the composition of Hoagy Carmichael, Rodgers and Hart, Billy Strayhorn, and Thelonious Monk.

Q. Are there other young jazz artists such as yourself that you believe we should be aware of these days? Perhaps someone you know about that is not yet a household name?

A. Yes!! I’m sure some of these names are already very well-known but I’d love to talk about some of my friends!
– Laura Anglade is a phenomenal singer out of Toronto and Montréal. I’m very lucky that she recorded a duet with me for my next album!
– Kalya Ramu is another incredible singer out of Toronto, she just released a duo album that I LOVE.
– Olivia Van Goor is a wonderful singer out of Michigan, she’s releasing an EP soon so look out for that!
– Virginia MacDonald is a fantastic clarinet player out of Toronto. She’s also featured on my upcoming album!

Q. Where do you look or go for inspiration outside of music?

A. love love LOVE to bird watch. I find that it gives me a necessary reset. My phone has to be on silent or else I could scare the birds away. It’s very immersive, I have to be in touch with all lot of my senses. Listening for calls, looking for sudden movement, feeling the ground and earth around me to make sure I’m not being too loud and I’m not stepping on something I shouldn’t be, tasting the iced tea I bring to the park (LOL). I have a canon camera that I bring with me to take pictures of the birds I see. This year’s highlights have been a green heron, a pileated woodpecker and an eastern screech owl!

Q. Do you have any special advice for young aspiring jazz musicians?

A. You have to have confidence in yourself or else nobody else is going to have confidence in you. I wouldn’t hire an electrician who doesn’t believe they can do a good job at electrical work, it’s the same thing for music. Also, self-deprecating comments aren’t funny! Frankly they’re a little worrying! You have to believe in yourself or else this isn’t going to work!

Also, more of a musician thing, but TRANSCRIBE as much as you can! Learn the language, learn the roots of this music. Understand where everything came from. The people that you admire most likely did the work and learned the history and lineage of this music. When you’re truly a professional, you don’t cut corners and you don’t take shortcuts. It’s a lifelong process, but that’s what makes it so exciting and rewarding.

Thank you Caity!! Here’s to you and to a wonderful career that you’ve only just begun.


photo of Caity by Cynthia Fay

Summer days are here again

July 16, 2021
The stage setting for Jazz in the Garden concert July 18th 2021 – KP on keys/voice + Tom Keenlyside on sax, flute, clarinet & melodica

We are half way through July 2021 and here in Vancouver many of us feel fortunate to have received our vaccinations and, we are beginning to do things certain things we haven’t done in well over a year. The pandemic is still hovering and the concern is not entirely gone but somehow many of us have been able to manage. My husband and I are being ever so cautious but we remain hopeful about the days and months ahead as more and more people become vaccinated.

Throughout this past year I have continued to work on my craft of music and happily I have been able to compose several new songs during this time. The pandemic cannot stop the creative muses and I am thankful for that fact! I spent a lot of time at my piano, perhaps more than I did in the past. I taught and continue to teach via ZOOM and yes, that has been a challenge on many levels regarding the technology and, the fact that one does this screen to screen. That does take some getting used to. I still have not taught any in person lessons in my studio however, I will be returning to in person lessons in the fall.

Regarding the online virtual platform and performances… With nerves twitching within me, I somehow managed to perform my first ever solo concert via facebook livestream concert for Jazz in Toronto. I was delighted about being able to raise money for 2 important organizations: Atira in Vancouver and Nellie’s Shelter in Toronto. Earlier on in the New Year I had the notion to produce an online Valentine’s Day concert featuring 24 Canadian jazz vocalists performing from their homes as a fundraiser for Food Banks Canada. In many ways that was far less nerve wracking than playing a solo show, even though it did require a great deal of organization. My friend Zarina co-hosted the concert with me. It was a wonderful concert and we were able to raise a substantial amount of money for Food Banks Canada.

Preparing for my first ever solo concert via Facebook Live for Jazz in Toronto – KP silly but true captions

Now I am in final preparation mode to perform a Jazz in the Garden Concert with my talented colleague Tom Keenlyside. Tom plays sax, flute, clarinet and melodica extremely well. He is an award winning producer and recording artist. I am NOT really a trained jazz pianist and Tom knows this. He knows I AM a jazz vocalist who is able to accompany myself on several swing standards and bossa novas and ballads and of course on my original songs and I am able to listen and hopefully support what Tom will play. One of the great things about playing with someone like Tom is that he is energetic and ever positive. He is big joy!

I am wishing everyone a wonderful summer! May your days be filled with lovely experiences and may you be able to get together with your family and your friends once again. That is something I am looking forward to after all this time. I am also hoping for some days of leisure and lazing around in my hammock as well. Sometimes it is hard for me to decide to just stay still and do….nothing…like in the lyric of my song July: “I’m doing nothin’ ’cause it’s July…”

KP lazing in the hammock daydreaming of the next adventure


Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

December 30, 2020

Happy New Year everyone!

2020 has been a doozy and for me personally, I must confess that although it was not an ideal year, there were still many positive experiences that I am truly thankful for. I was able to maintain many of my vocal and piano students via the ZOOM platform online and that meant some swift learning (for me) as I became adjusted to the technology involved.

The only live performances I did were within our own garden setting and those were carefully curated so that concert attendees could also remain safe. The artists performed on the deck while the audience was seated below in carefully positioned chairs to maintain safe distances. We had other safety protocols in place as well.

I did two shows with pianist Chris Gestrin in late summer. Then, I did another two early autumn concerts with ukulele player/guitarist Guido Heistek. We had to cancel the last two concert that had been scheduled with guitarist/vocalist Adam Thomas when the rules and safety regulations suddenly changed in early November. That was disappointing for everyone involved but we are hopeful that in 2021 we may revisit the Jazz in the Garden series of concerts and present the “Bundle Up Beatles, Blues & Bossas in the Garden” with Adam.

*The photo in our garden features some Beatles decorations made for me by my husband Gorm. I placed some toques/hats on the Beatles in preparation for a chilly outside concert. Perhaps in the spring we’ll do the same?

In early December I performed one special livestream concert with my friend and musical colleague Guido Heistek. We have a duo together and, to maintain safety in the many weeks leading up to our concert we rehearsed outside on the deck no matter how cold it was. Guido is a trouper! In the last two weeks before the concert we rehearsed inside with windows open and with a large plexiglass divider separating us so that we could get used to the sound and the scenario of performing towards a camera rather than to a physical audience.

We did not know what to expect regarding an audience for our livestream concert and we were thrilled to have well over a hundred people sitting safely in their own homes who had purchased tickets to watch our show. We really wanted the sound and visual to be of a high quality, so we booked engineer Sheldon Zaharko to be our tech expert for the show. Sheldon wore a mask for the duration while Guido and I were separated by a large plexiglass panel and, we had the windows open for ventilation as well.

*This photo was taken by Sheldon from his vantage point behind all his equipment during our livestream.

The music camps I usually teach at in the summers were cancelled and therefore I created two online “Song Camps” which were successful and fun, one in July and one in October. Once again, the ZOOM platform became essential. Teaching these online camps was very different than being together in person however, it was still possible to connect and to share and to delight in the power of music.

Thank goodness for technology to get us through this pandemic! My motto for 2020 has been adapt, modify and be flexible.

Wishing everyone a safe entry into the New Year. Let’s all get through this with patience and care.




Piano? What Piano? A True Story

November 3, 2020

Perhaps a slightly longish short story?

My husband Gorm and I go for bicycle rides regularly and we have a few favourite routes to take in our beautiful city. We love riding out to UBC and venturing into the woods along a path for a stretch that allows us to feel as though we are far away from any city. We have another loop that takes us down a long street where it feels as though you are riding through a potential movie scene. There are mansions with expansive properties and enormous trees and the occasional peak of a swimming pool through the shrubbery. 

Another bike ride we enjoy, and which involves a bike ride and picnic supper we were doing throughout out the summer and well into September when the days were slightly longer, long enough for the ride, the picnic followed by the ride home again before dark.  This bike ride ends up down at the planetarium and beach where you can look across the water at English Bay or look over at the mountains on the North Shore. You can spot the many boats and yachts and paddle boarders and kayakers and cyclists and flocks of geese and if you are lucky you can watch the sun go down just before making the bike ride home again before dark.

On the Picnic-bike ride you go through one of our city’s old neighborhoods with requisite mansions and picture-perfect landscaping. It is a curving and winding route leading to long downhill glide to the beaches. Getting there is a breeze. Yes, you must make it back up that hill again to go home after the picnic however we have slightly different route with a more gentle clime that takes us home and allows us to see one more vista from up high looking out over West Vancouver.

On a particular corner I noticed one day as we headed to the beach that right in the middle of the enormous property stood a grand piano under cover, set back well within the yard under a protective cover. What a magnificent sight! A few more times as we made that ride, I slowed down to see if the piano was still there. Yes! There it stood under the protective cover. I daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to be a guest of the people who lived there, perhaps to sit and listen to a concert performed in the yard or, to be the person performing in such a dreamlike setting. 

Finally, on one of our rides down to our usual picnic spot we stopped so that I could take a picture or two of the piano still sitting there under cover. I wanted to send my Mom a photo of the piano in the garden. I wanted to capture the image so that I could continue daydreaming about the possibilities of that piano waiting to be played in that gorgeous garden. No one was standing in the yard each time we rode by otherwise I would have mentioned to the owner how enamoured I had become of the beautiful yard with the piano standing and waiting for someone to play it. 

That day a lovely young woman was walking towards us on the sidewalk and she waited for me to take my photo so that we could maintain a safe distance. My husband mentioned to her what I was doing and why I was taking a photo of someone’s yard. At first she didn’t hear him because she had her earbuds in but as she removed them she began to understand and she too became rather enchanted with the view of the grand piano sitting there in the middle of the yard. When I told her that I was particularly thrilled to see a piano in such a habitat because I was a musician. She said that she had been thinking about taking piano lessons again and perhaps some singing lessons and might I know someone who might be available. I told her about my life as a music teacher and we exchanged contact information. We gazed longingly at the piano once again and we chatted awhile and then we parted company. 

The young woman (Susan) was one of my participants in the online song camp that I recently taught and, in the days before that began, she filled me in on part two of the piano story. Susan was out on a similar walk through the neighborhood, heading down towards Kitsilano and the owner was in the yard and she decided to say hello and tell her the story of how the two of us became acquainted all because of her piano in the yard. The owner seemed rather puzzled and she said “oh, you must mean you can hear my kids play the piano on occasion when the windows are open?” Susan said “no I mean the grand piano in your yard” while she pointed toward the piano under cover sitting on the large concrete base. The lady laughed and said “Oh that? That is not a piano! That is our garden table under cover!”

Susan emailed me to fill me on the case of mistaken identity. We both think it has been a wonderful confusion which has had us connect in an unusual way. We plan to meet up outside soon in a park somewhere because we have more things to converse about. Perhaps there will be another sunny day when I can get on my bike and ride past the piano yard to rendezvous with Susan.

My husband and I rode past the house last week and were amused to see that now, where the piano er, table stood is a large shrub in a pot. I did not mistake that for another instrument.

Lastly, I sheepishly looked back two photos I took of the “piano” on my phone. Yes, the photos were taken from a great distance but also yes, when I zoom in, I can see that the legs peaking out from under the protective cover are not piano legs.

The piano photo attached to this story is a photo of a mini piano gifted to me by my friend Andrea.   

Here’s to bike rides and gardens and friendly conversations with strangers!


Jazz in the Garden

September 8, 2020

Summer 2020 has been a very different summer than most! (I know that is the case for everyone) This is the first summer in so many years that I have been home in Vancouver for the entire summer. Typically, I am away teaching at various music camps during the summer months. Since I have been at home, I have been able to devote some time to gardening. It is a small and what I would call “humble” garden. It contains mostly flowers and herbs and one large breezy Japanese Maple.

This summer I have been able to watch the sweet pea seeds that I have sown have an entire lifespan before my eyes. My coaxing and nurturing (and the sun!) have enabled those sweet peas to flourish and bloom, bloom, bloom.  I adore their gorgeous scent and silky colourful flowers. Now, I am still watching and coaxing 4 sunflowers that I started in early June. They are tall and the flowers are just beginning to form. They are late bloomers around here because I see many sunflowers around the city that have reached their peak and are already hanging their heavy heads.

I noticed something else in my gardening activity this year. It is a silent activity. **Note. I tend to be a loud person who (accidentally) uses too many decibels when I speak.  My husband will gently say “I am right here” not in an admonishing way but rather reminding me that I will still be heard at a slightly lesser decibel level. I get excited and my decibel level goes up and so does my tempo. Still, I do need and appreciate and crave silence in my life as well. So much happens within silence! Creative thoughts. Problems solved. Relaxation achieved. Observations. Awareness. New ideas.

The only sounds I hear as I am out in the garden on most days are the chickadees, the hummingbirds, and the bumblebees if I am lucky. I may hear the neighbor’s children playing on the other side of the fence and that is a pleasant sound as well. Yes, there is the sound of city traffic just a block away but when I am “involved” with the plants and the soil that almost disappears. Mostly, I am listening and observing, and I am not the one making sound.

This is interesting to me since I am a musician and (I think) that part of our job as musicians is the making of sound while the other important aspect of our job is to maintain an active silence. I know this to be true, but gardening is another reminder.

Speaking of the garden and music, since all my gigs were cancelled due to the pandemic, in August I decided to perform a small Jazz in the Garden concert with brilliant pianist Chris Gestrin. The back deck became a stage and the audience sat down below within the garden, safely distanced apart from each other. This was a wonderful experience for me, (hopefully for Chris too) and I think the audience enjoyed themselves as well. For some attendees this was the first live performance they attended since the pandemic began. For me, it was my first gig since February. Yes!

*photo of Karin and Chris on “stage” by Vincent Lim

At the end of September, I am going to do another “Jazz in the Garden” concert. In fact, I will be doing two concerts with exceptional ukulele player/guitarist/vocalist Guido Heistek. I am hoping that some of my autumn blooming flowers will hang in there for that concert and of course I am hoping for a sunny and warm September afternoon. I am fortunate to be able to perform in this personal way right within our own garden to a purposefully small physically distanced audience.

Good night garden. Good night everyone. Have a wonderful September!



Sing a Song of Summer 2020

June 22, 2020


Summer 2020 is officially here! I love this season: the endless flowers, the long days, the sun’s heat and, often there are camping trips and garden party get-togethers with friends.  This will be a very different kind of summer for everyone due to the current pandemic. Typically this month, I am preparing music for various  music camps that I teach at each summer season however,  all those camps are cancelled for this year.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic I have been able to shift most of my voice and piano students to an online platform. There certainly have been some major challenges along the way and, this method of teaching has required a great deal more work and preparation and flexibility however, I do appreciate the fact that in this current world, I am able to connect with my students and remain safe and distanced and yet still share the beauty, creativity and joy of music making and learning.

“adapt, modify, be positive”– those have been my key words in teaching online music to people of all ages.

I am aware that there are many people who are missing the experience of singing with others or, they are missing the in-person experience of sharing music in a lesson. Some people (perhaps especially the ones who are living alone?) are missing their social circles and have expressed a sensation of feeling anxious, sad, and frustrated with this current and continuing reality.

Over the past month or so I have designed a virtual song camp that I will offer online this coming July called “Sing A Song of Summer” I am really hoping that this song camp will bring some much-needed joy and connection to people who love to sing. I have been researching music that was made popular in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Some of the songs that were pop hits in the day are recognized as jazz standards while others were blues or country hits.  I have gathered “famous, familiar and perhaps forgotten” songs that have lovely melodies to sing and a potential for easy harmony parts.


Through the magic of the internet I will invite interested participants into my music studio each morning in this virtual song camp. One fact that has come to mind and which makes me rather excited is that people from various Provinces and States and, even those living in other countries could feasibly attend this song camp. Although my studio is located in Vancouver, BC you can live anywhere in the world and it may be possible that you can participate.

In my mind the type of person who might enjoy this song camp would be someone who longs to sing but wishes they could do so with accompaniment; a vocalist wishing to extend a current repertoire or someone who considers themselves a poor singer. One fact about this online camp is that people will see and hear me on the screen (piano and voice) and they will SEE others on the screen but not hear anyone else. So, you could feasibly sing your heart out and no one will be able to criticize how you sing! This is not a technique camp but rather a sing ’cause you love to sing camp.

I’ve got a lot more to say about the 2020 virtual song camp, but this blog is already longish. People interested can email me directly about the cost and other specifics: karinplato@shaw.ca

Have a safe summer everyone! K



I’ll Send This Dream

November 14, 2019

KJJ BANNERI’ll Send This Dream is the title of the new recording I’ve been fortunate enough to make with acclaimed mandolin player John Reischman and harmonic master on the guitar John Miller. We’re going to be playing two special Vancouver concerts this December to celebrate the release and we’ll play music from the recording as well as new material we have been working on.

December 12 – 7 PM @ Roedde House Museum Tix for concert

December 20 – 8 PM @ Tipper Review Room Tix for concert

Two summers ago, and rather soon after my quintet recorded This Could Be The One in Warehouse Studio in Vancouver the two Johns and I recorded I’ll Send This Dream in a much more basic setting: The dining room of our home!

** I can barely believe that I had the notion? the determination? the will? to make two recordings within just a few weeks that July!  However crazy it may sound, I was prepared and I worked hard to maintain a healthy strong voice and I had a good feeling about both projects.

I have always appreciated the warmth of the sound in our dining room and thought it would be fun to capture the natural sound of the trio for our recording. I enlisted engineer Marc L’Esperance who was able to bring his recording studio gear and set up his control room in the kitchen area while we three musicians sat on our chairs facing each other in the same way we would while rehearsing. It was lovely. It was relaxed. It seemed to be just the right approach for us to record this music.


We did a few takes of each of the songs and only once did we have to stop recording while the sound of a large truck rumbled by. That’s rather remarkable in a city such as ours I think and it seemed that luck was on our side.  I love the way we could record this music without wearing headphones. As always, I enjoyed hearing all the beauty that these two men put into the music and I feel so fortunate to be able to sing with them both.

John & John recording

The recording includes some new originals for the recording such as my song “Soon” (the only song I play the uke on for this recording) and John Miller’s song “To No End” for which I composed a lyric.


Thanks to my incredible husband Gorm Damborg who always encourages and supports my efforts with his positive attitude and, who didn’t mind that we turned our house into a recording studio for this project!




What do you know! ‘Tis AUTUMN

October 2, 2019

I am somewhat surprised and yet willing to accept the fact that Autumn has indeed arrived. Summer was wonderful and filled with music and vacation time too.

I’m back to teaching in my music studio and I certainly do have some interesting piano and voice students ranging from very young to much older. Some like jazz. Some like classical music. Some are pop singer-songwriters. Some are absolute beginners. My task? To help teach and guide and motivate and cultivate the joy of music no matter what genre my students are interested in studying.

I still have space for new students in case someone out there is considering lessons. Note: typically, my music room is far more cluttered than this photo indicates and that is a fact! Often song books and piano books begin to pile up during the week. There is table for that specific purpose and every once in awhile I decide to place books back on the shelf in an attempt to keep things tidy, at least for a day or so. Ha!


Aside from my teaching I have some lovely opportunities to perform coming up, here in Vancouver and also in Toronto and I am certainly excited about the month of October.

Soon, I’ll be singing at Vancouver’s premiere jazz club: October 11th at Frankie’s!  I’m delighted about sharing some of the music I’ve been working on this past September. I’ll be singing lots of jazz standards, some are new to me and others I have revised after many years of neglecting or “resting” them. I have one new original that I will debut that evening with my band mates. Reservations can be made here: Frankie’s Jazz Club


Just a week later I will be heading to Toronto to attend the Audio Festival and the Vinyl Festival and, even more exciting to me, I’ll be singing two exclusive concerts with the acclaimed Mark Eisenman Trio. The one of a kind “Jazz In The Kitchen” concert series is where these performances will take place and tickets are available here: Jazz In The Kitchen


Last but certainly not least it’s time for the new Joy of Jazz Concert season to kick off and Sunday October 27 will be a doozy! Kate Hammett-Vaughan and I will be joined by Miles Black and Conrad Good and the evening will be a Cole Porter celebration.

Many years ago Kate performed Porter themed concerts entitled “Kate Loves Cole”. We both love Cole! So, our concert is entitled “Let’s Do It” and we’ll definitely include that song as well as many others. Further information at the website: Joy of Jazz Concerts


Enjoy your Autumn days everyone!



What’s Your Story Morning Glory?

August 21, 2019

August greetings everyone! Here in my Vancouver garden the flowers seems content with today’s refreshing rain. Moments before the rain really kicked in, I ran outside to take a photo of my Morning Glory flowers. I love this blue! It’s a good day for me to write a blog about some of the music related projects in my life right now.


I have a new recording which will be officially released in December. It’s called “I’ll Send This Dream” and it is dedicated to the memory of Nancy Thorwardson, a musician who really made an impact on many people with her songs, her sense of humour and her engaging personality. She is dearly missed. Check out more about Nancy at her website: https://www.nancythorwardson.com/

I consider myself lucky to make music with and record with mandolin star John Reischman and incredible guitarist John Miller.  I admire and respect the musicality of both these men so much! Recording engineer Marc L’Esperance  was able to record us “live off the floor” here in our dining room and I am very happy with the end result. It’s natural and unadorned and just the way we like it! We recorded some beautiful jazz standards and we also included some original songs. We’ll be performing a CD release concert later in the year. Thank you to Paul Norton for the graphic design:


I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the next Joy of Jazz Concert Series for 2019-2020. These concerts take place at Hood 29 on Main Street and this year we’re presenting the concerts on Sunday evenings: October 27, December 15, February 23 and April 26. These are early evening concerts starting at 7:30 PM so even people who are working the next morning will (hopefully) consider attending. This is my labour of love series! I am part of each concert however some of my personal pleasure comes from hearing my fellow musicians in performance together and in solo presentations as well. Web-Meister Paul Norton will have the new website up and running soon. Here’s a link to last year’s series: www.joyofjazzconcerts.com 

Take a look at who is involved in the 2019/2020 series!! Yeah, it’s going to be a doozy…


There may be one more “Plato Pop Up Performance” which will be part of this series in 2020. I’m still scheming…

Enjoy the rest of your summer days everyone and thanks for reading my blog.