Hailed as a premier interpreter of the Great American Songbook, Karen Oberlin was deeply honored to receive, in 2013, both the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s most prestigious Donald F. Smith Award and an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Dix Hills Performing Arts Center/Five Towns College. Previously a winner of Nightlife Award for Jazz Vocalist of the Year and also Bistro and MAC Awards, Karen Oberlin returned to London’s exquisite cabaret club, the Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zedel, for her third consecutive year in late 2014. In one of her numerous raves in the New York Times, Stephen Holden said, “Beyond having a pretty voice, poise and interpretive insight … Ms. Oberlin has impeccable classic pop style (and) musical intelligence.” Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, called her performance “thrilling,” and continued, “Oberlin is as lovely to look at as she is to hear — subtle, elegant and musically spot on.”
Ms. Oberlin’s headlining engagements include the Algonquin’s Oak Room, Café Carlyle, 54 Below, Birdland, Feinstein’s, Iridium, Kitano and the Metropolitan Room; other performances at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Caramoor, Guild Hall in the Hamptons, The Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, The Prince Theatre in Philadelphia, and the Royal Room at the Colony Palm Beach. She has four critically-acclaimed recordings on the Miranda Music label, including “Secret Love: The Music of Doris Day,” a live recording at the Algonquin’s Oak Room, and a new duo CD with virtuosic guitarist Sean Harkness. She can be heard on a number of compilations, including the newly discovered musical by Duke Ellington and Herb Martin, “Renaissance Man,” in the all-star CD version, “Secret Ellington” (True Life), which featured Joe Lovano, Grover Washington, Jr., and Freddy Cole.
Ms. Oberlin was part of the first-ever Cabaret Conventions in Philadelphia and the Hamptons and has performed in the New York shows at both Jazz at Lincoln Center and Town Hall, where she was also featured in the Broadway By The Year series. Other credits: “Our Sinatra”; Maureen in “Rent”, on Broadway; “All My Children.” Of this granddaughter of Vaudevillians, David Yaffe, music critic for “The Nation”, says “(Oberlin) reaches into the minds and muses of our golden repertoire to teach us, dazzle us, and send us to a Tin Pan Alley nirvana, as deep as the ocean and high as the sky. She is truly a marvel.”