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Katie Oberholtzer
2021 Downbeat award winning Jazz Vocalist

Katie Oberholtzer brings an all encompassing fresh musical sound to the world of vocal jazz. Incorporating styles, sounds and techniques from several realms of music, Katie aims to spread jazz that includes hints of several types of music like R&B and funk.

Hailing from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Katie Oberholtzer began her musical journey in the musical scene of Southern Maine starting at a young age. While in high school Katie was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the premiere big band in New England, The Portland Jazz Orchestra, which she remains a part of today. As a high school student in 2016 Oberholtzer was offered the opportunity to participate in the University of Southern Maine Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This in turn led to her attending the University of Southern Maine to earn her bachelor’s degree in performance with a concentration in jazz studies, voice. Whilst at USM Katie studied under the tutelage of many esteemed jazz musicians including, Taylor O’Donnell, Chris Klaxton, Bronek Suhanek, Les Harris Jr., and Chris Oberholtzer.

Graduating with her bachelor’s degree from USM in 2020, Katie began pursuing her master’s degree in jazz vocal performance at The University of Miami, Frost School of Music in the fall of 2020. While at the Frost School of Music, Katie had the privilege of performing and working with esteemed groups such as Extensions and the Frost Septet with whom she was able to perform at various prestigious venues including Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center.

In 2021 Katie received two Downbeat Awards in the 44th Annual Student Music Awards. She is fortunate to have won a Best Jazz Vocal Soloist award, as well as a Best Blues, Pop, Rock Group Award. This year Katie was honored to have won the Downbeat Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocal Soloist, as well as Best Large Jazz Vocal Ensemble as a member of the Frost jazz vocal ensemble, Extensions.

This summer Katie was thrilled to participate in the JAS academy where she was given to opportunity to perform and work with several world class musicians including Christian McBride, Shelly Berg and Brian Lynch.

Katie has not only been a musical figure within the genre of jazz, but has also performed for several years with various Pop, Rock, R&B and Funk groups including Capitol, Plush and Yeah Man. This past summer Katie competed in the first annual Central Maine Idol competition and was the first place prize winner of $10,000. When back in New England, Katie can be heard performing regularly with The Portland Jazz Orchestra.