Connecticut
Profile Type: Artist
Artist
Kate Callahan

Kate Callahan is the 16th Connecticut State Troubadour. Connecticut is one of the only states in the nation that honors a singer-songwriter with a formal position. With her acoustic guitar, storytelling, and catalogue of original songs, Callahan will serve as an ambassador of music and promote cultural literacy among Connecticut citizens and beyond.

Callahan is a beloved singer-songwriter in her home state and has held many titles. She has been named a Woman of Character by the Hartford Courant, Best Singer-Songwriter by the Connecticut Music Awards, Featured Artist of the Year by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and Best Solo Performer by the Hartford Advocate.

In March, Kate’s fans created a campaign to get her a cameo appearance on the “Gilmore Girls” revival for Netflix. Kate is currently appealing to the show’s executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Also a 2015 New England Music Award nominee, Callahan, has five albums including her 2014 release Two Doors, which was featured on WNPR's Where We Live. The Boston Globe says, "Kate Callahan has garnered an appreciative audience with her easygoing vibe and inspirational, at times mystical lyrics."

Callahan’s music feels soulful and she’s unapologetically optimistic in concert. WNPR host Colin McEnroe praised a recent performance, saying, “Kate Callahan is the only performer I’ve ever seen who occasionally seems to be channeling something vaster and far more ancient than herself, something more easily understood by Emerson than by any modern person.”

A songwriting teacher (Center for Creative Youth since 2011), Kate began leading the Miracle of Melody workshop in 2014. She guides participants through vocal improvisation, circle singing, heart-centered sharing, sounding, and vocal grounding techniques. In her tenure as State Troubadour she plans to bring a vocal empowerment program to female inmates in the state.

Kate is a natural performer. Her stage credits include appearances at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase, the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, and the CT Folk Festival. She was a finalist in the South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Competition 2014. In 2015 she studied vocal improvisation and Circlesongs with Bobby McFerrin and his incredible staff. She has opened shows for folk legends Judy Collins and Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul, and Mary), troubadours Aztec Two-Step, John Gorka, Claudia Schmidt, Mustard’s Retreat, and the late Bill Morrissey. She has also shared stages with folk-rock artists Rachael Sage and Regina Spektor. Stookey calls Callahan "real" and says her lyrics are "Zen-like."

The Boston Globe calls Kate "An award-winning singer who rose from a calamitous injury to claim her creative life."  At the age of nineteen, she sustained traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident. She had to withdraw from college and rehabilitate five days a week for a year until her insurance ran out. Her doctors told her she had plateaued. Callahan knew she had more desire to heal than the doctors could see, so she took up acoustic guitar lessons. Her short-term memory was so impaired that she couldn’t remember that she was taking lessons from week to week. Over time, however, she began to remember and saw improvements in her coordination, eyesight, and guitar playing. She began writing songs soon after that and felt compelled to share them with small audiences at open mics. Open mics turned into features, opening sets, and headlining appearances at venues throughout the United States.

Callahan says she writes songs that “become conduits between heaven and earth.” Her single Swing Low quotes the well-known African-American spiritual, surrounding its anthem with three short windows into climactic experiences of life, sex and death.

Swing Low was produced by Jim Chapdelaine, a Grammy nominated and Emmy award-winning producer. The song features Callahan on vocals and acoustic guitar, Chapdelaine on electric guitar, drummer Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis, Mark Erelli), and bassist Paul Kochanski (Lori McKenna, The Shinolas).

Since the turn of the millennium, Kate has won the Hartford Advocate’s “Best Solo Performer” award three times. She was also awarded the Hartford Courant's "Woman of Character Award” for her involvement in schools and on stages and met Jane Fonda when she received that award.  The Greater Hartford Arts Council chose Kate as the prestigious United Arts Campaign’s Featured Music Artist of 2014.  She has appeared on WNPR ‘s The Colin McEnroe Show to talk about the rise of folk music, Connecticut’s Hartfolk Festival, and the her personal experience with the healing power of music.  She has also appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live discussing the music of Joni Mitchell, the Mitchell inspired book Gathered Light, and also in promotion of her album Two Doors.

Since the turn of the millennium, Kate has won the Hartford Advocate’s “Best Solo Performer” award three times. She was also awarded the Hartford Courant's "Woman of Character Award” for her involvement in schools and on stages and met Jane Fonda when she received that award.  The Greater Hartford Arts Council chose Kate as the prestigious United Arts Campaign’s Featured Music Artist of 2014.  She has appeared on WNPR ‘s The Colin McEnroe Show to talk about the rise of folk music, Connecticut’s Hartfolk Festival, and the her personal experience with the healing power of music.  She has also appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live discussing the music of Joni Mitchell, the Mitchell inspired book Gathered Light, and also in promotion of her album Two Doors.

 

Additional Links: 
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"
"Two Doors" Official Music Video
"Half Moon" CD Release Concert
"Made for Love"
Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love"

I Have Worked With

  • December 2015

    Turnstyle Music Agency arranged a set for me at this Lower East Side, Manhattan music venue. 

  • November 2015

    I performed a full-length concert for retreat participants. I appeared solo. 

  • September 2015

    I was hired to perform a feature set at St Petersburg's Hideaway Cafe. This is a wonderful listening room. I appeared solo.

Pages

  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Kate
Job Title/Position: 
Singer-Songwriter
Physical Address: 
389 Main Street D4
Hartford, CT 06106
Last Name: 
Callahan
Phone: 
860-573-1698

About

Profile Type: 
Artist
Primary Discipline: 
Music - Folk
Additional Disciplines: 
Literary Arts - Non-Fiction
Year Founded: 
2000
Populations Served: 
Adults
General Public
People with Disabilities
Teens
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - In School
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Writing Services
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
50
Seasons Active: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
County
State
Multi-State Region
National

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Folk Alliance International
Greater Hartford Arts Council
Education: 
Rutgers University
Central CT State University
Awards: 
Connecticut State Troubadour 2016-2018
S. Florida Folk Fest Song Competition Finalist 2015
Featured Artist of the Year - Greater Htfd Arts Council 2014
Official QUAD Showcase Artist -NERFA 2014
Hartford Courant "Woman of Character" 2005
Best Singer-Songwriter in Connecticut 2013
Best Solo Perfomer - Hartford Advocate 2004, 03, 02

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Basic PA System
Basic Lighting
Fee Range Minimum: 
$450
Fee Range Maximum: 
$2,500
State of Residence: 
Connecticut
Minimum Number of Performers: 
1
Maximum Number of Performers: 
3

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - Communications
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Arts Integration - Foreign Languages
Music
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
College-Age
Adults
Fee Range Minimum: 
$450
Fee Range Maximum: 
$2,500