Success comes in waves

Songwriter Kate Jaworski is getting recognized

Brian Palmer | Boulder Weekly

“Oh my gosh, 2010 has been awesome!” Singer/ songwriter Kate Jaworski is practically laughing she is so ecstatic about her good fortune these past few months. “I traveled to Greece and Poland earlier this summer, and I just had an amazing experience.”


And then there is the really big news: She is currently a Southwest Regional Finalist in the 2010 Mountain Stage Newsong Contest.

“When I found out I was a regional finalist, I had one day to make a music video. All these people helped out: There were climbing videographers who were psyched about the shoot, and I got people to cover my shift at work,” she says with a laugh. “Everything just came together; it was crazy how it worked out so perfectly. So even if I don’t make it to the next round, I at least have this video I can show people.”

She will find out on Oct. 1 whether she has been selected to go to the final round in New York next month. Naturally, the day cannot come fast enough.

“Now I’m checking the website several times a day to see if they’ve published the results early,” she says.

Her European sojourn and early contest success are not the only evidence that a lot of neat things have been happening to her.

“I wasn’t looking for a band,” she says. “I was perfectly happy playing solo, but then Andy Mann said, ‘I think we should write a song together,’ and so through texting we wrote a song about the ocean. It just came out of us. It was like wham! Boom! There! And then Katie Snyder came over with Andy and we just had this amazing musical connection. It looks like I have a band again [previously, she was the singer for Drums & Guns], and it really just fell into my lap.”

A recent trip to the Burning Man Project has increased her confidence in her musical direction. Though the genres she plays in are
varied — Drums & Guns was jazz-infused with some rock ’n’ roll, her
solo piano shows are perfect for cafes and dimly lit lounges, and she
also plans to write a pop musical — she is certain about where her
future lies.

“I went to Burning Man, and that sort of completed everything because I was surrounded by art and music and all these amazing people, and I just came back with a completely new attitude,” she says. “I feel so free and confident that my music’s gonna work. I have no fear about that.”

The experience made an impression on her creatively, but she had a ball, too. In fact, she still is.

“I had a gig the other night, and every minute of it was so much fun,” she says. “You don’t even keep track of the time after a while.”

That sort of joy is one of the aspects of music that Jaworski treasures most and strives to evoke in her performances, which makes sense, considering her life sometimes feels like a musical.

“I have been singing — my mom says — since before I was 1,” she says. “She has a recording on an eight-track of me singing ‘You are My Sunshine’ with her, so it’s sort of like breathing for me. I sing all the time and I don’t even notice. People will be like, ‘Ummm, you’re singing right now, Kate,’ and I won’t even realize it. It’s just natural for me. I almost feel like I don’t have a choice.

“I really get passionate about my songs. I am so in the moment when I play, and I feel like the whole room can feel that. The audience is part of the song in a way, and I believe they can feel my passion and my joy. I like to be genuine and feel every note I play and every lyric I sing, because people can tell when you’re faking it. It’s uncomfortable to be in the audience and realize, ‘Well, they sound good, but something’s not right here.’” So being authentic and letting herself enjoy the moment seems to be the way to go for Jaworski.

She says, “When we finished writing that ocean song, Andy was walking out the door and he stopped and said to me, ‘Kate, I want you to know that I’m just flying right now,’ and then he just shut the door! And I was thinking, ‘Exactly!’”

On the Bill

Kate Jaworski plays
the Meadowlark Bar on Thursday, Sept. 30. Show starts at 9 p.m. Must be
21 to enter. Erick Rudolph & the Township, Dave Tamkin, Stephanie
Dorman and Nate Emsick also play. Tickets are $7. 2701 Larimer St.,
Denver, 303-293-0251.