Karrin Allyson Biography

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Great Bend, Kansas, USA. While still a small child, Allyson moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where she studied classical piano. Later, living in the San Francisco Bay area, she worked in the theatre before returning to Nebraska to attend university where she majored in classical piano, graduating in 1987. It was around this time that Allyson’s musical horizons broadened and she began to take an interest in jazz, playing with a college big band, and in rock, playing in an all-female group. After graduation, she moved to Minneapolis and quickly found steady work playing in bars and restaurants. Leavening her piano playing with singing attracted considerable attention both in Minneapolis and in Kansas City where she appeared at the Phoenix Club. Allyson continued to commute between the Phoenix and the Dakota, in Minneapolis, with excursions to Chicago and New York, where she appeared at Michael’s Pub.

In the early 90s Allyson was signed by Concord Records, thus extending her audience worldwide, although she remains based in the Midwest. She has recorded albums of French and Brazilian music (From Paris To Rio and Imagina: Songs Of Brasil), the blues (In Blue), and John Coltrane songs (Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane). Allyson’s distinctive, breathy delivery, allied as it is to a rich vocal sound, makes her a consistently interesting performer of ballads.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.