Audra Kubat
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Audra Kubat

Detroit, MI | Established. Jan 01, 2000 | SELF

Detroit, MI | SELF
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

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On October 5 and 6, Detroit will experience DLECTRICITY- Detroit’s Nightime Exhibition of Art & Light, a festival that will host 35 local, national and international artists whose cutting edge works of art, lighting design and performance will highlight the historic architecture of Midtown.

They say, “The main branch of the Detroit Public Library will host a unique narrative performance, presented by New D Media, bearing the title carved over the gate, “Knowledge is Power.” A spectacle both concert and cinema, this state-of-the-art theatrical display by local visual artists Gabriel Hall and Daniel Land, with lighting director Gabe Rice, will illuminate the Woodward facade and lawn of the Library. Renowned songstress Audra Kubat leads an original score of electronic soundscapes with live vocals and special guest musicians.



Live DJ sets with an ambient interactive interface will operate between shows for the remainder of the festival.

The whole thing kicks off at 7.35 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library, located at 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit. Visit the Dlectricity website for more info. - Detroit Metrotimes


Thom Jurek, All Music Guide wrote, “Kubat is an iconoclastic songwriter: her methods of composition and articulation are unlike anybody else’s on the scene…Million Year Old Sand is a rare recording; it exists in a vacuum as far as popular music is concerned, but it does so willingly, by articulating with grace and aplomb those hidden places that defy easy categorization, easy placement, or easy sentiment…This may appear to be a self-reflective album, but in reality, is an offering of stark and beautiful reality that possesses enough experience and aspiration to be shared, as well as felt.”
- All Music Guide


By Brett Callwood
PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 20, 2013

Audra Kubat is a striking woman when first you meet her, and she is a mass of contradictions. Her height gives the impression that she might be ungainly, but rather she is delicacy personified. She has a tendency to glare, yet the lyrics to her mostly-acoustic tunes are pretty, poetic and subtle. More pertinently, she’s quiet-spoken but will jump at the chance to take part in such events as the Dirty Show and this weekend’s Erotic Poetry Festival at the Corktown Tavern in Detroit. The woman whom local poet Jimmy Doom describes as a “lanky, goofy but ‘sneaky pretty’ girl” definitely has her cheeky side.
Kubat said that she discovered an affection for playing music when very young. “I liked to play on the piano but I didn’t pursue it,” she says. “When I was about 18, I had a boyfriend with a guitar. Prior to that I was writing a lot, poetry. I didn’t really think I was good at it. I bought a guitar, taught myself to play and that was it.”
One of the joys of Kubat lies in the fact that she is next to impossible to define in basic genre terms. She has won honors as a folk artist at the Detroit Music Awards, presumably because she plays acoustic instruments and writes poetic lyrics. “I’m a wandering minstrel who wants to always be singing and sharing it with other people,” Kubat says. “Either when I’m walking down the street, or I’ll bring my ukulele when I’m at a party and I’ll just start playing it. It’s almost all the time. I just wander and sing.”
Kubat says that Joni Mitchell had a big impact during her fledgling-guitarist stage. “I was listening to her a lot when I started playing guitar,” she says. “My parents were into Motown, so growing up I would listen to old records like that and Ray Charles. I haven’t gotten into much new music, but I love good songwriting.”
The singer-songwriter is currently working on her fifth album and aiming for a fall release. “I’ve gotten better at what I do,” she says. “It’s been since 2006 that I put out my last record. I’ve been playing live since then and I’ve gotten better. I feel like the music and melody are becoming a part of the words, and the words are becoming part of the melody.”
Kubat’s previous two albums were released via the now-defunct Times Beach Records, a venture started by fellow musical troubadour Ethan Daniel Davidson. The label also featured blues rockers Gold Cash Gold, one-man-band Man Inc. and Americana group the Deadstring Brothers. It was an odd and eclectic bunch, but it worked. Sadly, as a business, the label didn’t. “I did two albums with Times Beach, the last in 2006,” Kubat says. “I was really hopeful about Times Beach. Both those records I did with them are awesome. I’d love to work with Eric Hoegemeyer [Gold Cash Gold / Charm Farm] again. He’s incredible.”
So why such a big gap between the fourth and fifth albums? By the time the new one surfaces, nearly seven years will have passed. “I think I struggle a little bit with feeling down about where I am,” Kubat says. “I just want to keep playing music. I’ve written so much.”
If Kubat does suffer from the blues on occasion (and let’s face it — we all do), then the perfect antidote is a couple of weeks of cheeky, erotica-themed fun. Kubat has spent the last week-and-a-bit appearing at the Dirty Show, and she’ll be following that with the Erotic Poetry Fest. “When I do this side project, it’s not so much erotic but it’s flirty fun,” she says. “I have this side to me — like a class clown. It’s not sensual to me, it’s just playground fun. It’s Marlene Dietrich, dress-up fun. I do a song that I wrote where I wear white feathers and I sing with a ukulele, and it sounds very bohemian, like something you’d hear in Eastern Europe.”
According to Jimmy Doom, who will be at the event showcasing his own brand of sex-fueled poetic humor, Kubat will fit in just fine. “At the EPF, people expose some intensely personal stuff on stage, on camera, and there’s nowhere to hide,” Doom says. “Years ago, a woman who was well into her Social Security years read poems about her ‘Adonis young lover.’ She was dressed in red lingerie, and she was pouring it out. Some of the other performers, myself included, thought it was completely fabricated fantasy. Then, as she closed out her set, some bodybuilder in his mid-20s sweeps her off the stage and makes out with her. I’m more than a bit of a cynic, but in the moment it was perfect. To be honest, I always look forward to some new person I’ve never met, have no idea why they got booked and then they hit me with something I wish I would have written. The Impaler, while he’s hosting, is always good for some impromptu hilarity. And there’s belly dancing. There’s not a whole lot to dislike about belly dancing.”
Of his set, Doom says “I’ve been working on a new spoken word collection — and by working I mean being a lazy ass with notebook pages strewn about my room — so I’m planning on debuting and recording some of that fo - Detroit Metrotimes


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

VOCALIST | SONGWRITER | EDUCATOR | COMPOSER

A composer, performer, producer, and educator, Kubat’s work has earned her a place in the community as a resource for empowerment through songwriting and music. Kubat has released 6 albums to critical acclaim in an award-winning career that spans over 20 years, and emerged as a passionate leader in youth music education. 

DISCOGRAPHY
2016 - “Mended Vessel”
2006 - “Since I Fell in Love with the Music”
2006 - “Georgia” vinyl 45
2005 - “Million Year Old Sand”
2003 - “Untitled for Now”
2000 - “Elixir”
1999 - “Stunning Amazon”

PERFORMANCES
Live performances include various venues throughout Detroit Metropolitan area such as: Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Science Center, Chene Park, Cliff Bell’s, Trinity House, Campus Martius, Detroit Festival of the Arts, Detroit Tastefest, 'Arts, Beats and Eats', Dally in the Alley, Ferndale Art Fair, Hamtramck Blow-Out, Ann Arbor Film Festival, The Ark and Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor (opening for international recording artist Aimee Mann). Live performances outside the area include Mackinaw Island, New York City, SXSW Music Conference, Kentucky, Ohio and Canada.

HIGHLIGHTS/AWARDS
2015 - Best Americana Instrumentalist-Guitar - Detroit Music Award
2002 - Best Folk Artist - Detroit Music Award
(5 nominations in various acoustic categories in 2002, as well as nominations every year since, including a nomination in 2017 in the folk/acoustic category).

PUBLICATIONS/MEDIA
2016/17 - 101.9 WDET Culture Shift, Ann Delisi's Essential Music, The Milo Minute
2015 - National Public Radio's Morning Addition highlighting the latest release and work with the Detroit community through art-infused education.
1999-2015 - Lives Radio performances include - WDET, 89 x Homeboy Show, Mitch Albom Show on WJR and the River.
1999-2017 - Appeared in media sources such as Time-Out NY, NME, and Harp Magazine, Acoustic Guitar, Hour Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Metro-Times, Real Detroit Weekly, Between the Lines.

Live television appearances include:

2017 – WDIV – Local 4 'Live In The D'
2016 – Fox 2 Detroit
2014 - “Detroit Performs”PBS
2010 - “Detroit Counsel of the Arts Presents: An Evening with Singer-Songwriter Audra Kubat”.
2001 - “Backstage Pass”PBS
1999 - “Crystal's Motown Café”

COMPOSING
Composed music for independent films:
2018 – America You Kill Me (documentary feature) [In Progress]
2014/2015 - America You Kill Me (documentary short)
2015 - Brave Red World (narrative short)
2008 - The Death of Michael Smith (narrative feature)
2009 - In-Zero (web series)
2006 ­ High Surf (documentary feature)

Scored music for local theater productions at Russell Industry Center, The Park, Cliff Bells, the Zeitgeist Theater, 1515 Broadway and the Abreact Theater.

Created a 20 minute score to accompany the projection-mapped short film, “Knowledge Is Power” as a part of Dlectricity – Festival Of Light in 2012.

COLLABORATIVE WORKS
Has performed with a variety of musical and theatrical ensembles, such as - Torch with a Twist, Theatre Bizarre, The Hounds Below, Dlectricity 2012, and Night of the Living Dead - The Musical.


SPECIAL PROJECTS
'Postcards And Protest Songs' was developed as way to join the momentous political action taking place during the global Woman's March in 2017. A series of nationwide events was initiated, called 'Hear Our Voice', would bring people together to write postcards to their elected representatives. Kubat's event series combined this idea with bringing the Detroit music community together to perform protest songs, both originals and covers. After three successful events, over 1000 postcards have been sent out to our local, state, and federal representatives. The next event is set for January 24th, 2018.

Commissioned by 'The Acoustic Guitar Project' in 2013 to write a song for their one song, one week, one guitar, which was passed between 12 different Michigan Songwriters. This song is set to appear on a forthcoming compilation record. This project was created to help musicians reconnect to the original moment that inspired them to be singer-songwriters, and to share in the challenge of writing a song under deadline.