BACKGROUND & EDUCATION
Daughter of Grammy Award winning symphony and opera conductor John Nelson, Kari was raised within the international world of classical music. Her formal vocal training began at the age of 15 at Butler University followed by three years at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has been a proud and cherished member of the professional music communities of Chicago and Los Angeles for 20 years. A life long student of the musical voice, she studied with the legendary Seth Riggs in LA for four years, along with mentors Judith Cohen in NY and Barbara Ann Martin in Chicago. She served on the faculty of The Silver Lake Conservatory of Music in LA, taught private lessons at Naperville Central High School in Chicago, and has taught and coached students in Europe, LA, NY and in her home studio. Kari’s musical background includes studies in piano, flute and guitar, music theory, songwriting, arranging, music production and the music business. Kari is a master of varied vocal styles and genres, but her soulful heart is solid rock.
Kari continues to perform, write, record, produce, study and work professionally. She’s had the honor of sharing the stage with Layla Hathaway, Paula Cole, Norah Jones, The Chicago Lyric and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Choruses, as a soloist with The Princeton Symphony Orchestra and with many successful Chicago bands and orchestras including Tributosaurus! Her efforts are currently focused on recording and distributing her original music, synch licensing (writing music for TV and Film), keeping up with evolution of the music industry and her 6 year old son, and developing innovative course work for WIRE!
Kari’s passion for sharing her extensive experience and knowledge with students comes from her personal frustration with the lack of fundamental skill development, musical education and real world experience offered to students of the voice. Being a strong vocalist requires much more than singing well. Her innovative classes and unique and comprehensive approach to musical education offer a modern and exciting path for vocalists to develop exceptional skills and be empowered to attain their professional goals and rock star dreams.