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  • Smooth Jazz Network

Kathy Kosins: Behind the Beats

Updated: May 4, 2022

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Kathy Kosins.

Kathy, thanks for taking some time with us today! You have an amazing new single out “Don’t Get Me Started (Love’s Too Complicated).” Tell us about how this one came together.

Quite often, re imaginations of recordings I have released in their original form, will come across my desk, from DJ’s and remixers around the world. This particular rendition, showed up as an instrumental track (along with a plethora of other tracks) during the year we were in lockdown. I basically cleaned out my files, with so much time on my hands and kept coming back to this track. Maristar Records ( the label for which I record) decided to release it in late spring of 2021, as my “re- entry” into the radio market. It seems to have legs!

I believe I saw on your social media that you are doing some live performances now. How does it feel to get in front of an audience again?

Performing onstage at venues large and small is my vocation. This is what I love to do. Getting in front of an audience feeds my soul.. and It is my intent to bring them joy. Many of my performance dates that cancelled for 14 months are just now starting to get rebooked. In addition, I am sending out inquiries and EPK’s for 2022, both here and abroad.

I have seen you create art via painting before a live audience in the midst of your musical set. Were you able to replicate this process during the lockdown?

I did more than that! I designed an art studio and multi-use space and hired construction workers to build it out for me..I invited collectors over one or two at a time with masks on and they purchased artwork from me almost every week. I also did a lot of commissioned and custom pieces, mostly large scale. In the summer of 2020, when people were doing activities outdoors, I held three pop up gallery shows in my gardens and advertised heavily. I had a lot of foot traffic and sold my work and took in additional large commissions. In addition, I was juried into several group art shows, both in person and virtual. I also had quite a large solo show in May, which was well attended and have another one this coming November, in Detroit.

I teach an art clinic titled ”Improvisation On Canvas” and held it i my studio for those who are vaxxed and wanted to venture inside. I also held a couple of classes for those who preferred to be outside.. This art clinic is ongoing.. It’s a painting to jazz music clinic and can be found on the clinics page of my website. I had my art website built as well. When I perform, I paint onstage and have been dong this for years, including the Blue Note At Sea, and the Blue Note in China.. In fact, at venues large and small I carry my canvases/brushes and a limited pallet with me. To me, art and music are both equal parts of my career and there is no separation.

How can a fan obtain one of your paintings?

There is a contact form on my art website and they can also find me on Social Media.

I have seen you work your magic (in-person) both with your voice and the paintbrush. During your painting interlude, you have your pianist play while you paint. How does that impact the art you are creating?

I let the music speak through my hand so to speak. I am blowing my own solo, through the use of a canvas , a brush and paints. I paint what I hear and I see sound. This modality is the basis for the clinic I teach.

How did you keep entertained during this past 18 months? Any favorite tv shows, films, books etc?

I painted and wrote and recorded original compositions, both in person and remotely. The stellar , Mitch Forman created arrangements for a few of my songs, and tracked them with live musicians in California. I recorded my vocals both here and also a couple of weeks ago at a killer studio Mitch uses in Highland Park, CA. I also co wrote and recorded a song with Nils and am working on a song with Randy Jacobs (my old Was (Not Was) alum and guitarist for Dave Koz, Rick Braun and Mindi Abair, amongst other notables.

I am currently working on an original duet with one of my favorites, Frank McComb. These songs will hit the market and radio one at a time depending on the label and their release schedule and what they decide to put out first. I am continuing to write and record.

I recently went through a box of old dat and cassette tapes and found roughly 90 originals I had written in the 90’s for other artists.. Some of these songs have never seen the light of day. I am exploring cutting them myself with new arrangements.. Stay Tuned!

We’re already well over halfway through 2021… What is on the horizon for you personally and professionally?

Follow the same path I have been on for decades…writing, recording, painting and performing… not necessarily in that order!

One interesting interview that I am excited about.. A high gloss fashion publication, Avanti Moda, is making me their fall quarterly featured interest story It is both an online and in print. The photographer, John Enot is also the publisher and editor. This will feature both my art and my music. Please look for this sometime in Oct/Nov.

Any advice for young artists starting out?

Learn how to create a balance between creating your work and managing the rest of your life. It can be overwhelming when you are spread too thin. Keep your focus on your art form whether it’s visual or music and seek the counsel of mentors and teachers. You can only learn so much from an educational institution and there are seasoned professionals out there that are happy to offer guidance and assistance. If you are self-managed and have no agent, you also need to devote hours in the day or days in the week to research and then go after performance opportunities.

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