A triple threat talent, Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. With the release of her debut album, Introducing Katie Thiroux (2015), her substantial gifts as a bandleader and recording artist are now also on view. Audiences and critics agree as this release received many awards including “Debut Record of the Year” from the Huffington Post, All About Jazz, Jazz Journalists Association and “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Other accolades include being a 2015 semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition, featured on WBGO’s “The Checkout,” Downbeat Magazine and NPR. Lending contemporary flair to mainstream stylings, Thiroux carries on the hard swinging tradition of such bass masters as Ray Brown and John Clayton, while channeling the buoyant vocal finesse of iconic singers including Anita O’Day, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald. Thiroux offers in-the-moment jazz that draws upon the rich history of the music, from swing to bebop and beyond.
Thiroux’s recent performances with her quartet include the Blue Note, Birdland, the San Jose Summer Jazz Fest, NAMM and the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival. In May 2017 Thiroux paid tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live as a featured performer and musical director at the request of the GRAMMY Foundation. Look for Thiroux in Dubai June through August as she was asked by legendary arranger, composer and producer, Quincy Jones, to perform a two month residency as a featured artist at his new venue in Dubai, Q’s Bar, at the Palazzo Versace by Donatella Versace. Thiroux’s sophomore release, Off Beat, will be released on Capri Records in the Fall of 2017 and listen for Katie this Summer as a featured artist on Emirates Airlines.
Coming from a musical family in Los Angeles, she was surrounded by music; beginning with violin lessons at age 4 then switching to the acoustic bass at age 8. While continuing her studies on bass, Katie explored both jazz and classical vocal styles; landing principal roles in the LA Opera and Opera Pacifica by the age of 10. Captivated by an early recording of Lionel Hampton, Katie was driven to pursue her love for jazz and began studying privately with jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton at the age of 12. In 2005 Thiroux began a mentorship with John Clayton that started at the Vail Jazz Party and later that year she received the Los Angeles Jazz Soceity award, “Shelly Manne New Talent.” In 2006 was awarded the Phil Ramone Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College of music which included full tuition and room and board. Upon graduation, Thiroux was asked to teach at the Berklee International School in Ecuador, Quito. She returned to her native Los Angeles and completed a Masters of Jazz Bass from California State University of Long Beach on full scholarship.
In addition to work with her quartet, Thiroux is an active member of the Larry Fuller Trio and has has been heard with, among others, pianists Justin Kauflin, 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 Terri Lynne Carrington, Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, and vocalists Patti Austin, Niki Harris and Tierney Sutton. Having performed at jazz festivals in the United States, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Serbia, Singapore and Switzerland 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. Katie’s swinging bass, clear vocals and inspired instrumental arrangements are reflective of her musical idols both past and present. Katie Thiroux’s knowledge, perseverance and fervor for the music make her a rising star in today’s scene.