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June 26, 2017
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Ketchum vying for singer-songwriter title at the Redwood Cafe

By: Irene Hilsendager
April 7, 2017

Katie Ketchum has finally planted her feet in Sebastopol after many years of moving all over California and Canada. Ketchum is a singer, songwriter, pianist and recently an artist. She says her passion is writing musicals and having them being performed in local theaters.

She wrote “Mary Magdalena,” the musical comedy that received very good reviews. She did the musical for a month in San Francisco and then was picked up by the Sacramento Theatre Company, doing seven shows a week for a month. Ketchum does her own songs and dialogues  and loves being a one-woman musical. 

Recently, her art was shown at the United Nations in New York City in Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s Soul Fire collection and also in galleries in San Francisco. 

Although Ketchum is a singer and pianist, she said she is cutting back on giving lessons in her studio located in Sebastopol. She implies that she is getting into her own style and calls herself a contemporary impressionist.  

In her paintings, she says it is impressionism abstract and works with acrylics. The impression for her is to paint scenes that fit with her songs. She loves the Sonoma countryside to give her very imaginative and inspirational ideas. Ketchum loves playing classical piano and primarily the music of Johann Brahms. She actually started writing folk songs while being a teen. Mother Teresa heard one of her songs and played some of Ketchum’s musical numbers throughout her healing centers across India. One of her first concerts was held at Humber College in Toronto, Canada. While playing her songs in Navajo Nation, she was greeted with tears and hugs, and now her music is influenced by folk, classical and gospel. 

Even with many students taking lessons, she says her main job is directing the choir and writing gospel songs for “herchurch,” a feminist church in San Francisco. 

At the age of 64, she has entered a Sonoma County singer and songwriter competition sponsored by Randy Teaford and the Cotati Redwood Cafe. Teaford invited 32 singers and songwriters for this competition and Ketchum was one of the eight that won in round one. Round two will be held April 12 at Redwood Cafe and she will be competing with three other winners. 

The final competition will be held April 26, with a mixture of musical theatre. 

During the months of July and August, Ketchum plans to sing excerpts at Dream Portal studio and portray most of her work. She says she is happiest while teaching her art and voice to children. 

At the present time, Katie has 10 paintings hanging at the Peace and Justice Center at 467 Sebastopol Ave. in Santa Rosa. If you wish to listen to Ketchum sing, she will be appearing at the Redwood Cafe April 12 from 7-9:30 p.m. Go to Dream Portal Studio Gallery and check out her paintings and because she has opened a studio/gallery in Sebastopol, she may just show her art and a good musical melody.