Kate Woolfe is a singer, based in the Blue Mountains.
She performs jazz, with a distinctive warmth and elegance.
Born in Darlinghurst, Sydney, she was exposed to fine music from a very young age. Her mother was an accomplished soprano, her father loved the Beatles and the Lovin Spoonful.
Kate learned violin, then cello for 12 years and trained in singing in four parts with her family -frequently required to do so at funerals. When old enough, she took singing lessons and was classically trained. At 15, she discovered Billie Holliday, listening to 2MBSFM 102.5, and became addicted to the jazz programs. A program featuring 1930’s jazz musician Valaida Snow which was taped off the radio was worn out with replaying.
Kate performed in lead roles in many plays and musicals during school and at University, and rather fancied that she might become an actress. She loved Kurt Weill and Ute Lemper, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and later, Gershwin. She also loved the Beatles, as well as the whole world of early music, classical, pop, grunge, rock, rap, jazz, folk, and delights in surfing the radio for new, interesting sounds. Some of her favourites are Thomas Tallis, Hildegard von Bingen, JS Bach, Beethoven, Arvo Partes, Joanna Newsom, Joseph Tawadros and Alt-J.
At University she studied music and theatre, waiting to be discovered. Meanwhile she acquired a first-class Honours degree in Literature. She studied Law for quite a long time but it really did not suit her. In her early 20’s Kate played in a number of rock bands, on cello and backing vocals. She loved collaborating but was always the only girl in the group.
In her early 30’s Kate yearned to return to jazz and took a masterclass with master Sydney jazz musician Evan Loehning. Recently, she resumed classical singing and performance training with Teri Everard-Hughes.
Kate considers herself extremely fortunate to have the phone numbers of some exceptional musicians. Her Trio and Quartet performs regularly in concert, at functions and events. The permanent lineup is Tim Bruer, piano, Dave Clayton on Bass, and regular special guest, legendary Bob Gillespie on percussion. The synergy and evolving dynamics of these sophisticated musicians is a potent, inspiring blend.
She has performed in vineyards and at the Pink Races in Mudgee, at the Hydro Majestic for the Charleston Challenge and at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Her trio are regularly booked to perform throughout Sydney, at Festivals and private events.
Kate loves to sail and does so often, with her co-skipper and family. She writes and edits for a living, working in communications.
Performing in duo at the Rooster, the unique experience of playing in this wonderful place with her favourite pianists and guitarists is a joy and a delight.
Kate Woolfe - Vocals Chris Komorowski - Guitar
Sydney based, Chris Komorowski has spent years listening to an eclectic range of music which has ultimately has gone into the melting pot of his influences as a guitar player. The Beatles featured prominently in Chris’s developing years as a young kid and a live TV concert by Eric Clapton around age 8 was probably one of the defining moments in setting him on the path to becoming one of Australia’s finest guitarists.
True to form, and by his own admission, a procrastinator, Chris didn’t start practising seriously for a couple of years, but when he did, it was the beginning of a musical journey that resulted in an extraordinarily gifted guitarist whose first gig was with his Dad’s bush band. His first paid gigs started at the tender aged of 14, and it was in his early teens when he first saw Tommy Emmanuel on TV, and then the great British guitarist Martin Taylor, that his ears were opened to the full possibilities of the guitar as a jazz instrument. In ensuing years, he became obsessed with learning everything he could about harmony. This took him to the Sydney Conservatorium for his Bachelor of Music majoring in Jazz and then a further two years studies gained him a Masters in Jazz Performance. And this is where his fascination with the solo style began to absorb him.
“I researched the various ways of achieving counterpoint on unaccompanied guitar by my analysis of jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. The research gave me many insights into harmony, arranging and re-harmonisation and a greater understanding of the use of harmonics and open strings to be used to aid counterpoint, rather than just for effect”.
As a result, he happily plays bass lines, chords, melody line and improv all on his own.. and this is what sets him apart from other guitarists.
But Chris’s versatility as a guitarist also enables him to play in many genres, from jazz, to blues, pop, and country and western and he’s performed in a wide variety of situations and with a range of artists .These include Phil Davidson, Ritchie Vez (Diesel) Lloyd Swanton, David Glyde from “Sounds Incorporated” plus Evan Mannell, Col Nolan, Laurie Bennett, Gordon Rytmeister, Pugsley Buzzard, Adrian Cunningham , Pete McDonald, Sandy Evans and acclaimed vocalist Nichaud Fitzgibbon just to name a few. While at Conservatorium he also scored a spot with some musicians from the Winton Marsalis band on a Masterclass.
He’s featured at the Tamworth and Gympie Country Music Festivals with award winning artist country Jayne Denham, the Darling Harbour Jazz Festival and Merimbula and Newcastle Jazz Festivals
In June 2010, Chris released his debut CD , “As I Hear It” a collection of jazz standards and ballads, showcasing his stunning talent as a solo guitarist. After playing on other people’s projects for so long, Chris has now emerged in the spotlight as an artist in his own right – equally at home heading his own trio, or going solo. “I’m now working to see how far I can take the jazz guitar as an improvised solo instrument – although it’s the guitar that’s seems to be taking me on a ride” he admits. To add to his talents, he’s also explored his creative ability as a composer and his next project is to record a complete album of his own material while carving out a name as a performer who captures the true essence of his chosen instrument.