Originally published in SA Monthly Magazine August 2018

Kara Stevens

The sky is the limit!

Cover story by Laura Curtis

Kara Stevens is a musical rocket! With her own brand of rock/jazz fusion and some life experience under her shiny belt, this rising star is poised to fly. A recent conversation with this up-and-coming artist reveals a restlessness that only those with a true passion can convey. When asked where she wants her musical journey to take her she exclaimed “The sky’s the limit.” Slated to perform September 15th at SA MonthlyMagazine’s “Socialite of the Year” Toga party event, we are honored to assist in her launch!

A native of San Antonio, Kara’s music career started outas a hobby. Her words uncover a degree of maturity notusually encountered in someone so young. “Ever since Iwas 3 years old, I would sing and create Broadway stylemusicals and perform them for friends and family. I havealways known that music was the path I would follow.”How that path would unwind before her was a bit lessclear.

As a student at Churchill High School, she was a 5A AllState pitcher and has tried out for the Olympics several times. Mediocrity is clearly not a word in this young woman’s vocabulary. While a student at UTSA, she was studying painting /sculpture and met an instructor that recognized her talent and drive. “Ken Little”, she exclaims,“was instrumental in her development as an artist” and eventually a performer. At the annual UTSA StudentAwards show one year, she was surprised when Little announced that all the awards for that year were going to one artist. That artist was Kara Stevens.

While a professor at UTSA, every month Ken Littlewould invite fellow artist friends and students to TheCove, a local restaurant that features live music. Withhis encouragement, she states, “I got up there with myguitar, sang and got approached by a label.” In a poignantconversation with that label’s producer after the show,he turned to her and remarked, “You can continue onyour path in fine art and be famous when you’re dead, ormove forward with your music now”. With that ringingprofoundly in ears, though poised to receive scholarshipsin a fine arts career, she signed with Studio 37 and thusbegan her musical journey.

She started with her base set in rock music like the classic tunes of Heart and Pat Benatar, and later while fronting for another band, performed hits by Poison,Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. Not wanting to get stuck solely in the “rock bar scene” and a fan of many genres of music, she joined forces with her former professor’s brother, Mark Little, who just happened to be a classically trained jazz pianist. Out of this unusual amalgam of artists and talent, The Band Kara was born. She describes the music she performs today as “a free improv of jazz with the power of rock”. “Most jazz singers croon in a soft or falsetto tone.” She explains. “My version is newer and more powerful with a rich quality.” This unique “razz”sound, as she calls her rock/jazz vibe of music, coupled with her athletic moves, good looks, and unrivaled passion along with Mark’s musical abilities, are creating abuzz in the music scene.

Asked what she wants to ultimately get out of her music career, she did not even stop to think. “I want to inspire people. Everything that happens to us, every life experience, good or bad, becomes part of who we are.When I sing, I want to take people to another place and encourage emotion and feeling.”

Having suffered from dyslexia all of her life, she know show it feels to be told, “You can’t do that”, or “You’re not good enough”. Kara wants the world to know that“Anything is possible. Just follow your heart.” Her life thus far is testimony as to how far believing in yourself can bring you. We expect to see much more of this driven young artist in the future, not just locally, but nationally and with a little luck, internationally. Look to the sky, KaraStevens is coming!

Cover photo & cover story images by Jim Wilkinson