Kathy Chiavola is internationally renowned as one of the most respected vocalists in bluegrass and acoustic music. She grew up playing guitar and singing folk, blues and rock in Kansas City, MO and was awarded a scholarship to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she earned her bachelor’s and masters degrees in voice. She later studied in a doctoral program at Indiana U. with Metropolitan Opera star Eileen Farrell and moved to Nashville in 1980. She worked with The Doug Dillard Band, Vassar Clements, The Country Gazette, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor before forming her own group.
Kathy has toured the US, UK, Europe, Japan extensively and was the first bluegrass artist to perform in the Faroe Islands. "It was nothing less than a volcano of a concert, a country and bluegrass victory, where the acoustic instruments and a big voice filled every corner." in the Faroes to Castleford, England "nothing short of incredible", to Kenilworth, England "The audience - not all bluegrass fans, were captivated....Awesome."
Kathy released her fourth album SOMEHOW, in May of 2007. It is her first recording of all original songs and incorporates diverse influences; bluegrass, blues, jazz, Latin, and country with an extraordinary cast of musicians including Victor Wooten, Edgar Meyer, Darrell Scott, Stuart Duncan, Jeff Coffin, Joey Misculin, Rob Ickes, and flamenco greats Chuscales and Yiyi. It received a five star cd of the month review in the August, 2007 issue of the UK's Country Music People Magazine.
Kathy’s third CD, "From Where I Stand, A Personal Tribute," is her last release. “This doesn’t fall under any genre--it’s emotion, raw and rare. It’s so beautiful I feel I may never hear anything so eloquent again. There are tunes Kathy and Randy cut before he left us; there are originals; there’s one song I heard Kathy and Randy do on many occasions where we all laughed uproariously; but mostly, there’s Kathy’s voice and the feeling of loss......and unbearable beauty.” Ginger Boatwright, recording artist
Kathy’s second CD, "The Harvest" features her band, the late Randy Howard, the late Roy Huskey, and Brent Truitt with guests Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, John Cowan, Bill Monroe, and Vince Gill. The Chicago Tribune hailed it one of the top five bluegrass CD’s of ‘96. The songs span traditional bluegrass to the contemporary songs of Peter Rowan, Marcus Hummon, John Hartford, Bob Lucas & two originals. Her duet with Bill Monroe is believed to be his last vocal recording.
Kathy was voted 1995’s Outstanding Background Vocalist in the Nashville Music Awards and has sung on hundreds of recordings with Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris and Bill Monroe. She was the television voice of State Farm Insurance and Country Time Lemonade for several years.
Her country debut, "Labor of Love" gathered unanimous critical acclaim in 1990. It was London’s Tower Records’ No. 1 country CD for two weeks and reached No. 2 on the UK country chart. Kathy’s recorded “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” for Mercury Records’ A PICTURE OF HANK and “Won’t Be Long” on Rounder Records CLASSIC RAILROAD SONGS, VOL 4.
• Recorded Event of the Year, FOLLOW ME BACK TO THE FOLD, IBMA 2001
• Female Vocalist of the Year, nominations, 1998 & 1999 SPBGMA
• International Artist of the Year Independent Label - British Country Music Awards, nomination 1997
• Female Vocalist of the Year, SPBGMA Bluegrass Awards 1997
• THE HARVEST named as one of Top 5 Bluegrass CDs, Chicago Tribune 1996
• Backup Vocalist of the Year, Nashville Music Awards 1999