Still singing Jazz not singing the Blues has become a mantra for seasoned jazz vocalist Kate Ross. Inspired by her music-loving mother, Kate fell in love with singing as a girl. She has been singing and performing ever since, using her passion for music to thrill and inspire others. Also known as Kathy Kimbrough-Ross, Kate has been charming Columbus, Ohio audiences for more than three decades, delivering expert renditions of American popular songs, jazz and R&B songs in her distinctive contralto style.
Equally happy as a solo artist or accompanying a trio, quartet or big band, Kate’s performance list reads like a Who’s Who of jazz and R&B music and includes several Grammy Award nominated artists. At a performance with singer songwriter Jeffrey Osborne in 1997, she nearly stole the show with some spirited woo-wooing on his track You Should Be Mine (the Woo Woo Song).
Kate Ross photoIn Columbus, she has appeared with bands including the Bobby Floyd Trio, The Hank Marr Trio, Eddie Baccus Jr. the OSU Jazz Orchestra, The Broad & High Jazz Trio and many others. She is currently the featured vocalist with Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra as well as her own band The Kate Ross Quintet.
While working, singing and putting herself and her daughters through college, since her mid twenties, Kate has also battled Degenerative Disc Disease, a debilitating physical malady. Her condition was aggravated by a couple of car accidents. Ross recalled, “The condition forced me to have to retire from my primary job. It was at that point that I decided to just sing and enjoy my life. It was something I’d always really wanted to do. I learned a lot from this experience. When you’re in chronic pain everyday and still have responsibilities, there is no time to wallow in the pain. You still must do what you need to do to survive. I still had to provide for my children. I think the situation made me a stronger person. It just let me know that there are things I still could do whether I felt like it or not. Despite many setbacks, a strong work ethic combined with the healing power of music, has helped her remain triumphant and be a strong, encouraging presence for friends and family.
As she achieves a lifelong dream with the launch of her first CD, titled People Make the World Go Round, Kate hopes her music will inspire other people facing physical and mental challenges. The CD will be available on CDBaby, iTunes, Ross’s website and Amazon from November 2013.