From left to right
Back: Licia, Jenny, Jane, Amy
Front: Cairril, Lara, Angela
Photography by Tall & Small Photography
Our Musical Influences
Amy: Jewish folk traditions, Los Pinguos, Les Youx Noir, Golem, Squirrel Nut Zippers
Angela: Tori Amos, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald,
Jeff Buckley, Elizabeth Fraser
Cairril: Billie Holliday, Connie Boswell, Janis Joplin,
Judy Garland, Cab Calloway, Mahalia Jackson
Jane: Libana, Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Djurdjura,
Jenny: Jennifer Holliday, Chris Cornell, Selena, Rob Zombie, Tupac Shakur, Tego Calderon
Lara: Sweet Honey in the Rock, Zap Mama, Johnny Cash,
Mel Torme, Keely Smith, Linda Tillery
Licia: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Joni Mitchell; The Beatles; Sting; Peter Gabriel, Judy Collins
"I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the Kaia performance. The beautiful singing, the many languages and cultures represented, the fine harmonies and imaginative percussion—it was all absolutely delightful. I can't imagine that I could have seen any other performance at Lotus that I would have enjoyed more."
A Spare Photo
Kaia Footwear Summer '05 by Jeanne Leimkuhler
Kaia is a Bloomington, Indiana-based vocal and percussion ensemble
performing world music in over 25 languages in a wide range of vocal styles. Many of us have a long history
of performing in other groups (indie bands, small ensembles, choral work,
musical theatre, etc). Founded in October 2004, we've
performed in a wide variety of Bloomington-area venues. We have also appeared twice as mainstage performers at the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, the U.S.'s second-largest world music festival.
Our musical influences are very diverse, including Mel Torme, Tupac Shakur,
Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, classical composers, Libana, and various
world music performers. We sing in 25 languages in a variety of vocal styles. That diversity makes us unique—you never know what we'll do next! (Though we don't do barbershop, doo-wop, or anything remotely show choir-y. (Okay, we do one doo-wop song, but that's because it's funny.))
We focus on bringing soul to our music to
connect with each other and break the "performer/audience" barrier. We are very dynamic performers and we take you on a dizzying tour of world song as we delve into dance, religion, sex, death, politics, seasonal celebrations, and frisky porcupines! From haunting, lyrical ballads
to bawdy drinking songs, we love to explore the many textures of the
musical world and all aspects of the human experience from the raucous to the sublime. We also have a
lot of fun. We invite you to join us at our next
Pronunciation: Kaia rhymes with FLY-uh. In Greek it means "from the
Earth" and in Hawaiian it means "the sea." We learned later it was an empire in Korea long ago plus it means "the body" in Bengali, Hindi and Sanskrit (who knew??) and "It's good/It's all right!" in Georgian. Contact us if you know another association or meaning!
The concert on Friday was FABULOUS! I’m proud to say I’ve been to all of them and each one has left me with hope and a fire in my heart.
- S.W., Bloomington
Learn more about the songs we sing
Buy a Kaia CD or merchandise
How We Work
Kaia meets weekly to rehearse, share chocolate (or bok choy, as the mood
strikes), and (occasionally) do yoga. Leadership is shared throughout
the group, with different people responsible for finding gigs, managing
our vast treasury, or developing our repertoire. Everyone gives input
on creative direction for pieces, with the singer who has creative ownership
of the piece having the final say.
WE ARE NOT A CHORUS.
We're a fun, tight-knit, creative group of strong women always looking
to develop our sound and expand our horizons. We are strong enough individually
to hold down a part alone or to spot a creative opening in the middle
of an improv. We carry our own weight. We make decisions through consensus
wherever possible and celebrate the gift each voice brings to the ensemble.
We strike a balance between classical training methods and more intuitive,
spontaneous approaches. More than anything, we listen to each other and
work to build a fun, creative, top-notch music environment.
Want to Know More?
• Listen now to Artworks: Listen
to an interview with Cairril and Amy featured on the May 8 2007 edition
WFIU’s program of local artists. In an interview with Yaël
Ksander, we dish the dirt on Kaia’s secret mission to change the
• Listen to another Artworks interview with Amy and Cairril as we discuss authenticity, mashups, and the relevance of current events to Kaia's work.
• Check out our music to learn a little of the gorgeous diversity of life we get to explore. You can hear samples and even check out some full-length videos!
• Buy a CD! C'mon, you know you want to!
• Sign up for the KaiaGigs e-mail list (instructions on our home page), come to our next show, or heck—just contact us! We'd love to hear from you.