Kat Danser’s music is a steel belted radial easily flexing between a dusty gravel road and a fresh coat of asphalt. True to her Polish Gypsy heritage, Danser is in perpetual motion and her swampy roots and blues style is a fine-tuned reflection of life lessons from the road. Edmonton’s Kat Danser doesn’t just play the blues – she studies it, lives it, breathes it and elevates it from sweaty, smoky beer joints to elegant centre stage in the finest of concert halls. Her sweet vocals, lyrical genius, and instrumental prowess beautifully combine with her sharp wit and commanding stage presence to deliver unfailingly memorable live performances.
Kat recently released her sixth album, “One Eye Open” (Black Hen Music), continuing her collaboration with Juno-award winning producer Steve Dawson. The album, distributed by True North Records, features an ensemble of North America’s finest roots musicians. The core band, comprised of Dawson (guitars), Gary Craig (drums) and Jeremy Holmes (bass) were not able to record in the same room together, virtually live off of the floor as is their preference, but – as a concession to the times we are living through – had to assemble the album remotely. Yet, even with Kat recording her vocals in Edmonton, and other musicians located around the continent while Dawson directed traffic from his studio in Nashville, the results are as organic, intuitive and in the moment as anything these veterans have ever recorded. It celebrates her passion for the roots of blues music and her achievements as a graduate student at the University of Alberta where she has now officially become Dr. Kat Danser, with a PhD in Ethnomusicology.
A national touring and award-winning artist, Danser has performed at the 25th Anniversary of Canadian Women in Blues at Massey Hall in Toronto, the Calgary International Blues Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, Regina Folk Festival, Saskatoon Blues Festival, Lethbridge Jazz Festival, Vancouver Island MusicFest, The Winspear Centre’s ‘Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts’, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Harmony Bazaar Festival, Mountainview Music Festival, Islands Music Festival, and the Winter Roots & Blues Festival.
Media reviews and interviews have occurred with CBC Radio, Global TV, Halifax Chronicle, FYI Music, Vancouver Georgia Straight, Edmonton Journal, CKUA Radio, Winnipeg Free Press, CTV, Edmonton Sun, Toronto Blues Society, Blues Matters!, Penguin Eggs; with highlights being featured by CTV’s Alberta Primetime, co-hosting an edition of Natch’l Blues on CKUA with Holger Petersen, Penguin Eggs and completing a short documentary film entitled Rails & Rivers: Searching for the Heart of the Blues. Her accolades have been many. Danser is a three time nominee for a Western Canadian Music Award and a national Maple Blues Award – Best New Artist of the Year, winner of the Ambassador of the Blues Award (Blues Underground Network) and the International Blues Competition Best Independent Blues Album, as well as being voted to have made one of the Top 5 Roots & Blues Albums of 2014 (CBC Radio & Blues Underground Network).
Danser is also a nationally award winning scholar and has presented at conferences throughout North America. She combines her performance and education skills to assist community building between marginalized peoples and educational institutions. Toward that end, Danser has been the Artist in Residence at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts (Calgary), facilitated music and healing at the U-School Program for Marginalized Youth and the Foothills Youth Psychiatric School, and instructs her own Music Education Program across the lifespan from elementary schools to adult instructional camps. Danser’s primary goal is to use music as a space for personal exploration and as a method to strengthen intercultural relationships.