‘It is difficult to get away with doing something different on the accordion, but every time you see her she is breaking in a different “different”.’ – Rowan Lipkovitz, Accordion Noir Festival, Vancouver
Katheryn began her musical life early playing Euphonium and Flute in her Public School Music Teacher Mother’s band. In her young adult years Katheryn played piano and synth in an Indie band and thereafter in her own living room but it wasn’t until eight years ago that Katheryn first picked up an accordion. Some friends had one sitting unused in their garage and Katheryn and her boyfriend took it home on a lark.
It was like meeting an old friend for the first time, and Katheryn hasn’t been without one ever since. She learned on her feet playing in Something About Reptiles, then one night while she was waiting in the car for her mates to go to a sound check, she heard an angelic sound on the radio. It was a recording of Jelena Milojevic, a world class accordion virtuoso from Croatia playing in a cathedral. At the end of the song the announcer from Accordion Noir said that Jelena was moving to Vancouver. Within days Katheryn had found Jelena and convinced her to take her on as a student. Katheryn studied hard with Jelena for six months and in a moment of insanity auditioned for the Jazz Program at VCC.
Katheryn is the only person to enter, let alone finish, the Music Diploma Program as an Accordion Major at VCC School of Music. It is very likely that she is the only Accordion Major at any accredited post secondary institute in the whole of BC, ever. Jelena continued on as Katheryn’s accordion teacher at VCC, but because Katheryn had chosen to be a Jazz major the college also assigned her to study with a multi-instrument jazz player Alan Matheson. Katheryn studied from 2007-2010 receiving straight A’s and several scholarships.
Katheryn currently plays and tours with Joanna Chapman-Smith, Los Portenos Del Norte, Melissa Bandura and still off and on with her old friends in Something About Reptiles. She recorded and toured extensively with Blackberry Wood for five years from 2005-2010 She works regularly as a session player and has recorded for Elliot Vaughan, Hoot Gibson, Babe Gurr, Morgan Finlay, Joe Burke, Meshe, Marty Ferguson & Blake McAndless to name a few. Katheryn also plays solo and in small ensemble and is always experimenting with combinations of video, spoken word and accordion.
Katheryn currently enjoys teaching a range of students and is an active board member of the Accordion Noir Society of Vancouver.
‘Her cohesive act included the visual aspect of her costume and engaged the audience with a wide variety of music, maintaining a nostalgic and magical mood well suited to the tone of the event. I, as event organizer, as well as the audience, enjoyed her act immensely.’ – Susan Marczak, Eastside Culture Crawl Organizer
‘Salmon Avalanche (my favorite performer of the evening).’ – Penelope Mulligan, Discorder