Whether they perform at the Smith or on campus, some of the leading national and up-and-coming musicians visit Geneva each semester. Spring 2009 is no exception. To help kick off the semester’s list of performers, award-winning jazz-pop singer and recording artist Karen Oberlin will perform at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16 in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Oberlin will be joined by her music director, pianist Tedd Firth.
Earlier that day, Oberlin will offer a voice master class at 5 p.m. in the Geneva Room. For the class, students will perform prepared vocal selections and have Oberlin critique their performances and offer technical as well as artistic guidance.
As a vocalist, Oberlin is a Back Stage Bistro Award winner and Nightlife Award finalist for Outstanding Vocalist of the Year. For her recent tribute to lyricist Yip Harburg, The New York Times praised her as having “musical intelligence… purity, naturalness and polished phrasing, with added colors and a jazzy spontaneity.”
Reviewer Rex Reed called her performance “thrilling.” “Oberlin is as lovely to look at as she is to hear… [her singing] rings true and funny and flawless.” She has performed at major New York venues such as Town Hall, Merkin Hall, The Metropolitan Room and The Firebird, among others. She recently launched her award-winning album, “Secret Love: The Music of Doris Day” (Miranda Music).
She performed in the world premiere of the musical by Duke Ellington and Herb Martin, “Renaissance Man,” as well as in an all-star CD version, “Secret Ellington” (True Life), which featured Joe Lovano, Grover Washington Jr. and Freddy Cole. She has also had guest appearances on other CD compilations and is working on a new recording of the songs of Yip Harburg. In addition, Oberlin appeared in more than 100 Off-Broadway performances of the smash-hit show “Our Sinatra,” and played Maureen in the Broadway show, “Rent.”
The events are free and open to the community.