At 17, she was recognized for her outstanding skills and honored with the coveted Los Angeles Jazz Society’s “Shelly Manne New Talent Award.” For four consecutive years she participated in the Grammy/Gibson Baldwin Jazz Ensembles and she was honored by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) in 2006 and also won DownBeat awards for bass and voice. Katie was accepted to mentorships at the Brubeck Institute and the Vail Jazz Workshop where she met one of her current mentors, John Clayton. While still attending high school, she was an active bassist working with stalwarts of the Los Angeles jazz scene such as Ron Stout, Jack Nimitz, Charles Owens and Barbara Morisson. In her final year of high school in 2006, Katie was awarded the Phil Ramone Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Chosen from an international field, the Presidential Scholarship is an elite award given each year to six incoming freshman. The scholarship provides full tuition and all expenses towards an undergraduate degree at Berklee. Katie hit the ground running and before the Fall Semester even began she was invited to join Branford Marsalis for the Berklee Convocation Concert. This was just the beginning of the impact Katie would make during her tenure at Berklee.
While there, she was invited and performed with such artists as Dr. Billy Taylor, Terri Lyne Carrington, Greg Osby and Branford Marsalis, in addition to working regularly in jazz venues in the New York City (The Kitano) and Boston area (The Regatta Bar). In her last semester of college she received an invitation to join the faculty at one of Berklee's International Schools, Universidad de San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador. Putting her previous plans to return to Los Angeles on hold, Katie accepted the opportunity and in 2009 she became a professor of music at USFQ in Ecuador.
Here she taught harmony courses and jazz ensembles, and as head of the Bass and Vocal departments she maintained a studio of 30 private bass and voice students. At the conclusion of her stint in Ecuador, Katie returned to Southern California to pursue a Master’s Degree at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach on a full tuition scholarship. After receiving her Master’s of Music in Jazz Studies in 2012, Katie has been active on both coasts with appearances at the 2012 WGBO NYC Jazz Festival, featured performer and special duo performance with John Clayton at the Newport Beach Jazz Party, Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival, frequent shows at the historic Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach and in 2013, she was awarded a Kennedy Center Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Fellowship in Washington, D.C. In 2013, Katie formed The Katie Thiroux Quartet with guitarist Graham Dechter (Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Eliane Elias, Michael Buble), saxophonist Roger Neumann (Anita O'Day, Woody Herman) and drummer Matt Witek (Larry Fuller, John Pizzarelli Quartet). Working together as often as their schedules allow, her group’s most recent effort is an album to be released in February 2015. The recording was produced by Grammy award winning drummer Jeff Hamilton, engineered by Grammy Award winner Steve Genewick and mastered at Capitol Records by Grammy Award winner Ron McMaster.
Jeff Hamilton remarks, “There’s no room for weaklings in this business and Katie’s determination is something that I admire. She’s doing everything she needs to do.” Having performed at jazz festivals in the United States, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Serbia and Singapore as both a leader and a sideman, Thiroux often incorporates workshops for students and audiences. It is her passionate belief that exposure to jazz history, culture and styles is vital in keeping the music alive and thriving. In addition to work with her quartet Katie has been heard with pianists Larry Fuller, Bill Cunliffe, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Tamir Hendelman and Eric Reed, trumpeters Brian Lynch and Terrell Stafford, saxophonists Jeff Clayton, Charles McPhearson and Ken Peplowski, guitarists Mundell Lowe and Larry Koonse, drummers Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, and vocalists Niki Harris and Tierney Sutton.
Katie’s swinging bass, clear vocals and inspired instrumental arrangements are reflective of her musical idols: Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker and Anita O’Day. Katie Thiroux’s knowledge, perseverance and fervor for the music make her a rising force in today’s scene. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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