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.



She Can Bloom

March 2, 2019

March is the month that signifies the beginning of a new season. It’s also the month when I’m involved in assisting with and performing as part of the Strong Women Strong Music concerts. These fund raising events specifically help Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA), a program of Atira Women’s Resource Society based in Vancouver. This will be the 13th year we’ve presented women in jazz performing these concerts.

This year, since the SWSM concerts take place March 5-7 and, because International Women’s Day is actually Friday March 8th, I decided I’d like to produce another special event celebrating creative women artists. She Can Bloom will be an intimate community event which will take place on the Hood 29 Stage in East Vancouver. Hood 29 is a local Bistro with a warm and inviting atmosphere with a good stage and room to seat 100 people max. Expect spontaneous laughter, tears, joy and appreciation when these artists take to the stage with songs, poems, prose and thought provoking themes with wide ranging appeal. All are welcome to attend! Consider this a Dinner + Show event with the show starting at 8 PM, doors open for dinner by 6:30 PM.

Blooming Women composite

Five creative, intrepid & inspiring artists in collaborative and solo works:

Kristina Olsen -American based song-writer/multi-instrumentalist

Jodi Proznick – Juno Award winning bassist/composer/educator

Shauna Johannesen- Leo Award winning actor/writer/film maker

Kate Braid – Acclaimed Canadian poet/writer

Karin Plato – Juno nominated vocalist/composer

I am absolutely thrilled that these extraordinary women have agreed to perform for the ‘She Can Bloom’ project. These are women I have watched and listened to, have been inspired and deeply moved by. I have cried, I have laughed, I have cheered for these talented artists. I have read the poems, books and songs that they have written. I have watched their films and plays. I have listened to their recordings and in some cases I have been able to share the stage with them. Now, the Vancouver audience will be able to attend an evening featuring each of these creative women in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Advance tickets are available through eventbrite.ca (She Can Bloom) Here’s the link:

She Can Bloom Tix

She Can Bloom – Friday, March 8th – 8 PM at Hood 29 – 4470 Main Street Vancouver 


Q&A with vocalist Kate McGarry

December 29, 2018


It’s no secret that I am a big fan of vocalist Kate McGarry! I am just one of legions of fans that she has around the world. Kate is like a quiet star gently ascending without a big production or fanfare. Perhaps you know what I mean when I say this or maybe you’ll discover this to be true as you listen to Kate for the first time. Recording after recording and concert after concert there is a steady and persuasive climb up through the many vocal jazz artists in the world. Year after year more people discover the true artistry of Kate McGarry.

She’s a composer, a song stylist and a vocal improviser. She has a pure and direct voice that can burn a blues while at other times coax and caress a tender melody that leaves you breathless or teary-eyed. She can sing truly difficult compositions with ease and grace. She can turn something simple and seemingly straightforward into a work of art.

2019 marks Kate McGarry’s second Grammy nomination, this time for “The Subject Tonight Is Love” recorded with guitarist/husband Keith Ganz and pianist/organist Gary Versace.


The fact is that many acclaimed artists have included Kate in their own recording or concert projects or, have appeared as guests on Kate’s own projects. People like acclaimed pianist Fred Hersh, vocalist Kurt Elling, arranger/composer John Hollenbeck, vocalist Theo Bleckmann, vocalist Tierney Sutton, composer/arranger Jeremy Fox and others have played, performed and recorded with Kate.

Here is my recent Q&A interview with Kate in advance of the January 10 Vancouver Pyatt Hall concert presented by Joy of Jazz Concerts. (www.joyofjazzconcerts.com)

1. Kate, could you name for us some specific musical influences you have had over the years?

My influences ranged from the singer songwriters of the 70’s such as Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, to Irish folk singers like the Chieftains to jazz singers such as Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, John Hendricks, and of course Sarah Vaughan and Ella. During the 80’s and 90’s I fell in love with Milton Nascimento, Tom Jobim, Toninho Horta, Elis Regina.

2. What are some of the reasons that these artists were/are influential to you?

I tend to be most affected by the storytellers and how intimately they’re able to get across the point to you. This may happen through a lyric, ability, or certain kinds of rhythms. All these things made a mark on me. Whatever methods the artist used to tell their story was what influenced me.

3. Along with jazz-based music what other specific styles of music you currently listen to or enjoy singing?

I am enjoying some of the jazz vocalists of today- Jazzmeia Horn, René Marie are some of my favorites.

4. We are delighted for you, Keith and Gary about being nominated for a Grammy Award for “The Subject TonightIs Love”. What does this nomination mean to the three of you?

For me this nomination represents the fact that an artist can follow your instincts and make a body of work that truly reflects how they feel without pandering or worrying about how it will be received-and strangely enough, find that the work is received at the highest level from their community of colleagues. There are a few things as satisfying as this. To feel heard and valued as an artist by your community and to be honored in this way-I don’t really have language for it but it satisfies me at a very very deep level.

I am also filled with gratitude for all of the people who helped us make this record! This was our very first fan funded project and that is even more of an exhilarating surprise to know that you don’t have to be on a big label and have machinery behind you to you have your work recognized.

5. When you were working on “The SubjectTonightIs Love” how did you go about selecting the songs?

Our approach was to gather as a trio for about four days and play through our repertoire – try different instrument combinations and arrangement ideas. We went into the studio with way too much material. As we recorded themes began to become apparent.

6. Where do you turn if you find yourself in need of fresh inspiration creatively speaking?

Mother Nature is my nurturer. Also, I find if I unplug and take time to sit and contemplate and “do nothing “I am at first exhausted and usually fall asleep, but pretty soon after start to be filled with energy again and new ideas.

7. Do you enjoy being on stage performing concerts and going on tour?

I have to be honest here-the experience of performing and being on stage ranges from sublime to excruciating-depending upon the sound quality and the vibe and my own mental state and how connected or disconnected I feel from my bandmates. When it’s good it’s the best! And so far, after 36 years, I can still say it is worth it. It is a journey I am always willing to take and feel I constantly grow from

8. What is the most challenging and perhaps disheartening aspect to your existence as a jazz musician?

That’s tough-I think the thing that is hardest is the many ways that the profit motive   Makes creating music harder and harder. The more our culture and society is focused on the bottom line and on making the highest amount of profit from each interaction, the harder it is to create artistic and creative spaces that are free from the desire for profit. These two intentions usually don’t align or produce the same results.

9. While composing your own material do you use the piano, voice alone or, another instrument in your process?

I use the piano, although sometimes a melody or an idea just comes to me when I am walking out in nature.

10. In your opinion what is the most important in playing music: pitch accuracy, phrasing, time feel, expression, other?

Yes! I have gone through phases where each of those skills are important to me. At different times in my life I need to focus on one skill but later on I’m interested in exploring another. They are all important parts of being able to express oneself. I guess most important is to follow what you are authentically interested in, and to stay engaged in an artistic process of some kind despite all the crazy roadblocks that life throws up each day.

Thank you Kate!




Do you LIKE karinplatomusic?

December 5, 2018

Not so many months ago I released a new recording and although there hasn’t yet been a tour associated with the recording (maybe in the future?) my band mates and I performed two concerts in the Vancouver area to celebrate. I’ve only just begun to send out CD’s to radio stations and music reviewers.  Fans of my music have been very supportive already and have made various requests to have my music heard and featured on radio stations in their region of the globe. Thank you everyone! A spiffy new website will be up any minute now as designed by my good friend and at times the busiest man in town Paul Norton. I’ll let everyone know when it’s up and happening!

These days it appears that social media activity is rather important as it relates to an independent artist’s life and therefore I decided to hold a type of contest to give away a special KP gift package to some individual who “likes” my official facebook karinplatomusic page  karinplatomusic

It’s a bit of silliness to have to request people to like your page (in my opinion) however if you can imagine this: Apparently there are certain artist grants that musicians are currently applying for will look at those numbers and apparently are making some decisions based on those figures. Not the numbers on your “regular” facebook profile but the numbers on your artist page. So, rather than simply request those “likes” I’ve decided to give something back in the form of this gift package. It includes a copy of my new CD This Could Be The One, a spiffy new bebop bo bag featuring the character Bo who appears within the graphics of the CD and vinyl plus a gift card once again featuring Bo.


To enter simply go to my the karinplatomusic page on facebook and there are two things you will need to do to be “officially” in the contest:

1. LIKE the page itself.

2. LIKE the photo image of the KP Gift when you find it on the karinplatomusic page

I will make a draw for the winner on December 21 which, people often associate as being the first official day of winter. I’ll probably do a little video and have one of my friends be there to make the draw with me. I’ll have the package ready to be mailed (or if you live in the lower mainland I’ll try to have it delivered directly to you)

Do you like the sound of the contest? Ha!

Thanks everyone!



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


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


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



This Could Be The One

August 20, 2018


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.