A Montreal-born Grenadian-Canadian, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: her family’s deep ties to folk music and the years she spent soaking up Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression
Kaia started her career early, crafting her first EP Old Soul (2013) when she was just out of high school. Since then, she’s gone on to release two more albums, Sorrow Bound (2015) and Nine Pin (2016). Her second album wove between hard-hitting songs touching on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement (“Rising Down”) and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age (“Saint Elizabeth”). Nine Pin won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Stingray Rising Star Award and sent Kaia on an 18-month touring journey from Ireland to Iowa, including stops at The Kennedy Center, Hillside Festival and London's O2 Shepherd's Bush. For her third album, Grenades (October 2018, Folkways/acronym Records), she took a decidedly different direction, choosing to lean into a wider array of sounds and styles, in order to convey a wider array of emotions and topics, most notably her paternal ancestry. Grenades has been nominated for a 2019 JUNO award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.
"...plaintive, mesmerizing...writes and performs with the skill of a folk-circuit veteran..." -Rolling Stone
"Where bluegrass meets Nina Simone" - The Guardian
"You want some authenticity in your folk music or bluegrass – I give you Kaia Kater." -No Depression
"A star in the making..."
“...One of the most remarkable Canadian folk records in some time...Kater's music is somehow ancient and brand new at the same time.”
-Tom Power, CBC Radio 2
"Sorrow Bound is a remarkably assured debut album which both honours tradition and declares Kater’s credentials as a distinctive, original artist." Steve Hunt - fRoots Magazine (UK) - October 2015
Montreal-born Grenadian-Canadian Kaia’s jazz-fueled voice and deft songcraft have garnered acclaim from NPR, CBC, Rolling Stone and No Depression. Her 2016 release 'Nine Pin' earned a Canadian Folk Music Award, sending her on 18-months of touring from Ireland to Iowa. Her new album 'Grenades' explores themes of migration and belonging and has been nominated for a 2019 JUNO award.
ABOUT KAIA'S INSTRUMENTS
Kaia is delighted to play two Gold Tone banjos (Maple Mountain Long Neck and OT-800 Tubaphone), equipped with a pick-up and pre-amp from LR Baggs. She uses Straight Up Strings for both instruments and her guitar.