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Vocalist Karly Epp and bassist Karl Kohut have been frequent collaborators over the past decade. Each an artist in their own right, these two now often come together to write, perform, and record music based in their shared love of both straight-ahead swing and more contemporary jazz.
After earning her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba, Karly Epp became an accomplished choral director, and spent several years teaching, guest conducting, presenting clinics, and arranging vocal music.
In order to focus on her performance career, Epp relocated to New York City and later graduated from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music with a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. During this time, she had the opportunity to study with Grammy-nominated vocalists Gretchen Parlato, Theo Bleckmann, and Kate McGarry. Through them, she was introduced to Somatic Voicework and went on to study the method with Jeannie LoVetri. Epp’s schooling also allowed her to further develop her understanding of composition and harmony, working with renowned artists and composers, including Dave Liebman and Jim McNeely.
After graduating, Epp spent time in New York playing at a variety of venues throughout the area, including a year-long residency at New York’s historic 55 Bar, and occasionally returning to Canada for festivals. Summer of 2018 brought her back to Winnipeg when she accepted the appointment of Jazz Vocal Instructor at the University of Manitoba.
Karl Kohut is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Bass at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. Kohut spent four years living in New York City, where he performed with many distinguished artists and organizations including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Rossano Sportiello, Ralph Peterson Jr., among others. He has performed at many of New York’s top jazz clubs including Dizzy’s Club-Coca Cola, Blue Note, Smalls, Zinc Bar, and more. He has toured throughout the US and Europe as a member of Joseph Doubleday and Felix Peikli’s Showtime Band, culminating in the release of the group's 2017 album It's Showtime: Live!. As a sideman, Kohut appears on albums with artists such as James Danderfer, Brad Turner, Quincy Davis, Earl MacDonald, and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. His debut album is set to be released in late 2023.
Kohut earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with bassists Ben Wolfe and Ron Carter, as well as a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba. As an educator, he has worked with high school students throughout the US in workshops and summer programs with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Programs.