Kat Parra is a very versatile jazz and latin jazz vocalist. She has created an engaging and unique repertoire with fresh and exciting new arrangements. She is as comfortable singing the American songbook as she is singing songs from across Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. Kat sings fluently in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Ladino (Judeo-Espanyol). With this multi-lingual and multi-musical experience, Kat Parra is able to transport her audiences to an exciting and vibrant journey of world and latin music.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 30 - 180 minutes
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Judeo-espanyol
What to Expect
Kat Parra has excellent stage presence and has quite a gift for engaging her audiences, pulling them into her intimate circle for a heartfelt and oftentimes humorous musical experience. Kat is very comfortable on stage and has wonderful rapport with her band mates, with whom she has worked for over 10 years. The audience will also experience a high level of musicality and excitement from the repertoire Kat chooses to perform.
Kat Parra quit her job as a graphic designer at Cisco Systems, Inc. to pursue her passion for music and she’s never looked back. Since then the award-winning composer has released four critically acclaimed CDs, been invited to perform in Amsterdam, Brazil and Mexico as well as top-tier venues throughout the United States, earned the designation “Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2010 and 2008” by Latin Jazz Corner, and received a 2008 nomination for “Latin Jazz Album of the Year” from the Jazz Journalists Association.
“After having successfully raised two children as a single parent, I felt it was time to finally pursue my dream of being a full-time musician,” says Parra. “I came to realize I didn’t want to die wondering ‘what if…? Music has always been an integral part of my identity, but after receiving my Bachelor of Music degree I knew that as a single parent my financial circumstances would not allow me to focus all my attention on a full-time music career. As I raised my children I performed with various bands of many different genres, which allowed me to hone my vocal skills as well as my stage presence. It was an audition for Cirque Du Soleil in 2005 that made me realize the possibility of my dream. Once my youngest son was finished with college I was able to take the leap of faith and dive head first into this new adventure. Nov. 3, 2006 was my last day in corporate America and I’ve never been happier!”
In addition to singing fluently in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Parra has the rare ability to sing in the dying language of Ladino, or Judeo-Espanyol, which enables her to interpret Sephardic music (Music of the Spanish Jews) faithfully. “This is the language of the Spanish Jews, an antiquated form of Castilian that also includes words from Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and many other languages. It is an amalgamation of the Sephardic Diaspora, and it is my small way of helping to preserve this language. It is still spoken, but in very few places and mainly by the older generations in Turkey, Israel and in homes across the globe.”
Parra has leapt beyond the boundaries of the typical Latin jazz singer. With her thirst for the exploration of myriad world rhythms and tonalities, she has developed a style of music that encompasses sounds that transcend and bend the stereotypical definition of Latin jazz. She has incorporated not only Afro-Cuban music, but also Afro-Peruvian, Middle Eastern, South American folklore, and Nueva Trova. With this multi-lingual and multi-musical approach, Parra is able to captivate her audiences with exciting and vibrant World and Latin music.
Influences & Inspiration
Celia Cruz, Susana Baca, Linda Ronstadt, Betty Carter, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Virginia Rodrigues, Manny Oquendo y su conjunto libre, Tito Puente
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