Award-Winning Nashville Singer Performs At Denison's Burke Hall
Posted: February 9, 2003
GRANVILLE -- On this Valentine's Day, lovers of bluegrass music will want to find a seat in Burke Hall on Denison University's campus. Kathy Chiavola, an award-winning singer from Nashville, will join forces with fiddle playing champion and music department faculty member Andy Carlson at 8 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 14) for a concert featuring bluegrass, country and folk acoustic music. Sponsored by the department of music, this concert is free and open to the public.
Chiavola was voted the Outstanding Background Vocalist in the 1995 Nashville Music Awards and won the Female Vocalist of the Year (contemporary) award from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in 1997. Carlson is a two-time winner of the Georgia State Champion fiddler contest and was the 2000 Ohio Grand Champion Fiddler. This will be their first concert date together.
Chiavola grew up singing folk, blues and rock music in Kansas City (Mo.) winning a scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she earned both a bachelor's and master's degrees. She went on to study with Metropolitan Opera star Eileen Farrell at Indiana University and is now a voice instructor at Belmont University in Nashville in addition to her concert and recording career. Her most recent release, her third CD, is titled "From Where I Stand, A Personal Tribute" and includes tunes that she and her late partner Randy Howard recorded before his death in 1999. Two previous recordings are "The Harvest" and "Labor of Love."
Chiavaolo has sung on hundred of recordings with artists such as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks, and Emmylou Harris. Hailed as one of the top five bluegrass CDs of 1996, "The Harvest" CD included a duet with Bill Monroe that is believed to be his last vocal recording. She was the television voice of State Farm Insurance and Country Time Lemonade for several years. Recently, she coached members of Ireland's "West Life" band on how to sound "country" for their recording "Daytime Friends and Nighttime Lovers" which also was being filmed for a BBC show. Chiavaolo is recorded singing the high harmony and says it was "akin to being the fifth Beatle."
Carlson's long-time associations with fiddlers in the south included competing against Howard in the Georgia Fiddle Championships and he considers him one of his mentors. Among the songs Chiavaolo and Carlson will play at the Denison concert is Carlson's composition dedicated to Howard, "Randy's Waltz," which he recorded on his "Beyond Boundaries" CD. Carlson has just returned from a semester-long series of recording sessions and performances -- primarily in the south -- with the Andy Carlson Band. Among the tour stops were performances at the Ashford Manor Concert Series (Watkinsville, Ga.), the Whippoorwill Bluegrass Festival in Alabama, and the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta. He also played in several university concert series as a classical violinist, including one as conducter/performer for the Leopold LaFosse Memorial Concert at the University of Iowa.
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