6:30pm doors • 7pm show
Kate Kay Es
with opener Jake Sherman
Australian–born Brooklyn–based songwriter, singer, producer, pianist, and saxophonist Kate Kay Es has garnered international recognition for her striking voice and virtuosic talents, performing with the likes of Macklemore and James Morrison and touring most recently with Kesha. An outspoken critic of misogyny in the music industry, Kay Es uses her music to spread messages of hope, resilience, and empowerment.
This concert will also feature the music of Jake Sherman, who honed his quiet confidence in combining genres by collaborating with Gabriel Garzon-Montano and Meshell Ndegeocello. With influences ranging from hip-hop to the baroque, this is not an evening to miss!
If the soul of a fifties jazz impresario got trapped inside of an avant–garde R&B–obsessed pop siren, the music might feel something like that of Kate Kay Es.
Raised in Adelaide, Australia and based in Brooklyn, the singer, songwriter, producer, pianist, and saxophonist uncovers the missing link between John Coltrane, Whitney Houston, and Joni Mitchell on her independent self–titled debut EP. The artist’s multi-faceted magic really comes to life on stage as she steps out from behind the piano, solos on the sax, and sings with powerhouse passion.
Born to a saxophonist father and feminist mother, her story encompasses family dinners where the work of Basquiat, Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, John Coltrane, Kenny Garrett, Joni Mitchell, and Herbie Hancock dominated the conversation. By the age of five, the budding musician had already started piano and saxophone lessons (outside of belting along to Whitney’s The Bodyguard soundtrack daily). Armed with a cassette recorder a few years later, she would begin her journey recording her songs. After performing in countless bands throughout high school, she gained admission to the world–renowned Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
During her college years, Kay Es achieved international recognition, being invited by the Australian Government to showcase Australian jazz at the 2010 World Expo held in Shanghai, travelling to Berlin to record the album The Berlin Session to critical acclaim, performing her original music at the iconic Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, and travelling to Paris to perform during October 2013.
Kay Es commenced her endorsement with Yamaha Music Australia and recorded her debut album with ABC’s Music Record Label in January 2015.
Upon graduating, a topic of those tableside conversations informed her next move.
“Hearing Dad talk about New York and learning that all of my favorite musicians lived there, the city was on my mind”, the songstress admits. “There was something very powerful about it. It was like a spiritual place I needed to go — so I did.”
Embedding herself within Brooklyn’s art scene, she quietly developed a reputation as a go-to multi-instrumentalist in 2014. Soon, she wound up on stage with everyone from Macklemore, Jamie Foxx, Ray Angry, Joss Stone, and Mavis Staples to Ghostface Killah and James Morrison, in addition to writing with Laura Mvula. Most recently, she was on the road with Kesha, sharing her keyboard and vocal talents on the Rainbow Tour as well as performing at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on piano and voice with Kesha, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, and Bebe Rexha.
However, the spotlight loudly beckoned Kate as a solo artist.
“I discovered my real love was for singing and songwriting”, she explains. “It’s a different kind of playing. It serves me on another level.”
She has spent the last three years working on her upcoming debut EP between regular gigging around the city. After test driving and honing many initial ideas on stage, Kate released the airy electronics, vast beats, and subtle yet simmering vocals of “Working”. Premiered by Dujour, the follow-up single “Love Too Hard” swings from Motown–style crooning into a cathedral–sized refrain — “Maybe I love too hard” — punctuated by handclaps, guitar, and a march of drums. Composed on a tiny Casio keyboard she “found on the side of the road”, the flirty honesty of “Body” shows another side of her music, as the singer admits “I want your body” over wailing sax and finger snaps.
In the end, the title of one of her upcoming releases Hopefulness encapsulates her expansive vision as she formally arrives in 2018.
“It’s a word to describe who I am”, Kate leaves off. “If I can make others feel hopeful about being alive, being in the world, and moving into the future, that would be really cool. At the same time, I’d love to be an example. In the music industry, females notoriously experience a different level of scrutiny. That’s just in the mainstream — being a female jazz musician is another story again. I want to share that I’m proud to be a woman in the industry and work to change and improve the way women are examined and given opportunities. Ultimately, I hope I can provide a bit of inspiration for the younger generation of badass female musicians all around the world.”
On her last performance at National Sawdust in February 2018, Diandra Reviews (www.diandrareviewsitall.com) writes:
“Kate Kay Es Gives Moral Sense At National Sawdust. Running high from her Grammy moment with Kesha, Kate Kay Es proved that she deserved to be on that stage for such an impactful performance. Not only is she incredibly talented, energetic, and sweet, but her National Sawdust concert showed all those ingredients make for a thoughtful artist. She does not make music without a moral sense. . . . Kate Kay Es creates tracks that have a pop sensibility with a smooth R&B vocality and that do not shy from carrying moral empowerment. Such capacity furthers her unbelievable friendliness and vibrancy as she shares stories on her life and what is means to be an artist with meaning. . . . The crowd was singing at her command and opening up as if we had gone to see someone we trust rather than another ‘entertainer’.”
Jake Sherman is an American singer-songwriter and producer. He has released two albums: Jake Sherman and Jake Sherman Returns.
Sherman began playing piano at the age of four and initially played Scott Joplin rags before becoming heavily influenced in jazz by the likes of Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco.
As a sideman, he has performed with the likes of Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Nick Hakim, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Ralph Peterson’s Unity Project, Warren Wolf, David Fiuczynski, and Lalah Hathaway, among others.
Sherman’s new album, Jake Sherman Returns, exists as the sum of all of his life experiences up to this point. It features orchestral arrangements, drum machines, sped up vocals, vintage keyboards, and more. It is the fuller realization of his earlier experiments. It took four long years to create, but it is finally out, and you can now buy it.