Spotlight: Karla Bauer

Spotlight: Karla Bauer

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Which instrument do you play or which venue do you manage?


Tell us about your career in jazz.

SHINE ON! MUSIC LLC – Karla Bauer, Founder & CEO “I’m not in this just for the income, I do this for the outcome.” I’m an independent music artist committed to giving access to high-quality music programs to students and veteran musicians from the underserved communities where I volunteer on a weekly basis, and in the rural communities where I grew up.​As the passionate founder of SHINE On Music, LLC, and with a thirty-year career in information technology as a senior engineer, I’ve educated hundreds of young, up-and-coming artists and veteran musicians on how to develop their music career business to save them time and money but more importantly, how to promote themselves successfully and ‘safely’ in a digital world. My goal is to inspire my students, give them the courage to pursue their dreams relentlessly, and provide the insight they need to protect themselves from opportunists in the industry. During the pandemic, I taught myself how to write grants and have partnered with many 5013c organizations to bring the SHINE On Music Workshop and Community Outreach Concert program to these targeted areas. We’ve all been hit hard financially because of the pandemic, but with the additional grant funding, I’ve been so grateful to be able to help employ some of the most highly skilled and talented Kansas City jazz musicians in Kansas City. I’ve just released my fifth studio album titled, “My King is Coming” and as a named Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission State of Kansas Touring Roster Artist, I’ve been traveling to underserved and rural communities teaching the students production, marketing, rehearsal, and performance skills while promoting accountability to others, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging. The concerts consist of performing songs from my latest gospel/jazz albums with the highly skilled Kansas City jazz musicians accompanying: Roger Wilder – piano, James Albright – upright bass, Stanton Kessler – trumpet and Doug Auwarter – drums. The students and I rehearse the songs and then sing the swinging tunes at the community outreach concert in front of all of their family and friends for a grand concert finale!

Where can KC Jazz fans watch you perform?

Upon releasing my fifth studio album titled, “My King is Coming” and as a named Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission State of Kansas Touring Roster Artist, I’ve been traveling to underserved and rural communities all over Kansas and Missouri preforming with the students at our SHINE On Community Outreach Concert program. If my Kansas City fans are unable to attend the events in person, all of the concerts have been lived stream and are available on my social media platforms and YouTube. I am currently booking dates to continue my tour late summer/early fall in the Kansas City area.

Tell us about your passion for jazz and the importance of jazz in Kansas City.

Growing up in a small town, I never really was exposed to jazz. As a young adult, if the music wasn’t playing on the four radio stations we had to listen to, than you didn’t know it existed. That is why it is so important to me to bring a new art form (jazz) to the rural and underserved communities. Who knows, there may be a Charlie Parker just waiting to be discovered. I’ve spent much of my time time and effort to remain a strong supporter and volunteer in the Kansas City Jazz community. Throughout the past ten years, I’ve been a volunteer and mentor to our jazz music community by presenting to artists the Musicians Assisting Musicians and SHINE On workshops. I’ve served on several committees and am an active member of many organizations such as KC Jazz ALIVE to accomplish the projects needed to lift up and promote jazz artists throughout the Kansas City area. I still work as a Senior Software Engineer to help support my music company, SHINE On Music, LLC. and to ensure I am paying the jazz musicians what they are worth whether in the studio or at a concert. It is very important to me to give back to the Kansas City jazz community, pay musicians what they should be paid, and lift up other musicians, just as my supporters have helped me.

Who or what is your inspiration for jazz?

Nina Simone – enough said.

Please share anything else about yourself, music, or venue that you would like jazz fans to know.

My fans can learn more about my music ministry at Stay tuned for more tour dates to be added this summer and fall.

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