Jam and Spice: The Songs of Kurt Weill, Karen’s first foray into the Kurt Weill Songbook debuted on July 13, 1999 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church with her own Orchester Simpl, a 10-member ensemble led by conductor and arranger Robert Renee Galvan. Karen performed tributes to Weill during the centenary of his birth as follows:

  • November 9, 1999 ~ Jam and Spice: The Songs of Kurt Weill was performed at the University of Texas at Arlington with Orchester Simpl (Jeffrey Gershman, conductor) to =mark the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
  • March 25, 2000 ~ Karen was a featured artist in Wall to Wall Kurt Weill at Symphony Space alongside Ute Lemper, Andrea Marcovicci, Julie Wilson, KT Sullivan and others. Joel Sachs accompanied her songs.
  • May 4 and 5, 2000 ~ Karen Kohler Sings Kurt Weill ~ the Embassy Series at the German Embassy, Washington, DC with Jeffrey Chappell on piano.
  • June 6, 2000 ~ Karen released a studio album, Jam and Spice: The Songs of Kurt Weill, (her second album) at a live concert at Esther’s Follies in Austin, TX with Orchester Simpl conducted by Jeffrey Gershman.

In March 2005, Karen debuts a new Weill tribute, Speak Low: The Love of Lenya and Weill, at the Jermyn Street Theater in London with Jed Distler on piano.

In November 2005, Karen merges her Kurt Weill and Marlene Dietrich songbooks for the first time in a new program for the Beethoven Society which she calls Three Pennies and a Touch of Venus. Jed Distler joins her on piano for this show’s debut at the German Embassy in Washington, DC.