Karen Briggs, Violin Soul-o-ist
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Musical Artist, Producer, Spoken Word Artist, Music Director, Arranger, Composer, Jazz Festival, Graphic Designer, Fan
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I am a Mom and an Improvising Violinist in a few genres. I enjoy laughing.What an amazing life we've had so far!
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20 Years After Live at the Acropolis, an exciting new project!!

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What's Happening!

TWENTY YEARS LATER...Twenty years after the broadcast of "Live At The Acropolis" an exciting new project is emerging. It is a refreshing, eclectic sound that features Karen as Performer/Producer/Composer collaboratiing with Conductor/Composer and Orchestral Arranger, Shardad Rohani.

Booking Inquiries & Info. Please Click on this EPK link:


Karen Briggs Soulchestra

  "Karen Briggs is one the baddest and most entertaining violinist on the music scene!" ~ The Urban Flux

Karen's near four decade span through genres as a violinist includes an eclectic range of orchestral, gospel, R&B, Latin, new age, hip hop and various jazz styles. All mostly linked by improvisation and embellishment, her signature has become a popular and sought after sound for a variety of projects both domestic and international. Karen appears as a feature in eleven music video concerts and hundreds of recordings and has recorded four solo projects. 

With her combined experiences, Karen continues to develop original music while seeking continued expansion and development of the contemporary violin sound.

Karen is in the final stages of releasing her newest project, an instrumental alliance, featuring Persian conductor/arranger, Shardad Rohani. Rohani arranges and conducts a 42-piece orchestra with Karen's rhythm section and original compositions. The project includes contributions from long time music bonds: Munyungo Jackson, Brandon Coleman, Jimmy Mahlis, Gail Jhonson, Pedro Eustache and others. 

Briggs’ most current release, "Soulchestral Groove", features the fire driven 'soul-os' that the violinist is most recognized for and exposes her talents as a clever arranger over an eclectic mix of influences. 

Downlaod "Soulchestral Groove"! 


Karen has also conducted improvisational violin workshops as an artist-in-residency at: Berklee Music College, The Kennedy Center and The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. In an effort to encourage the evolution of the instrument’s use in contemporary music and advocating the preservation of music in American public schools, Karen has been an inspiration to many. 

Karen was born in New York in 1963. After her families relocation to Portsmouth, Va she started learning violin at age eleven at in junior high school. With strong family music influences, Karen began to experiment with the violin outside of it’s traditional expectations and quickly caught-on locally as a unique feature talent at weddings, jazz and church concerts. She was even featured with the marching band at half-time for a Norfolk State University's homecoming games. This took place while she was also performing with The Virginia Symphony and a full-time, Music Media major. 

Validated by the knowledge of a few violinists who, like herself, performed non-traditional violin styles: Noel Pointer, Jean Luc Ponty and Dr. Roland Sunkins, (a local area improviser on violin) Karen performed at local jam sessions and learned more about improvising and continuing to study classical techniques. 

After a four-time win at “Amateur Night at the Apollo”, she moved to Los Angeles where she investigated the local Latin music scene for several years. In 1990, she earned her first major tour with British based R&B sensation, "Soul ll Soul", a show that uniquely included a trio of dancing violinists. 

The following year, Karen auditioned for Yanni’s string band. Now often referred to as "the lady in red", Karen Briggs’ fiery violin solo’s recorded on the "Live at the Acropolis" PBS special, have been seen literally by millions internationally. In fact, the PBS special has been broadcast in 65 countries, viewed by over 500 million people and is the second best-selling music video of all time behind Michael Jackson's "Thriller". 

From there, performance opportunities became more prestigious and frequent. While accompanied by pianist/composer Dave Grusin, Karen represented jazz violin for a NYC string program benefit fundraising event hosted by Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern, marking her feature debut at Carnegie Hall. A cameo appearance in the resulting family movie classic entitled, "Music of the Heart" represents Karen among the top violinists in the world. 

Original "Return-To-Forever" members, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White assembled a group-titled, jazz-rock project called "Vertu", earning Karen even more respect among doubting musicians. Soon after, an invite from Diana Ross came with an opportunity to record and to appear with on The Oprah Winfrey Show. 

Briggs' musical expression is featured in successful hip hop releases such as "Reunited" by Rza & Wu Tang Clan and Hidden Beach’s Unwrapped series Vol. 1-5, of which her renditinon of “Gangsta’s Paradise” continues to be a crowd favorite. 

She endorses Yamaha Strings' Silent Electric Violin and there’s much more, but in closing, it was an impressed fan who posted that a Karen Briggs performance should be on everyone’s list of things to do before they die... 

Comment Wall (140 comments)

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At 12:17am on September 16, 2010, Will Calhoun said…
Hey Karen, it's been a while,-your page is great, and your music Fantastic. I Hope your well...Im performing in LA with my acoustic/Electric/Ambient trio on Saturday Oct. 9th at the Metropole in downtown L.A. I will send proper details soon.....if your around please drop by, and offcourse if you want to sit in, ¥our always welcome. Otherwise come and hang out. Blessings-Will
At 9:23pm on April 7, 2010, Mike Johnson said…
Your music is a Gift to the world and the creative heart! I feel every stroke, beat, rythm, heartfelt part...a perfect blend of traditional, progressive and Karen Bridges!!! Check me out when time permits...can't stop listening! Your music player sounds superb!
At 1:57pm on April 1, 2010, Franklin Lewis said…
Hi Karen, I ordered your new CD and I love it. Thanks for your beautiful work! I was wondering if you have any plans to re-release your album "Karen". I would love to add it to my collection!
At 6:05am on March 28, 2010, Bruce C said…

BRAVO....BRAVISSIMO!!!!!! Karen your work continues to fill fill my heart and soul whenever I hear it.....congratulations on the new CD too...will make sure I get add one to my library of treasured listening....thank you for sharing your artistry here at TJN...your artistry always makes this"old' artist spirit soar.....I now get to NYC several timesa year and will check to see if you are playing in the NY area when I get down...here are some Hibiscis for thee....my very best to you .....always b
At 4:41am on February 28, 2010, Jaijai Jackson said…
Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for supporting the music player, when you get a chance load in your music, if you need help let me know, I'd be happy to assist.

You are the best!
At 12:38pm on January 29, 2010, Jaijai Jackson said…
Your wonderful fan letter is on the front page! Thank you for all you do, you gotta know we love you here in the network Karen and believe in your excellence and are here to lift you as high as you can fly! I commend you for your perseverance and on top of it, raising a beautiful and soulful child. From one mama to another...BRAVO!!

My best of heart,
At 1:39pm on January 4, 2010, De Osz said…
Hi Karen Thank you for your responds.I loved Soulchestral Groove and your rendition of "Amazing Grace" was soul moving .
I saw some of the Hopeville Tour with Yolanda Adams on youtube it was good also. I believe anything you do will be loved by your fans. And if you have been thinking about a inspirational hymns project maybe it's time. There are a lot of people of faith that love instructional music.May be you shed put this to your fans, you can never tell . Some things have to be prayed about.
By the way I saw you perform with Yanni at the Acropolis on ETV mine years ago and resently I saw the Tajmahal concert but the one I like the must is the Montreux 1999 - Vertu with Stanley Clarke .Powerful!!!!!

Thank you and God bless
Pastor Dan Osborne
At 1:51pm on January 1, 2010, De Osz said…
Hi Karen I know that you love gospel music. do you have plans to do something in a gospel format. I would love to see you do more in this area.

Min D Osborne
At 11:39am on January 1, 2010, Karen Y. Windom-Gatling said…
Hi Karen,

Thank you so much for accepting my add request. I've been a huge fan of yours since I first saw you perform with Yanni at the Acropolis. I wish you an AWESOME 2010!


At 10:45am on January 1, 2010, Mike Monteiro said…
Karen I look forward to your schedule with hopes that you will be somewhere I can get to sometime this year, I would love to witness and appreciate you in person. Thanks for your quick response and be well.
At 9:54am on January 1, 2010, De Osz said…
Hi Karen happy new year. I love your music and thank you for all you do.
At 11:16am on December 31, 2009, Mike Monteiro said…
Karen where can I find your appearance schedule, I'd truly love to see you live?
At 11:06am on December 31, 2009, Mike Monteiro said…
Karen, I just love, love, love your music and I can only hope that I get to see you perform live one day. Stay Blessed and I want to wish you a very Happy New Year and thank you for the wonderful music that you provide to the world, it is truly moving and I love it so. Peace and much love to you.

At 12:49pm on December 22, 2009, Emmitt Thrower said…
Check your FACEBOOK Link it links to someone else NOT YOU on your website... GREAT STUFF!!! Since Yanni...
At 1:26pm on November 19, 2009, Gary Smejkal said…

You are a phenomenal player and I have followed you since Yanni days...

At 9:30pm on November 15, 2009, Karen Briggs, Violin Soul-o-ist added a gift to their profile…
This in memory of my Mom
At 3:44pm on October 22, 2009, Gary Fuston said…
What a beautiful art and sound you express! Hats off to you Karen, I just featured a violinist a week ago on my radio show by the name of Noel Webb, it would be a treat and a pleasure to feature you as well to bring the wonderful instrument the violin to the forefront. Great job yo do!

Gary Fuston
At 7:22am on October 19, 2009, Franklin Lewis said…
When is your new CD coming out? I cannot wait to get a copy. By the way, your performance with Yanni, Live at the Acropolis was stunning! I'm wasn't really a Yanni fan, but I enjoyed that program. Thanks for the positive rays of sunshine you deliver through your music!

At 4:48am on October 19, 2009, Karen Briggs, Violin Soul-o-ist said…
After performing with Patrice Rushen, Ndugu Chancelor and the Escovedo family Sunday, I feel refreshed and inspired.
At 12:37pm on October 18, 2009, Clarence Lindsey said…
Great Sound

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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