Performing my favorite venue, the "torch songs", is where my soul releases itself to the please join me and feel my love of the music on our journey to another life and time that only these songs can create.....!


David Dupont from Cadence Magazine states, "She has a robust voice with her own distinct colors. She's clearly a singer with performance credentials to back up her pipes, and she knows how to dramatize a song without lapsing into melodrama."


One reviewer states "Karen projects an image of class and dignity as a jazz vocalist. She can transform reluctant audiences into devoted ones. She will draw you in, vocally caress you, singing the way they don't sing anymore, performing the type of songs they just don't write any more. She sings and the sound is more than timeless; it's fresh, relaxing and above all...Great Entertainment!"


And yet another states, "During an era when there is a serious shortage of such talent, her presence on the musical scene is truly a happy event. On the cusp between Jazz's old vanguard and it's new, Karen is indeed an outstanding and shining interpreter of her music. Her voice is warm, gracious, and effortlessly in tune."


An Anonymous patron said, "Madame, your voice could separate a rich man from his wealth, and comfort the poor"


Vocalist, Songwriter, Actress

Having recently returned to her beloved Chicago area from Philadelphia, Jazz vocalist and international recording artist, Karen Wilhelm was born and raised in the Chicago area, but didn't realize her love for jazz until she moved to Philadelphia. Although she has performed in many different venues from Rock & Roll, Top 40, Country and R & B, she found her soul when she discovered jazz in the mid 90's.  Starring in several musicals and area cabaret's is what led to her discovery and transformation from her previous endeavors into the wonderful world of "torch songs" from the 30's and 40's.

Since that time she has performed at several local venues such as Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel, the Society Hill Hotel, the Park Hyatt, Longwood Gardens, Le Cochon Noir, many New Jersey shore venues, along with appearances in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.  She has had the pleasure of performing with some great artists such as Richie Cole, the late Jon Lucien, Larry McKenna and Mary Stallings. She also performed regularly with Jump City Jazz Orchestra, a 17 piece swing/dance band until her return to the Chicago area.  She has also had the honor of performing our National Anthem for the Philadelphia 76ers games at the Philadelphia Wachovia Center.

Although she enjoys the big band sound, she describes her "passion" as blues and jazz in the intimate settings with a trio or with a solo pianist. "That is where your soul releases itself to the audience and they can join you and feel your love of the music as you carry them on a journey to another life that only these songs can create."


“Summertime”       Featured vocalist with Audubon Jazz Explosion

“Night And Day”   Featured vocalist with Jump City Jazz Orchestra

Live At Chris’ Jazz Café – A Tribute to Maynard Ferguson                                                                                                         Featured vocalist with Jump City Jazz Orchestra

“I Still Believe…” Solo Artist Holiday Standards

Critic’s Say…

Karen has a big, warm clear sound that has a sultry quality in her upbeat swing interpretations.  Her performance shows she has considerable scat capabilities.
Susan L Pena – Reading Eagle

Karen possesses a lovely, throaty alto voice that she employs to great effect communicating the meaning of the lyrics she sings.  One feels that she has lived the emotions she sings. 
Michael Caruso – Chestnut Hill paper

She has a robust voice with her own distinct colors. She's clearly a singer with performance credentials to back up her pipes, and she knows how to dramatize a song without lapsing into melodrama."
David Dupont from Cadence Magazine

Karen, is a sultry alto with a style reminiscent of big band giants like Billie Holliday
Bruce G. - Band leader

"A classy, professional singer - great look, great arrangements, and... a sweet vocal style!"
Bob Egan – Bob Egan Entertainment and Cabaret at Odette’s


Photo Gallery


“Karen performs with “The Swing Sets” NYE! @ Agio Italian Bistro in Palatine from 9:30 – 1:00
Reservations are required for dinner and they have 3 seatings, we perform during the last seating..
Please see the attached link. Hope to see you all there!


Agio Italian Bistro in Palatine, IL


Song List

Songs from The Great Amercian Songbook – as performed by artists of the 30's, 40's and 50's


This is a partial/sample songlist:

  • All Or Nothing At All
  • Anything Goes
  • As Time Goes By
  • At Last
  • Beautiful Friendship
  • Beyond The Sea
  • Black Coffee
  • Blue Moon
  • Blue Skies
  • Bye Bye Blackbird
  • Chances Are
  • Close Your Eyes
  • Come Fly With Me
  • Crazy
  • Cry Me A River
  • Devil May Care
  • Dindi
  • Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  • East of the Sun
  • Easy To Love
  • Embraceable You
  • Estate
  • Fever
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • Georgia
  • Green Dolphin Street
  • Girl From Ipanema
  • How Deep Is The Ocean
  • I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  • I Could Write A Book
  • I Left My Heart In San Francisco
  • I'll Be Seeing You
  • I'm Beginning To See The Light
  • In The Wee Small Hours
  • It Had To Be You
  • I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
  • I've Got You Under My Skin
  • Look Of Love
  • Love For Sale
  • Lullaby Of Birdland
  • Mona Lisa
  • Moonlight In Vermont
  • The More I See You
  • My Funny Valentine
  • Nearness Of You
  • Night And Day
  • Old Devil Moon
  • On A Clear Day
  • Our Love Is Here To Stay
  • Over The Rainbow
  • Pennies From Heaven
  • Route 66
  • S'Wonderful
  • Send In The Clowns
  • Shadow Of Your Smile
  • Skylark
  • Smoke Get's In Your Eyes
  • Someone To Watch Over Me
  • Soon
  • Stormy Weather
  • Summertime
  • Tangerine
  • Tenderly
  • That's All
  • These Foolish Things
  • They Can't Take That Away
  • Time After Time
  • Triste
  • The Very Thought Of You
  • Wave
  • The Way You Look Tonight
  • What A Wonderful World
  • What Is This Thing Called Love
  • When Sunny Get's Blue
  • You Make Me Feel So Young
  • You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
  • Young And Foolish

Holiday CD

Karen's Holiday CD "I Still Believe..."


Review by Mike Ricci of All About Jazz states...


I Still Believe emerges here as a very strong addition to the standard jazz vocals holiday offering. Vocalist Karen Wilhelm, who hails from the City of Brotherly Love, belts this holiday collection with the best of them. Wilhelm's voice has dense midrange capable of holding up both the high and low ends. Wilhelm sings from the center of the Christmas canon with slightly more secular carols than religious ones. Of note are "Let it Snow," "The Christmas Song," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." The song "I Still Believe in Santa Claus" is cheerful and sprite. "Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" gives Andy Williams a run for his Holiday money.


You can purchase via Paypal by clicking HERE, CD Baby by clicking the CD cover or Email Karen to purchase by check.


Contact Karen