Nurtured by a musical family, excellent school music programs, and by the vibrant live music scene in Amherst, MA, Kate Campbell Strauss grew up immersed in music. Throughout her childhood, she explored a variety of instruments, including piano, recorder, violin, harmonica, voice, and banjo. When Kate found her voice on the saxophone, she grew an affinity for modern jazz and began a lifelong passion for improvisation, drawing great inspiration from mentors at UMass Amherst's Jazz in July and Ferry Beach Park Association in Saco, ME.
Kate earned her Bachelor of Arts at Pomona College in Claremont, CA with a major in American Studies and a minor in Music. As a scholar in an interdisciplinary field, she explored music not just as a performer, but also as a historian and anthropologist. Pomona awarded funding to Kate for her research on jazz and R&B in post-World War II Los Angeles, a project that provided the foundation for her thesis on the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra. Throughout college, Kate continued her studies of music theory, piano, voice, and participated in a number of musical ensembles, including the college's choir and the jazz ensemble. She studied improvisation with trumpeter/cornetist Bobby Bradford at Pomona and with saxophonist Adam Kolker in her hometown of Amherst, MA.
Since moving to Maine in 2012, Kate has become a founding member of Downeast Soul Coalition, The Hello Josephines, Kate Campbell Strauss & Friends, and Bess Jacques & The Strays. She is an integral part of the Southern Maine music scene, playing shows with a variety of projects, including Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones, The Delta Knights, The Keepsakes, and Jason Ward's The Ultimate. Whether she's playing jazz, funk, pop, rock, R&B, country, blues, or reggae, Kate brings both her unique musical voice on saxophone and a musical ear than can adapt to any style and situation.
Kate continually invests in the local music community by hosting musical jam sessions, teaching group classes and lessons, and pursuing other outreach efforts in local schools and senior communities. Kate is always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with creative and inspired musicians, through performance and teaching.
Contact Kate directly to learn more about her teaching studio or performance schedule.