Kaia photo

Kaia
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, Idir

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."
-J.M., Kansas

A Spare Photo
Kaia Footwear Summer '05 by Jeanne Leimkuhler

Kaia Feet

About Kaia
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 show!

Our Name
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

Our Music
Learn more about the songs we sing

Our Merch
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 of Artworks, WFIU’s program of local artists. In an interview with Yaël Ksander, we dish the dirt on Kaia’s secret mission to change the world.

• 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.