// Origin: Fargo, ND/ Genres: jazz, swing, rock, standards
/ Years Active: 1986 to present// Label: Indépendant // Website: kathiebrekke.com
Kathie Brekke & the 42nd Street Jazz Band have become a staple in music musical fabric of Fargo. They started in 1999 as the house band at Ramada on 42nd Street which gave them their name. The Ramada has become Delta by Marriott but they still host the longest running JAZZ NIGHT in Fargo's history every Thursday September through May 7pm.
In the Summer you can find them at in Park Rapids, Minnesota and in between you'll find them performing for weddings, conventions and Gala's.
The band is comprised of Biff (Kent) Karch on the upright Bass; Shawn Brekke on Trumpet; Matt Seidel on guitar; Joe Riewer on drums and depending on the season, Russ Peterson or Harley Sommerfeld on Sax.
She began her musical career performing country and gospel music with her family and leading worship in churches.
She was born in Minneapolis, graduated from Detroit Lakes High School, went on to study jazz piano and vocal music at University of Oregon and at MSUM where she received her Master’s of Science degree in music education. While in college she performed and coordinated the entertainment for Sawmill Creek Theme Park and began performing around the region.
She recorded “Snow” in 2000--a fun collection of favorite Christmas Songs recorded with 3 generations of Kathie's family. Later that year she recorded with a full horn section “The Apostle Blues Band” which included lyrical piano pieces and fun arrangements of hymns. In 2002, she recorded a “Christmas Sing Along Songs” piano accompaniment CD of 33 carols played in a lower key. In 2003, the Apostles recorded “Song of Praise” which included original compositions as well as great swing arrangements of gospel tunes. In 2004, she tried something new by recording with the jazz combo 42nd Street “Jazz Night at Basie’s” which includes great arrangements of 17 jazz standards. After the passing of her mom and musical mentor, in 2006 Kathie was inspired to produce a mix of jazz and gospel songs that had been an encouragement throughout the journey with cancer--titled “Hopes Dreams and Promises.”
Kathie and the Apostles had the privilege to perform several years at Spiritfest Midwest where legendary trumpeter, Phil Driscoll played with the band. They also were the opening band on Sunday at WeFest for two years where they kicked the day off for artists such as “Ringo Starr and the All Stars”.
Kathie taught Vocal Jazz and piano at Minnesota State University Moorhead for 10 years. She developed and directed the vocal jazz ensembles at Concordia College for 11 years; was a worship leader at Triumph Lutheran Church for 16 years; currently hosts Jazz@Delta; (The longest running Jazz night in Fargo’s history) current director of choirs at Moorhead High School; performs at various functions throughout the region with members of the Apostle Blues Band and 42nd Street; and directs/composes an all new show each year for Jaspers Theater in Park Rapids, MN where she performs each season with 4 generations of her family.
Her vast experience performing with classical, rock, jazz, worship and country bands molded her into an eclectic gospel/jazz musician. Her 20+ years of teaching has made her an enormous advocate for the arts and arts education.