Katarina Henryson

Born and raised in Stockholm, Katarina was exposed to music from an early age through her mother’s love of choral singing and her father’s collection of jazz music. She attended the Adolf Fredrik’s Music School in Stockholm and was inspired into the meaningful experience of choral singing through the Girls’ Choir conducted by Bo Johanssen. Her classical studies included piano and cello however Anders Edenroth introduced her to his piano teacher who was instructing in improvisation, jazz and salsa. Towards the end of High School Katarina formed an all-girl band called FJAZZCO (female jazz company) as pianist/songwriter, which survived for only a year. Her heroes and influences included Joni Mitchell and Rickie-Lee Jones, as well as Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin and Prince.

Katarina then started touring as a back-up vocalist for a Norwegian blues band and became lead singer of a successful Scandinavian female pop group called Donna Lee, around the same time that The Real Group was being formed. For the first several years with TRG, Katarina was still doing parallel work as a session musician but schedule conflicts eventually forced a career choice and The Real Group won! This opened the door to more song-writing as well as involvement in recording and production processes.

Although earlier TRG recordings show Katarina with different family names, she shares the name Henryson as well as a deep musical interest with her husband Svante and their two children. In 2015 Katarina and Svante will release a duo album (on the Swedish classical label BIS) of music only for cello and voice. She strongly believes in the power of music for communication and has enjoyed increased involvement in education and coaching over the years, especially at the two major TRG Festivals. For the last 10 years Katarina has also been practicing Ashtanga yoga. She is developing an interest in cultural politics and is a board member for SAMI (a Swedish non-profit performing rights collection organisation).

Katarina has a wide range of listening interests ranging from jazz and pop to Bach. She particularly values the motivating power of music to bring people together and its capability to heal, and increasingly sees music as a basic necessity in our lives.