PRODUCER, CREATOR AND CURATOR:
Kathleen has worked as a producer and curator of productions, festivals, series, concerts and tours for the past decade. She has a history of creating and producing shows that cross genres and boundaries, with a focus on combining different art forms, and collaboration at their heart.
She created and produced the new projects Breath & Hammer with Grammy-nominated clarinetist David Krakauer and Where Worlds Collide with South African jazz pianist Andre Petersen, three projects with South African singer Zanne Stapelberg, (Soul of Fire, Spieël Speel, Wordsong) and curated and produced inter-disciplinary concerts for SongFusion in New York (States of Mind, NY NOW! Festival, Uncommon Prayer, Spotlight: Pianists) and SongFest at Colburn, Los Angeles (LA NOW!, Celebration of California).
She produced and curated the monthly series New Sounds Africa throughout 2014 and created, produced and curated the 5-part South African Music Festival in 2007 in New York.
BREATH & HAMMER, New York, 2015-2016
Co-Producer & Co-Creator; Producer: Upcoming 2016 Breath & Hammer Tour of South Africa
Created this multi-media project with clarinetist David Krakauer for clarinet, piano, electronics and video design by Jesse Gilbert that officially launched at Vision Into Arts’s FERUS Festival at National Sawdust in New York in January 2016. Development included a residency at Yellow Barn in Putney, Vermont with sound designer Jay Eigenmann.
WHERE WORLDS COLLIDE, New York, 2015-2016
Co-Producer & Co-Creator; Co-Producer: Countrywide Tour 2015, CD Launch 2016
Created this project that features Kathleen and South African jazz pianist Andre Petersen in a unique 2-piano performance of original material and works by the titans of South African jazz.
“Captivating for its exploration of a myriad of sonorities … Technical virtuosity and perfectly synchronized rhythmical complexity”– CUE Magazine
SONGFEST at Colburn, Los Angeles, 2014 & 2015
LA Now! and Celebration of California composers concerts
Curator & Director
As a faculty member of SongFest at Colburn, Kathleen curated and directed programs celebrating living composers in Los Angeles and the State of California, working with the young artists on preparation as well as with the composers.
NEW SOUNDS AFRICA, New York, 2014
Producer and Curator
New Sounds Africa was a monthly series presenting music and musicians from Sub Saharan Africa in the 20th anniversary year of South Africa’s democracy that ran throughout the year. Concerts took place at Spectrum on New York’s Lower East Side on the last Sunday of every month.
WORDSONG, South Africa 2013-2014
Co-Producer & Co-Creator; Co-Producer: Tour of South Africa, 2014, 2015
This intimate program by juxtaposes song settings of poetry as diverse as Sylvia Plath and Bertold Brecht with piano works based on poetry, but performed without words, and explores the musicality of poetry and the deep connectedness of words and music.
SPIEËL SPEEL, South Africa, 2013
Co-Producer & Co-Creator, Musical Director; Co-Producer: Tour of South Africa, 2013
Created the full-length Afrikaans alt-cabaret Spieël Speel (Mirror Play) with South African singer Zanne Stapelberg. The show features all-new original songs with lyrics by Afrikaans luminaries.
“…a kind of contemporary cabaret…you have to have substance that will hold the attention and blend that with music that rocks the soul. They certainly did that. .. That’s the thing about festivals, those strange but wondrous affairs. Just when you think it’s “just another one”, someone sticks their head out and shouts bravely, brilliantly and with a determination that won’t allow you to turn away.– The Argus, 2013
SONGFUSION: NY NOW! Festival celebrating New York’s LGBT composers, 2013
Benefit for Bailey Holt House at the National Opera Center and The Center, NYC Producer, Co-Curator
NY NOW! 2013 was a two night, three-part event co-curated by Kathleen Tagg and Michael Kelly; part of NY NOW!, an annual SongFusion series created by Kathleen Tagg. The Festival was created to celebrate New York’s LGBT composers with panel discussion moderated by Martin Scherzinger.
SONGFUSION: PIANISTS SPOTLIGHT, New York, 2011
Co-Producer, Co-Curator with Liza Stepanova
Spotlight: Pianists, a piano duo program co-curated and performed with Liza Stepanova, which merged multimedia, narration and more.
SONGFUSION: STATES OF MIND, New York, 2012
with visual artist Kevork Mourad and lighting designer Tyler Learned
Producer and Curator
A multidisciplinary project that mixed contemporary American art song with visual art. States of Mind takes a modern day look at everyday states of being. In America, today. Over the course of 3 “acts,” held together thematically and visually, the program explored opposing pairings of affections – love/hate, joy/sorrow, wonder/desire – through song and art.
“It was a program plotted with exceptional care. SongFusion put together a group of 20 songs by 13 composers…and gathered into three thematic groups: Love and Hate; Joy and Sorrow; Wonder and Desire, all under the rubric “States of Mind” – James Primosch, 2012
SOUL OF FIRE, South Africa, 2011-2013
Co-Creator, Co-Producer, Arranger, Music Director
Created Soul of Fire, a genre-bending production conceived with Zanne Stapelberg as a vehicle for the magnificence of music from Spain and Latin America. The CD of the same name (released 2012) received a South African Music Awards (SAMA) nominated for best classical/instrumental album.
“It is Soul of Fire, one of the most remarkable musical productions yet to have emerged from South Africa… their art drowns their audiences in deluges of sound and emotion, as they wage war against the musical predictability that would corrode their work and extinguish the blaze of their souls…” Voice of America
SONGFUSION: UNCOMMON PRAYER, New York, 2011
Co-Curator with Liza Stepanova of this program for SongFusion exploring spirituality around the globe.
JAFF & TAGG: APPLE HEART, New York, 2009
Co-Producer, Co-Creator, Music Director
Created a show of cabaret-pop songs with a twist, Apple Heart, with Sophie Jaff. In 2010, Jaff & Tagg expanded a collection of songs from Apple Heart into Orchestrated Songs of Heartbreak, chamber poetry for voice and band that includes instruments associated with both rock and classical music.
SOUTH AFRICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL, New York, 2007
Creator, Producer, Curator
Created a 5-part festival of South African Music in New York. Hosted by the Manhattan School of Music, and presented for South African Heritage Day, the festival featured over 40 performers celebrating the music and musicians of South Africa. Over 40 musicians performed music ranging from contemporary classical music to Xhosa bow music to Zulu choral works to South African chamber music and more. There was also a unique video conference presentation between the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Cape Town, where a panel of South African musicians discussed local traditions live from South Africa via video conferencing, and took questions from the New York audience. Composer Kevin Volans was present to discuss his works with Martin Scherzinger and talk with the audience before the evening concert of all-American premieres, as well as to work with groups performing his works in the preceding week and master musician Dizu Plaatjies presented a workshop on Southern African instruments and traditions.