Fabulous Jazz Singer Katerina Brown

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

Let’s rewind to ’82 when fabulous jazz singer Katerina Brown came into the world in a tiny town near St. Petersburg. Can you believe her passion for music kicked in when she was just a little tot?

Back in the final days of the Soviet Union, snagging jazz and American records was like a quest, but she grooved to her dad’s stash of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Fabulous Jazz Singer Katerina Brown’s Musical Journey

As a teenager, she dipped her toes into classical tunes and started jamming in local joints, belting out blues and jazz standards. Craving more, she jetted off to St. Pete at 19, quickly becoming pals with a crew of young cats crazy about jazz.

Rise as a Blues Singer

At 21, leading a savvy band, she kicked off regular gigs at the Red Lion Blues Club, owned by an American dude. The next five years, you’d find her all over town, belting out blues like nobody’s business.

Joining Old Fashioned Blues Band

Then, this big break hit when she hopped on board with one of the hotshot music crews in the hood, touring and laying tracks with the Old Fashioned Blues Band. Fabulous jazz singer Brown rolled with those folks for about six years, hitting stages in Moscow, Ukraine, and all over Russia.

Pursuit of Musical Excellence and Education

Seeking bigger challenges and juicier harmonies, she rocked up at the State University of Culture and Arts in St. Pete in 2010. It was all about diving deep into harmony, theory, and, you know, the romantic side of things.

Pursuit of Musical Excellence and Education
image source: katerinabrownmusic.com

Exploration and Inspiration

Then, this saxophonist buddy, Sergey Nagorniy, dropped a boatload of albums on her lap. Cue deep dives into YouTube. First, she’s all about Dinah Washington with her bluesy vibes, but soon enough, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan steal her heart.

Recognition and Fame in St. Petersburg

Fronting a jazz orchestra under the Cultural Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Pete, fabulous jazz singer Brown became a big deal. In 2014, a hotshot Russian jazz critic, Vladimir Feyrtag, dropped her name in his jazz encyclopedia, “Jazz in Saint-Petersburg: Who Is Who.”

Read also Jazz Multi-Instrumentalists Ross Kratter

Life-Changing Encounter

Fast forward to 2013, life takes a wild turn when she crosses paths with bassist Gary Brown, the dude she’d end up hitched to, during his Russia tour with the Latin jazz wizard, Rebeca Mauleón.

Journey to America and Jazz Education

Hungry to soak up jazz straight from the source in the USA, she gets her visa and dives into lessons with cool cats like Gabriel Goodman from Berklee, JD Walter, and Raz Kennedy. A month-long New York stint follows, hitting up jams, hanging out at Small’s and Birdland till the wee hours.

Relocation to San Francisco

Then, Gary Brown invites her to San Fran, and in 2015, she’s Bay Area-bound. In a heartbeat, she’s part of this lively crew, tight with tons of hotshot players, tearing it up at cool spots like Yoshi’s in Oakland, Café Stritch in San Jose, California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and Black Cat in San Fran.

SFJAZZ and Current Pursuits

Now, as the main voice in SFJAZZ’s Monday Night Big Band, led by Adam Theis of Jazz Mafia, you’ll catch her regularly rocking the SFJAZZ Center. Currently, fabulous jazz singer Brown’s getting her groove on at the Complete Vocal Institute in Denmark, Europe’s vocal mecca. Plus, she’s spreading the vocal love, teaching CVT (Complete Vocal Technique), breaking down the science of how our bodies sing.

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