Karen Briggs (musician)
|Associated acts||See below|
Karen Briggs (born 1963) is an American violinist. She was born in New York City and grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. Taking violin lessons from an early age, Briggs attended Norfolk State University after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1981. There, she majored in music education and mass media. By 1983, she was playing with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where she remained for the next four years. In 1987, she returned to New York City, where she won amateur night at the Apollo Theater four times. After marrying in 1988 and moving to Los Angeles, Briggs embarked on her first professional tour with Soul II Soul and toured throughout the United States and Japan.
In 1991, Briggs auditioned for Yanni, the contemporary instrumental keyboard composer. She spent the next thirteen years touring and recording with him, and can be seen on his live music videos, including Yanni Live at the Acropolis. The Ethnicity tour of 2004 marked her last performance with Yanni.
Briggs is noted for her improvisational style, finding itself at home within various styles from jazz and gospel to light classical orchestrations and rhythm and 'blues. Her forays into various genres of music have been very eclectic, sometimes also personal. She has performed with a number of artists over the years, including Stanley Clarke, En Vogue, Chaka Khan, Patrice Rushen, Hidden Beach’s Unwrapped CD Series, Tizer and Soul II Soul (1990 World Tour).
In 2009, she released an album, Soulchestral Groove, featuring her improvised soloing in original compositions by Briggs and cover arrangements of others.
- Karen (1992)
- Amazing Grace (1996)
- Soulchestral Groove (2009)
- Karen Briggs at AllMusic
- Karen Briggs at the Internet Movie Database
- Article: Diva Foundation
- NPR.org article