Karen’s musical journey began later in life when she discovered that singing along to jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald helped her deal with the heartbreak of a failing love affair. The romance, alas, ended but her love of performing has been going strong ever since.
After developing a serious interest in singing in 2002, Karen appears regularly at local jazz venues, and has developed a large and dedicated following. Karen also performs for private and corporate functions in Canada and the United States, and has appeared in concert at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Merrickville’s Jazz Fest, GigSpace, Music@MillRoad, the Ottawa Grassroots Festival and the Warkworth Lilac Festival as well as at the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Canadian War Museum.
Noted jazz historian the late Ron Sweetman described Karen’s singing as having “real feeling and a subtle swing in a deep, rich voice.” The late Jacques Emond, founding artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, had the following comments: “Talented and versatile Karen Oxorn is a very interesting vocalist. She has a warm and swinging straightforward voice skilled with ballads as well as upbeat songs.” Since 2010, she has become more involved in producing jazz concerts and working as a volunteer for music events in the Ottawa area.
Peter HumJazz Critic / Ottawa Citizen
"Ottawa singer Karen Oxorn has impressed me over the last few years as someone who came late to jazz but made great strides thanks to her diligence and devotion."
Mark FergusonJazz Musician, Arranger, Composer / markferguson.ca
"Congratulations on a great tribute concert to Blossom Dearie. You sounded and looked marvelous and the audience loved it. Thanks for including me."
Jacques EmondFounding Artistic Director / Ottawa Jazz Festival
"Talented and versatile Karen Oxorn is a very interesting vocalist. She has a warm and swinging straightforward voice skilled with ballads as well as upbeat songs."
Ron SweetmanJazz Historian and Radio Host / CKCU FM
"Real feeling and a subtle swing in a deep, rich voice."
Bob NesbittFounder and Producer / Ottawa Grassroots Festival
Karen Oxorn is a huge talent in the Ottawa jazz world. She has earned the title because of her rich, warm voice and her dedication to her craft. Karen has also impressed her audiences with her on-stage elegance, and her sense of humour. When performing, she has a captivating way of looking outward, as though she is thinking of something in the past, or perhaps it is the future. Whatever it is, Karen is a real entertainer and we are honoured to have had her perform at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival.