KAREN KOHLER is a singer, writer and champion of artists. She emigrated from Germany to Long Island as a child, the daughter of an airline executive. After completing her BA in international studies with a music minor at the University of Arizona, she spent her early adulthood in Texas. In 1999, she gave up a top position with a Fortune 500 company in Austin to follow the call to singing back to New York.
Karen is a scholar in the history of cabaret and leading interpreter of its form. She has won all of New York’s major live performance awards – Nightlife, MAC, BroadwayWorld, and BackStage Bistro – as singer, producer and director. She performs in cabarets, concert halls, festivals, consulates and embassies worldwide, crossbreeding a range of theatrical and musical styles – from jazz and Delta blues to classical, rock-folk and cabaret. She is founder of the award-winning ensemble, Kabarett Kollektif, and Kabarett Fête (a festival of the cabaret arts) and through her company, Fin Alley Arts, produces her own concerts, workshops and recordings, as well as the work of other artists.
Karen’s passion for stagecraft extends to teaching. Her development as a performing artist has included both traditional and esoteric approaches to performance. In 2010, she was awarded a fellowship in New Delhi where alongside her concerts, she gave master classes and was herself a student of the ancient Indian practices of breathing (pranayama), meditation, chakra studies and the tantric arts which she has integrated into her own teaching method. She has taught across the U.S., England, Germany, India, Australia and the Caribbean. Students students have come from as far away as Australia to attend her private 2-week colloquia in New York City. Together with her husband Mac, Karen has established the world’s only collegiate scholarship in cabaret at Long Island University where the two met in 1983.
Karen fuels her unconventional life in art and love with intemperate adventures and travels. A lifelong journaler and passionate writer, she recently began publishing her prose, poetry, lyrics and monologues. Visit her website at www.karenkohler.com for information about her concerts, recordings, workshops, podcast and events.