Kathy Kosins / Biography

ASCAP award-winning vocalist Kathy Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of Jazz and Soul.

Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, she began singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was (now president of Blue Note Records) in the early eighties, which led to her becoming one of the most sought after session singers. As a lead vocalist she recorded for both Carrere (Sony) and Quality Records and later toured with Was/Not Was.

In the early "90s, Kosins, a ferocious writer and arranger, fell in love with the freedom of the jazz art form and her writing naturally evolved into a more traditional approach. Stints with the JC Heard and Nelson Riddle Orchestras followed and led to a 1996 release of "All In A Dreams Work" (SchoolKids Records), an impressive debut featuring a first rate collection of nine originals and a cover of the Miles Davis composition "Four." Reported by over 250 Jazz stations, she reached the top 20 in the Gavin Report.

Her 2002 release of "Mood Swings" (Chiaroscuro Records) continued to bring her recognition and success at the national level. On her 2006 release of "Vintage," (Mahogany Jazz), she rediscovered little known songbook gems which she placed alongside a few widely known, yet unexpected tunes from outside the jazz tradition, which brought her glowing reviews from journalists.

In 2012, she released “To The Ladies Of Cool”, a dedication to the West Coast Cool school of artists like June Christy, Chris Connor, Julie London, and Anita O’Day. Kathy’s arrangements of those classic pieces stay true to the tradition of lyricism and understatement, yet sound so fresh and innovative that it is sometimes hard to believe those songs have been recorded some 50 plus years ago.

“The Space Between” from 2013 finds her in the studio with some of LA’s best musicians like Tamir Hendelman (piano), Robert Hurst (bass), Eric Harland (drums), and Larry Koonse on guitar on several obscure tracks that had been recorded by Shirley Horn or Nat King Cole. Her Jazz repertoire is always enhanced by her soulful vocal performance and it is no wonder, that she decided to include a Chill Mix of one of the tunes from the album (“Night Bird”) which puts her in another direction leading to her most recent album which is slated for a spring, 2016 release.

With the working title “Uncovered Soul”, Kathy has recorded this ultra soulful set with Grammy Award-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta (Gregory Porter) and a stellar cast of musicians: Greg Moore (guitar), Mitch Foreman (piano,keys), Kevin Axt (bass), Eric Harland (drums), and Munyungo (percussion). On the album, she explores rarely heard Soul and R&B tunes by famous songwriters like Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels, or Aaron Neville and also more contemporary tunesmiths like Amos Lee. It’s a well- balanced set catering to both Jazz fans and Soul aficionados alike and destined to become a future classic as it creates a sultry mood and features her most intense and intimate singing yet.

A past recipient of the Michigan Council for the Arts (Jazz Composer of the Year), Kosins has received grants from Michigan’s ArtServe advocacy group. Her clinics and workshops teach performance skills alongside business strategies for the independent artist and have been a success at colleges and universities across the USA.

When not touring the USA or Europe, Kathy excels as a painter. Her abstract acrylics on canvas are influenced by the cubist paintings of the "50s. Commissioned paintings are held in private collections and Kosins continues to sell her work at both gallery shows and concert performances. She also is known to paint as a multi media artist from the stage during various performances.

Kosins has recorded with many well known jazz and R&B artists to include Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland, Peter Bernstein, Larry Koonse, Tamir Hendelman, Robert Hurst, Jeremy Pelt, Jon Ellis, Howard Levy, Don Was, Martin Wind, Ben Wolfe, Michael Henderson and more.

She has shared the stage and performed with numerous names in the jazz and R&B world. A few notables are: Cyrus Chestnut, Terell Stafford, Randy Brecker, Javon Jackson, Larry Goldings, James Moody, Kevin Mahogany, Bernard Purdie, Greg Hutchinson, Eric Harland, Red Holloway, Grant Green Jr., Reuben Rogers, Reuben Wilson, Aaron Goldberg, Tamir Hendelman, Jesse Davis, Eric Marienthal, Matt Wilson, Mitch Ryder, Was/Not Was and Michael Henderson.


"...she authentically recreates a lost genre of female jazz singing." — Ralph A Miriello — Jazz Journalist- Huffington Post

In (Don't Wait Up for Me), Kathy Kosins puts her sultry, elegant spin on one of Chris Connor's less conspicuous triumphs on To the Ladies of Cool."- Elysa Gardner, USA Today

She has a voice that commands attention, and a band that rewards it. She looks for songs that haven't been beat to death....Will Friedwald's notes liken her phrasing to Tony Bennett's, which seems roughly true, especially on the closing ballads. But she's hipper than Bennett.” - Tom Hull -Village Voice

"...her performance maintains a balance of swing and sensuality... great vintage songs... I wasn't expecting to fall in love..." Will Friedwald, NewYork Sun

Kathy Kosins takes a giant step forward in artistic weight class with one of the premier vocal releases for the year with The Space Between....Brent Black / CriticalJazz

"If Jazz had four seasons, Kathy Kosins would be spring." - Inside Connection
"...Kosins has got it going on and you should get on the train. Hot stuff." - Midwest Record Recap

"One of the most alluring voices in Jazz" - Chicago Tribune
"Kathy Kosins is one of the finest singers in the world." Don Was,President, Blue note Records

"... A joy to listen to"- Conde' Nast Publications

"Mood Swings is a fine and fun ride without a boring note played" - All About Jazz
"Fab"- Billboard Magazine

"She's wonderful" - WBGO, Newark

"...Solid intonation, unwavering swing and a voice that can conjure both the girl next store and her older wiser sister.." - Chicago Reader

"Kosins' voice is rich, filled with that rare combination of range and resonance" - Sounds of Timeless Jazz

"Kosins is a delightful surprise... reminiscent of Peggy Lee...worthy of Dinah Washington" - Jazz Times

"Kosins possesses a voice that communicates intimacy and focus..." - EJazznews

"Best vocal jazz record from first half of 2002 - Jazz USA


  • Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle WA
    Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden- Miami, FL Mackinac Island - Mackinac, MI
    Sitka Jazz Festival - Sitka, Alaska
    North Sea Jazz Festival - Rotterdam, Holland Jazz à Vienne Jazz Festival - Vienne, France
    The San Javier Jazz Festival - San Javier, Spain Ascona Jazz Festival- Ascona, Switzerland Tanglewood Jazz Festival - Lenox, MA
    Rosslyn Jazz Festival - Arlington, VA
    Wichita State University Jazz Festival, Wichita, KS Bay Springs - Mississippi Jazz Fest
    Jazz in June - Lincoln Nebraska
    Jazz In June - Norman, OK
    Salt Lake City Jazz Fest
    Snowbird Blues & Jazz Fest
    Neenah Jazz Fest - Neenah, WI
    Cathedral Park Jazz Fest - Portland, OR Savannah Coastal Jazz Fest
    Detroit Festival of the Arts
    Detroit Ford International Jazz Fest
    Park City Utah Jazz Fest
    Birmingham Jazz Fest
    Detroit Tastefest
    Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Fest
    Grand Rapids Blues and Jazz Fest
    Flint Jazz Fest
    Muskegon Summer Fest
    Southwick MA. Jazz & Blues Fest
    The Crescent Jazz Festival - Salt Lake City
    The Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival
    Rhythm & Ribs Festival - Kansas City
    Mackinaw Island Jazz Fest - Mackinaw Island, MI Jazz On The Green - Omaha NE

Performing Arts Series:

  • JCC, West Bloomfield , MI
    JCC, Mercer Island WA
    The Air Berlin Summer of Jazz Series – Germany Aventura Center for the Performing Arts
    The Bach Dynamite and Dance Society
    Broward Center For The Arts
    Brownville Concert Series
    Branford Jazz Series
    Charlotte County Cultural Center
    Croswell Opera House
    Gainesville Friends Of Jazz Presents
    The Newport, Oregon Center For The Arts The Selma Alabama Concert Series KSDS Concert Series
    Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg College The South Jackson Civic Center Tecumseh Center for the Arts
    River Raisin Center for the Performing Arts Lone Tree Center For The Arts
    Art of Jazz Series
    The Tucson Jazz Society - Tucson, AZ
    The Tempe Center For The Performing Arts - Tempe, AZ
    The Philadelphia Art Museum - Philadelphia, PA
    The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History - Detroit, MI Cheboygan Opera House - Cheboygan, MI
    South Florida Jazz Concert Series - Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Dogwood Center For The Performing Arts - Fremont, MI
    Performance with Kevin Mahogany's Kansas City Review, Folly Theater - Kansas City
    The Grove Park Inn - Asheville, NC
    Kennedy Center - Washington DC
    The Sioux Falls Jazz And Blues Series
    The Ramsdell Theater - Manistee, MI
    Charleston Jazz Series - Charleston, WV
    Miami Jazz Party
    Jazz Arts Group of Fargo - Moorhead
    McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage - Illinois
    Oakland Community College Performing Arts
    Calumet Theater Concert Series
    Ironwood Theater Concert Series
    Dennos Museum Concert Series
    Carnegie Concert Series
    Acorn Theater - Three Oaks, MI
    Amazing Things - Framingham, MA
    Historic State Theater -Bay City, MI
    Jazz at the Merc - Temecula, CA
    Amaturo Theater - Ft Lauderdale, FL
    GPAC - German Town Performing Arts Center - Germantown, TN
    San Angelo Blues and Jazz Series - San Antonio, TX
    Detroit Institute of Art - Detroit, MI
    JOSA Jazz Series
    Highland Jazz Series
    Jazz IN The Box- Memphis , TN
    Jazz Aspen Winter Series- Aspen, CO
    Sonoma Valley Jazz Presents- Sonoma, CA


  • Birdland - New York
    The Blue Note - New York
    Chans - Rhode Island
    The Dakota Jazz Club - Minneapolis Dazzle Jazz Club - Denver
    The Dirty Dog Jazz Club
    The Green Mill - Chicago
    The Jazz Standard - New York
    The Jazz Kitchen - Indianapolis
    The Jazz Factory - Louisville
    Kansas City Blue Room
    Nightown - Cleveland
    Steamers Jazz Club - Long Beach, Ca The Vic - Los Angeles
    Vitellos -Los Angeles