Karolina Strassmayer

Voted “Top Five Alto Saxophonist” in the 2004 Downbeat Readers’ Poll, Karolina has obtained critical acclaim for her phenomenal musicianship since arriving in New York City from her native Austria. The first female member of the renowned WDR (West German Radio) Big Band based in Cologne, Karolina has been commuting between the USA and Germany, quickly becoming a force on the international jazz scene.

With the WDR Big Band, she has had the opportunity to perform with guest artists such as McCoy Tyner, Joe Zawinul, Joe Lovano, Toots Thielemans, Take 6, Mike Abene, Dick Oatts, Bireli Lagrene, Adam Nussbaum, Randy Brecker and Vince Mendoza. Karolina has been a vital soloist of the Diva Jazz Orchestra and the Five Play Jazz Quintet. While with Diva, she performed with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur and Slide Hampton.

She has also been a featured soloist with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Other appearances include concerts and recordings with Chico Hamilton, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Wycliffe Gordon, Don Friedman, Candido Camero, Lynn Seaton, Herbie Mann, Jeff Hamilton, Flip Phillips, Drori Mondlak, Lewis Nash and Dennis Mackrel. Karolina’s quartet KLARO! has become the vehicle for developing her style, shaped by an appreciation of the tradition and an appetite for adventure. Her debut CD KLARO! has received accolades from reviewers like Nat Hentoff, Dan Morgenstern and Peter Watrous and was chosen “Best Debut Album” by All Music Guide. Karolina received a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria, as well as from the New School for Social Research in New York City.

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On the Scene with Karolina Strassmayer