Karen Maria Schleifer
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Karen Maria Schleifer

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"Eye on Arts and Entertainment"

July 11, 2003

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Karen Maria Schleifer will be making her debut at the Sawdust on Saturday. Schleifer has experience performing on Broadway, professional theater, cabaret and has recorded with other artist on many projects and will be releasing her debut CD "Only the Ocean" at the Festival.

"I come from a Broadway background, recording my CD, writing all of my music and putting the material together is like a realized dream," Schleifer said. "the reason I started making it was because I was invited to perform at the Sawdust Festival -- it inspired me to put my stuff down."

She went to her producer who knows her music and voice and he embraced it. Her style has been described as bluesy, soulful, acoustic rock with a story-telling element.

"Just being invited to the Festival has pushed me to another plateau in my musical journey, that's the way it started for me," Schleifer said. "It pushed me to work harder."

Though she lives in Los Angeles, she is striving to move to Laguna Beach.

"It's an artistic community -- I'm so enriched every time I come to Laguna," Schleifer said. "The artists are inspirational to me, I would love to live there and love to have it be a regular part o fmy life. I could see myself making music ther for a long time." - Suzie Harrison, Coastline Pilot (L.A. Times Paper)

"Last Chance to see Great Talent"

Friday, August 1, 2003

Sunday from 5:30 - 9:30pm is the third and final performance for Karen Maria Schleifer. Everyone who has seen her perform has applauded her music. Her touching vocals and style are exuded through her on-of-a-kind voice. Many have said that she will make it big. Let's hope so. She just released her first CD titled, "Only the Ocean," which she will have on sale at the Sawdust.

- Suzie Harrison, Coastline Pilot (L.A. Times Paper)

"City Focus"

Los Angeles musician Karen Schleifer, who will be playing at the festival for the first time this summer, had her first experience seeing the festival in full swing.

"Walking in through the entrance was really intense, since the last time I walked inside it was totally empty," Schleifer said. "I felt like I was submerged in my own art village - it almost feels like you're transported to a true creative universe, where everyone is exchanging, tasting, sharing, admiring everyone else's artistic existense."

It was an extra-added treat to hear the artists speak about their work and the history, she said, adding that hearing the music coming from all the different locations was a great "soundtrack" to the atmosphere.

"It gives it an extra dimension," Schleifer said. "I'm truly looking forward to sharing my summer with such amazing artists, and I hope I can contribute to the environment."

- Coastline Pilot (L.A. Times Paper)

"She's Back & She's bringing a guitar!"

9/25 - 10/1/03

Call it a tale of a girl and her guitar. Call it what you will. but former Islander Karen Maria Schleifer is making quite a name for herself in the music industry.

And, lucky you, you get to see her, for free, no less, at the Muddy Cup in a couple of weeks.

That's right. The little girl from Great Kills, OK, not little anymore, returns to the Island to play her music for the first time since moving to L.A. in 1996 to pursue a career in television production. Somewhere along the way, she found a guitar; had a really bad love life, formed terrific friendships and one day figured, hey, I can sing about this stuff.

Here's her story
(see bio section). - Staten Island Source

"Who says you can't go home again?"


Former Islander Karen Schleifer will perform at the Muddy Cup Coffeehouse on Friday night

Karen Schleifer is coming home -- again. The former Great Kills resident, who made a name for herself when she appeared in the original production of "Annie" on Broadway, is now living in Los Angeles.

On Friday, she will perform at the Muddy Cup Cafe on Van Duzer Street in Stapleton, and believe it or not, it's a debut of sorts for the well-known Schleifer.

While longtime Staten Islanders may remember her as the little girl with the big voice, courtesy of her many stage performances with various community theater troupes, the fact is that Schleifer will be performing her own music -- fo rthe first time -- on Staten Island on Friday.

Schleifer began acting as a child and landed a role as an orphan in "Annie." She was also understudy for Milly and worked with Sarah Jessica Parker who eventually moved into the title role.

After her stint on the Main Stem, Schleifer attended New Dorp High School, and she eventually did play Annie when Staten Island Civic Theater mounted a production of the show at Lincoln Center.

Although she started at Wagner College, she eventually received her degree from State University of New York at Purchase. Shortly after graduation, she moved out to the West Coast. Working at various jobs, many of them related to the theater, she discovered that she enjoyed producing and directing as much as acting.

"But music was always my Godfather," she said alluding to the famous line in "The Godfather III" where Al Pacino utters "Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in."


Although she quit singing for a while, she rediscovered her love of music a few years ago and started to play the guitar as well.

She said that learning the guitar was "horribly hard" at first, and "the fact that I have small hands didn't make it any easier." however she stuck with it because she used to play for her mother who was ill and enjoyed the music.

So now in addition to playing, she's writing lyrics, composing music and touring, to promote her new CD, "Only the Ocean."

"It's always great to come home," Schleifer said, and she anticipates catching up with a number of her New Dorp classmates and other friends on Friday night.

At the Muddy Cup, she'll do two shows with the first scheduled to begin at 8:30pm. "It'll be all my own material," she stressed although she didn't rule out the possibility of covering a few songs by other artists.

Most of Schleifer's songs are bluesy rockers filled with catchy hooks. Asked which she thought might be a breakout number, she picked, "Serendipity." In my opinion another strong possibility is her second choice, "Judah & 9."

One Sunday she'll perform at the Baggot Inn on W. Third Street, Manhattan. The opening act is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and she will follow. While there is a $5 cover at the Baggot Inn, admission to the Muddy Cup is free.

She will also have copies of her CD available for purchase, but the big question is whether anyone can coax her to belt out "Tomorrow" for old times sake.

- Richard T. Ryan, Staten Island Advance


"Only the Ocean" - Debut CD (Independently released July 2003 - sold over 1,000 copies to date)

"Yes, You Can Touch It" (Sophomore album, release Date tba)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Late October, and Karen Maria Schleifer is born into a Staten Island kind of world, full of warmth, eggplant parmesan, family and music. Her mother and father (born during the depression) keep the radio on day and night, and Karen Maria grows up with everything from Glenn Miller to Motown. The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, and Pat Benetar are her constant companions. Perhaps this is where her creative spirit was born, or maybe it was later, during her stint in the Broadway production of Annie and afterwards, as she submersed herself in New York's theatre and cabaret world. Or even later, when she became involved in the Los Angeles artistic scene: producing theatre, promoting bands, participating in festivals-- you name it. Probably, it is a combination of all these experiences that has made Karen Maria Schleifer the consummate performer she now presents to audiences across the country. These are the reasons why her music is so accessible, why she is equally comfortable performing a solo set at the Derby, or jamming in the open air, surrounded by like-minded artistic people at the Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival.

After establishing herself as a vocal force in the LA music scene – and teaming up with such bands as Anus, Patty Medina, Thriftstore Cowboy, and mentor Jonathan Dyke (Stabbing Westward, The Dreaming) -- Karen Maria began writing her own music. Her style has rapidly evolved into a unique mix of bluesy rock and groove that never loses sight of the story she needs to tell. The songs on her first album, "Only the Ocean", produced by Brad Gordon, document her journey over the past few years, and reflect on the relationships that have truly shaped her. Karen Maria celebrates birth "Ghosts Come at Night" and death "Realized For Now," and all the milestones in between. The album is intensely personal, yet anyone listening is sure to find a line or an idea that resonates, because Karen Maria always sings the truth. “Only the Ocean” has sold more than 500 albums to date. She is currently recording her sophomore album (title TBD) in Ocean City, Maryland with musical producers Steven & Michael Cirile -- scheduled to be released in the fall of 2004.

Karen Maria’s songs are often heartrending, but tempered with wit and a wink at the absurdity of the world. It is her hope to share her experiences with as many people as possible-- to travel the country and exchange, taste, reveal and admire. Or, to use her own words: "I'm living in the quintessential/ and reaching for the optimum/ I never really knew my girth/ until I stretched across the earth/... Onward, all love, no fear."

Karen Maria has performed such notable venues as the Whiskey A Go Go, The Hotel Cafe, The Derby, 14 Below and Taix Lounge in Los Angeles and Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, The Baggot Inn,
The C-Note, The Duplex and Rose’s Turn in New York City – just to name a few.

For booking information – please email karen@curlykaren.com or call 646-342-0067