On Friday, June 7, internationally acclaimed musician and songstress Kaia Kater will take the stage at Flushing Town Hall, delivering a performance that Rolling Stone has called “mesmerizing.” The concert will feature songs fueled by rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo.
A Montreal-born Grenadian-Canadian, Kaia Kater straddled two worlds: her family’s deep ties to folk music and the years she spent soaking up Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression.
Kater started her career early, crafting her first EP Old Soul (2013) when she was just out of high school. Since then, she’s gone on to release two more albums, Sorrow Bound (2015) and Nine Pin (2016). Her second album wove between hard-hitting songs touching on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement (“Rising Down”) and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age (“Saint Elizabeth”).
Nine Pin won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Stingray Rising Star Award and sent Kater on an 18-month touring journey from Ireland to Iowa, including stops at The Kennedy Center, Hillside Festival and London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush. For her third album, Grenades (October 2018,Folkways/acronym Records), she took a decidedly different direction, choosing to lean into a wider array of sounds and styles, in order to convey a wider array of emotions and topics, most notably her paternal ancestry. Grenades has been nominated for a 2019 JUNO award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.
Orlando Weekly said, “In today’s landscape, Kater’s voice isn’t just timely, it’s necessary. Being young, black and female makes her a triple threat of relevance. But being excellent is what makes her an imperative.” And, No Depression declared, “You want some authenticity in your folk music or bluegrass – I give you Kaia Kater.”
On June, preceding the 8:00 PM concert will be a workshop, Introduction to Hambone and Body Percussion, at 7:00 PM. This is an introduction to and exploration of different body rhythms native to the Southern United States, with a focus on African-American hambone traditions. Participants also will learn to create their own body percussion as well as getting to experiment with layering different rhythms on top of each other in order to create a polyrhythmic beat. This is a participatory workshop. No instruments or prior experience required.
Tickets are $16 for members $10 for students, and free for teens. Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222. This engagement is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours Program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd, in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
Once again, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old teens (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love for arts and culture.