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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Kathy Chiavola

Kathy ChiavolaKathy Chiavola is an internationally renowned singer, best known for bluegrass and country music. She is currently producing a full length documentary Sicily Callin (Chin-Chin Productions) about her transformative experience discovering her distant cousins and culture in her ancestral homeland of Ragusa, Sicily. It is scheduled for release Fall, 2016.

Kathy has a diverse musical background and is equally proficient in an unusually wide variety of vocal styles. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance/opera theater at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. After embarking on  an operatic career and further study with Eileen Farrell at the Indiana University School of Music, Kathy discovered bluegrass and country music. 

Kathy has released four critically acclaimed albums with worldwide distribution on her own My Label. Somehow contains all original songs, from bluegrass to jazz, with guests Victor Wooten, Edgar Meyer, and Darrell Scott. It was named “Album of the Year” in the UK’s Country Music People Magazine in 2007.

From Where I Stand is a posthumous, personal tribute to world champion fiddler and Kathy’s nine year musical partner Randy Howard. The Harvest with guests Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice and Bill Monroe was named a top five bluegrass cd by the Chicago Tribune in 1996. Kathy’s debut Labor of Love was London’s Tower Records #1 country cd for two weeks and reached #2 on the UK country chart in 1991.

Kathy has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion three times and NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. She has toured Europe, Japan and South America extensively and was the first bluegrass artist to perform in the Faroe Islands. She has appeared as soloist in Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet and Nashville Chamber Orchestra premieres of compositions by Conni Ellisor, Beth Nielson Chapman and Gretchen Peters. Kathy has recorded with hundreds of artists including Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Bill Monroe, John Hartford, John Oats, Ricky Skaggs, Tammy Wynette, Tony Rice, Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Victor Wooten and Mark O’Connor. She was named “Outstanding Background Vocalist” in the Nashville Music Awards, 1995.

Kathy is a dedicated educator who has led masterclasses in Europe and the US. She maintains a private voice studio and has been an adjunct voice instructor at Belmont University for over twenty years. Kathy is a respected guitarist and bassist, who endorses D’Addario strings and Martin Guitars. She is a longtime member of the AFM, Alliance Francaise, Amerigo Vespucci Society, Sister Cities of Nashville and serves on the board of directors for the Nashville chapter of SAG-AFTRA.