When you listen to Milton, Wisconsin native Kat Reinhert, you can hear lots of influences in her music. She is a jazz singer and songwriter, but her lyrics feel more like they belong in pop songs. And, she also began her music career as a classical singer.
Reinhert’s second album, Spark, comes out Friday, and the songs on it are thoughtful, lyrical and yes, they swing when it’s right for them to do so. She was back in her home state recently and she stopped by Lake Effect to share some insight behind her new album.
"I think what I’m trying to put out in the world isn’t always what people are expecting when they hear jazz singer," Reinhert explains. "So it’s interesting to have people’s opinions afterwards. They’re like, wow, this is so different…"
She was not originally a fan of jazz. Her dad tried to get her to listen to it when she was young. While at Lawerence University as a classical voice major, she discovered jazz and fell in love. Her love for jazz continued to grow while at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
"The more I learned about music and the more I got exposed to different sounds, the more in love I fell with all of the dissonant harmonies," Reinhert says.
Although her favorite musicians include Cassandra Wilson, Harry Connick Jr. and Nina Simone, she is a much different jazz musician than them. Instead of getting songs from the Tin Pan Alley, she writes her own. She says her music sometimes feels like her own diary.