Karen Smith, affectionately known as ‘the songbird of Jamaica’, is one of the country’s leading Jazz vocalists and entertainers. She performs with an air of warmth and charm as she interacts with her audiences while clearly demonstrating her love of singing and musical mastery.
Karen is a past student of the St. Hugh’s High School in Kingston and holds a degree in business from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She pursued a career in banking with the island’s leading commercial bank but just could not resist the love of music and committed her life to a full time music career in 1986.
She is well-known for the advertisement jingles that she sang from 1984 to 1992. and performs at many of the leading hotels on Jamaica’s North Coast for their international guests.
Karen has been the opening act for international artistes such as James Ingram, Natalie Cole, Chuck Mangione, Smokey Robinson, Harry Belafonte, Seal and Air Supply. Of note, Karen was the first featured act at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas when it opened in February 1990.
Karen has won multiple awards in recognition of her supreme musical abilities. She won the Jamaica Music Industry Award (JAMI) for Jazz and Cabaret for an unprecedented nine times as well as many of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians Awards. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer Class from The Government of Jamaica, for her contribution to music.
Karen is married to legendary rock steady bassist Jackie Jackson and the couple was inducted into the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival Hall of Fame in June 2001. They also have a daughter, Courtni, who sings and plays the piano. Karen is currently one of the lead singers of the E-park band, directed by her friend, the accomplished Peter Ashbourne.
She has also recorded an album entitled Reflections of Love, produced by Sly and Robbie, and Gitsy comprising a mixture of Reggae, R&B as well as Hip-Hop, and it includes the hit song, Oh Me Oh My.
Karen Smith will mesmerize her audience at The Sony Theatre for Performing Arts in Toronto with her selected chart stoppers of the second era (1987-2012) of Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee independence period along with songs that she has loved to deliver during her musical career.