"Powerhouse performer", "soul stirring artist', and 'an amazing talent' are a few of the terms critics have used to describe the poised and passionate artist known to audiences as, Karen Andrew.
A multi talented artist and performer, Karen Andrew has been extensively trained in New York and Los Angeles and is pleased to be re-based in Toronto. Formally trained as an actress, singer, and dancer, Karen's professional accomplishments, span decades and continents.
With countless professional Theatrical and Film and Television credits to her name, Karen is proud to have been an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical ‘RAGTIME’. While on Broadway, Ms. Andrew performed in concert with Chita Riviera, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, Glenn Close, and Rosie O’Donnell.
One of Karen's most memorable Musical Theatre accomplishments was working with the late Gwen Verdon in the Tony Award-winning Musical ‘FOSSE’. Following her time in New York, Karen went on to play ‘Anita’ in the Stratford Festival of Canada’s production of ‘WEST SIDE STORY’ which brought her recognition for her ‘triple threat abilities and a “spectacular” reference from the GLOBE AND MAIL.
Since returning to Toronto, Karen has enjoyed playing numerous roles on both television, and in film. Karen played Angela basset’s girlfriend ‘Bootsie’ in ‘RUBY’S BUCKET OF BLOOD’; Ally Sheedy’s prison inmate ‘Tina’ in ‘THE WARDEN’; James McDaniels daughter ‘Tiffany’ and Timothy Hutton’s client in ‘DELIBERATE INTENT’; Wood Harris’ sister ‘Cakes’ in ‘PAID IN FULL’; and also appeared in the Academy Award-winning film ‘CHICAGO’ with Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. Most recently, Karen has appeared on 'Degrassi', 'The Ron James Show' and shared the screen with Ato Essandoh (DJango Unchained) in the BBC Drama "Copper".
As Artistic Director of Aurora Live Inc. (Professional Dance Studio and Company), Choreographer, CAEA Dance Captain, and Arts Educator, the professional dance world has benefited from her vast knowledge and experience of dance and movement for more than 15 years.
With formal piano, saxophone and extensive dance training as a child, music and dance had a profound influence on Karen's decision to pursue what has become an immensely successful career in the entertainment industry. With somewhat of a departure from the world of professional musical theatre, July 2011 marked the beginning of a musical journey for Karen with a direct focus on writing and recording original material.
Following this time, the journey has seen Karen and her heavily experienced band, perform her brand of acoustic guitar driven, roots/rock, singer/ songwriter, groove heavy material. Being referred to as 'a new school version of Tracy Chapman meets Melissa Etheridge', this new material showcases Karen's earthy vocals with a touch of soul from some of her most influential female soul predecessors. (Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples and Tina Turner)
Following a chance introduction to Doron Zor (Grammy Nominated Guitarist and Producer), the foundation for a strong musical partnership emerged and the two began writing together. This meeting of the minds was a success. It created a strong direction for a budding musical project which resulted in the current recording of Karen's debut solo EP "I AM". Gathering Drummer Marito Marques( European #1 Drummer), Keyboard player Joel Joseph (Nelly Furtado), and Bass player Yash Preswalla, this current project is on track to be one of Karen's greatest accomplishments to date. With a continued focus on live performance, Karen looks forward to continuing to share her brand of groove focused, soul stirring music to audiences in her home base of Toronto, across Canada, and internationally.