Kara Britz SagAftra Vocal Contractor Blake Shelton Band Court Ambassador at the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah
Tommy Price, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® welcomes Kara Britz back home to Winchester to serve at the Court Ambassador at the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah XCV, Mia Dorsett. Kara will be performing at the Coronation and at the Malloy Toyota Country Music Dance.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Kara Lee Britz is the daughter of a musically-gifted mother and a music-loving father. She is the youngest of three musical children and spent time living in Germany before the family settled down In Winchester, Virginia. At age 6 Kara began classical piano lessons and sang along to both gospel and contemporary classics. In typical Kara fashion, she followed her own beat and started drum lessons in the 4th grade!
By age 11, Kara was playing drums and singing in a band called TCC, sponsored by Grove’s Harley-Davidson. In 2002, her band, Luckie & Almost Country, played the local bars, Harley-Davidson events, and Winchester’s Apple Blossom Festival, even though she was years away from a driver’s license or entry into the clubs where she played. Kara dedicated her middle school and high school nights and weekends to writing, recording, and cultivating her ability, including happy hours every Friday night at the former Sweet Caroline’s, accompanied by Phil Zuckerman and David Linaburg, throughout her junior and senior years of high school.
Growing up in Winchester afforded Kara the best opportunities to hone her craft with the support of a truly encouraging community. Singing in Elaine Aikens' school choirs from 6th grade at Daniel Morgan Middle School through her senior year before graduating from John Handley High in 2004, gave Kara one of her first “pinch me” moments…the unique opportunity to sing “I’m Sorry” as a special tribute to Brenda Lee at the Coronation in 2001 with Brenda in attendance as the Grand Marshal. This opened the door to strike up a coveted mentorship with Brenda Lee, all thanks to the Apple Blossom Festival. Mrs. Aikens and Kara’s late drum teacher, Steve Kastuck, always encouraged and supported Kara and gave her the confidence to continue to be bold in her efforts. Kara is so thankful for the amazing support the Winchester community continues to lend her to this day.
Two weeks after graduating high school, Kara celebrated her parents’ blessing to move to Los Angeles, and pursue her musical ambitions. She attended the Musician’s Institute studying voice and quickly found herself singing on major label records and alongside established artists. Booking her first international tour in 2009 with Japanese mega star, Eikichi Yazawa, Kara began to see how this could become a full-time career. After returning from Japan, Kara worked for Cher during her Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace Residency and then was hired to join Joe Cocker’s band for his Hard Knock’s World Tour. She credits Joe for taking her on her first trip around the globe, sharing special memories like performing at the Kremlin Palace, for the Prince of Monaco, the Princess of Morocco, and on hit European shows like Wetten Das, and ultimately singing a duet “You Loved Me Back,” on Joe Cocker’s last studio album ever released.
"My biggest fans are my family members. There are things you can only imagine yourself doing, things you wish you could try, and then there are the things that only become possible because of your support group. All of the little things that stop most people from realizing their dreams were eliminated by my family, and I was given the green light to pursue them. Little things like rent, food, transportation, clothes, and all of the other things that were required were very unselfishly absorbed by my family. My brother Corey (bass player for BUSH) was an established musician in LA when I got here, and his experience and support and his knowledge of music were incredibly invaluable to me. My sister, Kelley, who is literally my very best friend, was in LA as a full-time model and let me live with her and became my LA mother for several years."
Following the Joe Cocker tour, Kara was asked to join Paul Mirkovich’s (Cher, Janet Jackson, Pink) house band for NBC’s Hit Show, The Voice. Since Season 2 (through the recently wrapped Season 21), Kara has served as backing vocalist as well as vocal contractor for the show. In the last 10 years, Kara has had the privilege to hire over 75 Sag Aftra working LA vocalists to join her on stage backing up each season’s hopeful contestants as well as countless guest performers including some of Kara’s biggest inspirations: Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Gwen Stefani, Bob Segar, Michael Buble, Sheryl Crow, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Shakira, and her idol, Kelly Clarkson.
Working at The Voice opened up the opportunity to contract and/or sing for other television performances including Songland, The Masked Singer, The Grammys, The Oscars, and The Kelly Clarkson Show. The Voice is also where Kara met Blake Shelton. Blake hired Kara on the set of The Voice to become a full-time member of his band in 2015. With Blake, Kara has had the pleasure of performing on some of country’s biggest stages including The Grand Ole Opry, CMA Fest, Academy of Country Music Awards, The Houston Rodeo, and The Grammy’s. Blake also hired Kara to sing on his Grammy-nominated record, “God’s Country” as well as "Minimum Wage" and his “Blake Shelton Live” album released on Spotify. With Blake, Kara has had the honor of sharing the stage with top country artists, including Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Tracy Byrd, The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Luke Bryan, and Little Big Town.
These days you can find Kara anywhere Blake Shelton may be, and she might just pop up unexpectedly! Most recently, Kara was asked to backup Mickey Guyton to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Kara continues to have “pinch me moments” as she enters her 18th year in Los Angeles as a full-time vocalist, and being asked to come home for the Apple Blossom Festival is a HUGE honor for her. Winchester’s community along with her family is whom Kara credits for molding her into the tenacious, kind-hearted, Christian woman she prides herself in being today.
Kara will be making appearances at many Festival events. The Coronation presented by Morgan Orthodontics will be Friday, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. at Handley High School and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party is Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. at the Tolley Dental Zone located at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets for all Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
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The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of springtime and the apple blossoms in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley through events and initiatives that enhance community spirit and showcases our local agricultural heritage.