With a four-octave voice and world-class piano and songwriting chops Billboard-charting, seven-time Global Music Award winner and internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter/pianist Katherine ‘Kool Kat’ Farnham is much more than a triple threat artist. She is a woman of true character who has inspired fans, critics, students and even legendary artists. With her latest effort, "Love Philosophy", the follow up to the much acclaimed ‘Vintage’ LP she proves she is an artist with an amazing heritage, an exciting present and a future as bright as the stars. Just as importantly, she is an artist with a message relevant for our times.
“Love Philosophy is essentially about developing a spiritual love for people. Part of that is avoiding racism. This message was a challenge but we were able to push through the obstacles. Learning to love people in a spiritual way is very freeing. It gives one a great gift of understanding and adds depth to life experiences.”
On her previous recordings, much has been made of her singing which has earned comparisons to Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Diana Krall, and Sarah Vaughan. On “Love Philosophy”, Farnham shows she’s not just a brilliant vocalist, but also a classically-trained pianist and entertainer of the finest caliber. She started playing piano and improvising licks at the age of four, writing her first song during a family road trip the same year. Six months later she was the leading actress in a school play. Six months after that, she performed her first jazz vocal solo.
Farnham has been called “one of the top artists of our time” by Brazilian journalist and Latin Grammy consultant Toninho Spessoto. Her contributions on ‘Vintage’ earned the album a placement in the jazz archives at the prestigious Mediatheque Musicale in Paris.
Even with all this, the third generation musician still has some large shoes to fill. Farnham’s mother was a concert pianist, composer, vocal coach, and former Director of New England Conservatory’s Wellesley Branch. She personally trained her daughter for over a decade. This tutelage went in a direct line from Katherine to her mother, to her mother’s teacher European concert artist Madame Dayas, to Dayas parents and then to legendary concert pianist/composer Franz Liszt. “For years I had no idea that my musical legacy led directly back to this incredible artist. Once this sunk in, I woke up and started to pay attention.”
With this kind of pianistic heritage, it is therefore no surprise that Farnham eventually made the piano a central focus. She recorded “Love Philosophy” on not one, but three world-class Steinway grand pianos. Combining originals with well-loved standards like “Besame Mucho” and Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache”, Farnham has created a world-class work. This album speaks lyrically of spiritual love with the title track and singles "People, A Tribute to Barbra Streisand (feat Mindi Abair)", “Dreams (feat Denny Jiosa)” and also the hope of finding true romantic love with “Night of Romance”, a honest, heartfelt ballad complete with string section for which she won a Global Music Award as a songwriter. Other album tracks have earned Global Music Award Medals - four for "Female Vocalist", and two for Jazz/Blues and Emerging Artist.
The album features songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese, combining influences of jazz, Latin jazz, adult contemporary, and pop/R&B. Grammy nominees Mindi Abair and Denny Jiosa and Grammy winner and Blues Hall of Famer Darrell Leonard are featured as Guest Artists.
Farnham’s impressive body of work also includes recordings with legendary saxophonist and Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, and Latin Grammy winner Nestor Torres. Her intense passion and skill resulted in a Billboard- charting hit for “Necessary Groove” (‘Vintage’ LP) and seven Global Music Awards. She was voted the top Female Singer/Songwriter in the quarter century history of the Los Angeles Music Awards. She is also the recipient of the coveted Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award, a Rotary Outstanding Service Award and others. Last year, she earned the prestigious distinction of being one of the youngest recipients of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
The summa cum laude grad of Berklee College of Music has appeared on Good Morning America, NBC 6, Telemundo and toured throughout the US and abroad. She has performed at festivals including the Hub City Jazz Festival outside NYC, and on stages with Latin jazz greats Tito Puente Jr and Celia Cruz. She has even inspired audiences with her courage at major sporting events such as the Ericsson Open (only female artist), the Miami Marathon and national dates for NASCAR. The critically acclaimed ‘Vintage’ garnered interview requests and airplay in US, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa along with standing ovation and sold out live performances.
Farnham has had to overcome tremendous adversity to bring her music to the world. But in so doing, it has fueled a passion to create music that touches people in a universal way. It has also birthed a true humanitarian who is just as passionate about standing up for others in need. From mentoring inner city kids in Compton and Los Angeles, to providing transitional housing for the homeless, rescuing pets, supporting veterans and organizing six benefit concerts in Los Angeles and Miami supporting music education and ethnic unity, Farnham is a woman who consistently goes the extra mile.
The values expressed on “Love Philosophy” integrate perfectly with the needs of audiences worldwide right now as well as with Farnham's humanitarian endeavors. A passionate educator, she taught Jazz and Music Theater Voice at several universities and served for two consecutive years as Celebrity Voice Judge for the Los Angeles Music Center's Annual Spotlight Awards, alongside several Broadway veterans. In addition to creating award-winning spoken word poetry, she is a published author.
Her award-winning music and spoken word albums including the internationally acclaimed “Vintage”, “The Vintage Poetry Collection”, the “Music, Passion, Spirit” digital compilation and singles from “Love Philosophy” can be found here and on ITunes, Amazon.
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