I Still Believe
Philadelphia Jazz Vocalist, Karen Wilhelm, has released her debut CD, "I Still Believe...". A debut CD of holiday songs for a Jazz vocalist? Yes, she says..... "I wanted my first CD to be about tradition and jazz, so what better way to accomplish that then with the music of the holiday's that everyone loves? I've chosen the material for this project to be what I feel are some of the most touching songs that embody the essence of the holiday season.... In my heart, in the heart of a child, in the heart of people in love and those that we love. These are songs that everyone knows and a few that you don't hear often. I also love the verse at the beginning of a song, and several on this CD have those obscure, lost lyrics.' Not only are the songs well chosen and diverse, but the musicians are some of Philadelphia's best. Karen's regulars, The Standard Time Trio, consisting of David Kenney-piano & keyboards, Michael S. Etkins-acoustic & electric bass, Robert Fant-drums, laid the basics, and then added to the arrangements, created by David Kenney, the sounds of Larry McKenna-tenor saxophone, Kaj Hansen-flute, piccolo, Chuck Gottesman-trumpet, Bob Carl-flugel horn & trombone and Mark Cristofaro-percussion. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Glenn Barratt and his team at MorningStar Studios in Spring House PA. "With such talent surrounding me, there could be nothing other than a fabulous production at the end. These are the most wonderful arrangements I've ever had the pleasure of performing, and I hope they bring the joy to you that I felt while recording them. This holiday is a season of hope, of giving, of memories and I pray this CD brings you joy, memories of wonderful times past, and the hope of the future as it does for me." Stay jazzzed, any may you enjoy the upcoming holidays! ABOUT KAREN... Philadelphia jazz vocalist, Karen Wilhelm was born and raised in the Chicago area, but she didn't realize her love for jazz until she moved to this area. Although she has performed in many different venues from Rock & Roll, Top 40, Country and R & B, she found her soul when she discovered jazz in the mid 90's. Starring in several musicals and area cabaret's is what led to her discovery and transformation from her previous endeavors into the wonderful world of 'torch songs' from the 30's and 40's. Since that time she has performed at several local clubs and graced the stages from San Francisco's Cypress Club to Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel. She has had the pleasure of performing with some great artists such as Richie Cole, Jon Lucien, Larry McKenna and Mary Stallings. She also performs regularly with Jump City Jazz Orchestra, a 17 piece swing/dance band. Karen has performed locally at many clubs such as the Society Hill Hotel, the Park Hyatt, Longwood Gardens, many New Jersey shore venues, along with appearances in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas. She recently had the pleasure of performing our National Anthem for the Philadelphia 76ers games at the Philadelphia Wachovia Center. Although she enjoys the big band sound, she describes her 'passion' as blues and jazz in the intimate settings with a trio or with a solo pianist. 'That is where your soul releases itself to the audience and they can join you and feel your love of the music as you carry them on a journey to another life that only these songs can create.' Karen states....Performing my favorite venue, the 'torch songs', is where my soul releases itself to the audience...so please join me and feel my love of the music on our journey to another life and time that only these songs can create..... One reviewer states 'Karen projects an image of class and dignity as a jazz vocalist. She has accrued a large audience by mastering her meter and by investing in the songs of the Great American Songbook, with which she has managed to transform reluctant audiences into devoted ones. She will draw you in, vocally caress you, singing the way they don't sing anymore, performing the type of songs they just don't write any more. Where words are not just an excuse for a beat, they carry actual meaning and weight. She sings and the sound is more than timeless; it's fresh, relaxing and above all...Great Entertainment!' And yet another states, 'During an era when there is a serious shortage of such talent, her presence on the musical scene is truly a happy event. On the cusp between Jazz's old vanguard and it's new, Karen is indeed an outstanding and shining interpreter of her music. Her voice is warm, gracious, and effortlessly in tune.' An Anonymous patron said, 'Madame, your voice could separate a rich man from his wealth, and comfort the poor' Critics Say... Karen has a robust voice with her own distinct colors. She's clearly a singer with performance credentials to back up her pipes and she knows how to dramatize a song without lapsing into melodrama. David Dupont - Cadence Magazine Karen has a big, warm clear sound that has a sultry quality in her upbeat swing interpretations. Her performance shows she has considerable scat capabilities. Susan L Pena - Reading Eagle Karen possesses a lovely, throaty alto voice that she employs to great effect communicating the meaning of the lyrics she sings. One feels that she has lived the emotions she sings. Michael Caruso - Chestnut Hill paper Karen, is a sultry alto with a style reminiscent of big band giants like Billie Holliday Bruce G. - Band leader 'A classy, professional singer - great look, great arrangements, and... a sweet vocal style!' Bob Egan - Bob Egan Entertainment and Cabaret at Odette's.