Kate Diaz

Kate Diaz

 Boston, Massachusetts, USA

⋅ k a t e d i a z ⋅ singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer-arranger-producer ⋅ endorsed by Godin Guitars ⋅ an "accomplished acoustic guitar player" with "an astonishing voice" ⋅ four acoustic albums of pop/rock songs with "clever lyrical content" and "natural rhythmic flow" including award-winning songs and songs for causes ⋅ commercial composer, freelance vocalist ⋅250+ shows at Chicago/LA/NY/Boston venues, as guest performer of well-known bands, at national festivals

Band Press

Sonic Circumstances: Kate Diaz Records in an Abandoned Bear Cage – Izotope

Gone are the days where musicians had to record songs in a studio. Sonic Circumstances is an interview series that features musicians talking about unique places they’ve recorded and how location influenced their experience. In this chapter, singer-songwriter Kate Diaz shares the story of when she recorded in an abandoned bear cage at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

What she recorded:

Diaz recorded an acoustic performance of her original song “Cameo.”


Where she recorded:

As part of the Live from Nowhere video series, we recorded at an abandoned bear cage exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston last summer. Emily and Nico, the creators of the series, gave me a few choices of abandoned spaces we could film at, and I chose the bear cage because it was such a sunny, beautiful setting. I chose to perform my song “Cameo” because it has an upbeat vibe that matched the bright vibe, and the lyrics parallel how the space is no longer used and made a cameo experience in the zoo’s history.

How the location affected her recording process:

Nico set up two mics and ran them through an interface to record the performance. It didn’t really affect my playing too much.

It was really cool to hear natural elements like bird chirps and gusts of wind come through in the recording, which added such a nice, calming atmosphere to the performance. It was a very open space acoustically. Overall, the experience was amazing, and I would definitely love to perform in an unconventional outdoor space again.

How playing to just a film crew affected her recording process:

It didn't really bother me. It was fun to play in nature on such a nice summer day, but it was also cool see all the filming effects and gear that the crew was using. One of the cameramen had a camera attached to a harness, and that's how we got those aerial-looking shots.

Learn more about Kate Diaz on her official website: https://katediazmusic.com

PRESS PAWS: Kate Diaz plays – Vanyaland

Kate Diaz plays an abandoned bear cage for the latest Live From Nowhere session

We’re continuously smitten with Live From Nowhere.

The live video series from co-producers Emily Graham-Handley and Nico Rivers takes New England artists out of the clubs and pubs and positions them against a natural backdrop far out in an abandoned locale, and we’ve already spilled digital ink all over recent sessions with Bent Knee and American Echoes.

This week, Live From Nowhere returns with Chicago-born, Boston-based singer-songwriter Kate Diaz, who we first partied with us back at our October 2014 CMJ showcase with Berklee College of Music. But far from the human cages of New York City, Diaz’ Live From Nowhere session for her song “Cameo” takes place in a nearby zoo’s abandoned bear cage.

“Emily had shown me an old black-and-white photo of what the abandoned zoo location used to look like,” Diaz says. “So I chose a song of mine called ‘Cameo,’ which reflects on how things that may seem permanent at a certain time don’t always last forever. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I had a blast. I thought it was so perfect for the video series that the weathered cement carving behind me had two bears holding up a crest of Boston. I think that the series is a great idea given that Boston has so many places that are hidden gems.”

THE ROCKWELL: LIVE FROM NOWHERE video release party – Sound Of Boston

...precociously soulful voice


The 17-year-old performer from Chicago arrives with a strong pedigree, backed by Alex & Ani and regarded as one of Berklee’s brightest rising stars (we hear she does well at Harvard, too). She’s already released four acoustic albums and three singles, performing more than 150 solo acoustic shows around Chicago, from the neighborhood coffee shop to Lollapalooza. Writes the Chicago Tribune: “Bright, singer-songwriter chops and a clean, clear, articulate singing voice.” Adds the Illinois Entertainer: “A songwriter wise beyond her years, an accomplished acoustic guitar player.” And this from Songwriter Universe: “An assertive rock/pop song which has the energy and full sound of a Kelly Clarkson radio hit–you wouldn’t guess that it’s a 15-year-old who wrote and sang this song.”

Acoustic Kitchen - May 2016 – Laura Whitmore, founder WIMN/SHE ROCKS Award

"supremely talented...gorgeous voice, and amazing songwriting and guitar chops...this Berklee singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will blow your mind."

An Epic Finale to Northside Festival – Shayne Hanley, Pancakes and Whiskey - June 2016

very charming...sweet tunes

“AMERICAN SONGWRITER Daily Discovery: Kate Diaz, “Locks”” – American Songwriter

Kate Diaz discovered her gift for music from an early age, starting guitar lessons and investigating the world of songwriting in elementary school. Her talent rocketed her to a variety of guest appearance in her hometown of Chicago and eventually led to her winning a scholarship to Berklee’s Five-Week summer program, where she has continued to study. Her song “Locks” is from her latest album, Horizon.



AMBITIONS: I want to form a band and play larger shows. I also want to continue growing as a songwriter while learning about music production and arranging, and also to continue to learn about environmental science and policy.

TURN-OFFS: brussel sprouts

TURN-ONS: people with a positive attitude

DREAM GIG: sold out headlining show at Chicago House Of Blues

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” -Semisonic

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: My dad has been crazy and fun my whole life. Every December it’s hilarious to see where he puts the 4-foot-high lighted plastic snowman in our yard. One year “Frosty” was hanging from way up in a tree, and another year it perched on an old surf board.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “All This Time” by OneRepublic

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Paul McCartney, Sting, Ryan Tedder, Julie Foudy, Denis Hayes

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: being contacted by K’naan to be a guest performer at his Chicago METRO. He’s so much more than a musician.

I WROTE THIS SONG: (my song “Locks”)

Last summer, my friends and I took a long walk to explore Boston, since none of us knew the city. On the way, we passed by many locks that had been attached to a chain link fence on the highway overpass. People had written their names and dates on the locks and latched them on to stay there forever, and I thought it was a cool symbol and idea. When we got home that night, I started writing this song about our adventure and passing these locks, and I also found out through google that there are many places in the world that have locks attached to fences, especially in Paris and Russia. For me, this song is kind of is a time capsule of the amazing day I had with my friends, and later we put our own locks on the fence the last day of our summer program!

We're Telling The World About Kate Diaz – BESTNEWBANDS.com

Kate Diaz is dreaming big, aiming for her goals, and diving into young adulthood headfirst. She certainly made a splash with us at BestNewBands.com with her astonishing voice and knack for songwriting! BestNewBands.com discovered Kate Diaz in partnership with ReverbNation...


she's got quite the singing voice (it's in the general range of Norah Jones and Joss Stone)

Sonicbids Weekly Shoutout: Meow-Con 2013 – Sonicbids - November 2013

Kate Diaz is just barely old enough to drive, but that hasn't stopped her from touring around the country entertaining crowds of all sizes. In the past 3 years alone she's played everywhere from Lollapalooza to Summerfest. Her songwriting skills are catchy as all get out and impressive for someone of any age. Make sure to check out her song LOCKS.

Sonicbids Weekly Shoutout: Summerfest 2013 – Sonicbids - July 2013

Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration. Check out this variety of artists that performed and impressed the festival goers.
Chicago, IL USA - Booked by Summerfest
Over the past few years Kate Diaz has played Summerfest, Lollapalooza, Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, Taste of Chicago, House Of Blues, and has also booked more than 50 gigs through Sonicbids. Did we mention that she is 16 years old? Kate Diaz has been mystifying audiences with musical ability beyond her years since the ripe age of 11 and seemingly hasn't put down her guitar since. We had the pleasure of Kate serenading us with a set of her original tunes at Sonicbids HQ last summer and we are beyond thrilled to have her back in the office next week fresh off of her gig at Summerfest 2013. If you hadn't heard of Kate Diaz before you better get used to the name because you'll be hearing it for years to come.

Rock 'n 'Role Models – Evelyn McDonnell, LA pop music critic - Populism, October 2013

There was no shortage of over-qualified female musicians at MEOWCon, from two members of the seminal ‘70s ensemble Fanny (June Millington and Patti Quatro, Suzi’s sister) to erstwhile Michael Jackson guitar shredder Jennifer Batten. Black-clad New York blues revivalists Jane Lee Hooker ripped the balls out of Muddy Waters’s “Mannish Boy.” Kate Diaz, a 16-year-old from Chicago, sang a graduation song for her brother in a Joan Armatrading-worthy warble. Valentine’s own band, the Bluebonnets, managed to make a cavernous ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel almost, almost feel like the Continental Club. And of course Suzi Quatro slammed the strings in a rare American show, then delivered a ribald and hilarious keynote on Friday. - Evelyn McDonnell, LA pop music critic - Populism, October 2013

Kate Diaz's "Down To Earth” Named October "Best Song Of The Month" Oct. 2012 By Dale Kawashima, founder - SongwritingUniverse – SongwriterUniverse

“Down To Earth” is an assertive rock/pop song which has the energy and full sound of a Kelly Clarkson radio hit--you wouldn't guess that it's a 15-year-old who wrote and sang this song. It has a distinctive song title which cleverly captures the Earth Day theme, and a well crafted lyric which elaborates on this message. "Down To Earth" also provides a good showcase for Diaz's expressive, soulful vocal performance.

2013 Berklee Lolla Endowed Scholarship Recipients – Lollapalooza - July 10, 2013

Berklee Lolla Endowed Scholarship Recipients: Kate Diaz, a 16-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist from the Chicago area, is the recipient of the Berklee Lollapalooza Five-Week Scholarship, awarded annually to a local musician. At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, she joins more than 1,000 teens from all over the world sharpening their skills in private lessons, ensembles, and concerts. This is the third year Diaz has attended Berklee’s summer program on a scholarship, but this award has special significance. “Like many kids from Chicago, I’ve caught the Lollapalooza fever every summer since I started listening to music, so I’m really honored to have been awarded this scholarship,” she said.

Chicago Musician Kate Diaz Wins Berklee Scholarship – Fearless Radio

Written by Kris
Published on 10 July 2013
Category: Music
Berklee Lollapalooza Five-Week Scholarship...

A guide to music at Taste of Chicago 2013 – Chicago Tribune

What were you doing at age 16? Kate Diaz will be knocking you out with bright, singer-songwriter chops and a clean, clear, articulate singing voice.

Singer Kate Diaz - The singer-songwriter performs her Holiday tune, "Christmas Smiles." – Chicago ABC tv - Windy City Live show

All proceeds from iTunes and Amazon MP3, as well as sales of her Christmas Smiles CD through Christmas will be donated to CureSearch. CureSearch is a national non-profit foundation whose mission is to fund and support children's cancer research and provide information and resources to all those affected by children's cancer.

14-year-old Lolla performer Kate Diaz takes WCL stage – Chicago ABC tv - Windy City Live show

Kate Diaz has been playing music since she was in the 2nd grade and has a pretty big summer lined up to showcase...

K’NAAN in Chicago: Micro-Moments Create Mega Pleasure - April 2010 – Chris Catania, owner - LiveFix Blog

Ever since we first saw Kate amaze us at the Metro we knew she was well beyond her years. I watched amazed at the skill and composure of Kate as she nailed the song, ultimately putting a big pleasureful smile of approval on K’naan’s face too. Cheers and a roaring applause erupted after Kate finished strumming the song’s final chord. It was truly a moment where a fan was transforming into an artist right before our very eyes.

ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER | Around Hear: June 2013 – Illinois Entertainer

Hard to believe after listening to her third live, “unplugged” recording, Wildfire, that Kate Diaz (aka K8 DS) is all of 15 years old and still in high school. Then again, she’s been regularly gigging at her local suburban Potbelly sandwich shop since the 5th grade and debuted at House of Blues and Metro at 12 and 13, respectively. But as this latest collection of originals captured at Hard Rock Cafe attests, she is a songwriter wise beyond her years, an accomplished acoustic guitar player (not lost on manufacturers who’ve endorsed her with freebies) with a voice (though clearly still maturing) that does her music justice. Fingers crossed she finally saves up enough to make that studio recording. (katediazmusic.com) - David C. Eldredge

COLLEGE NEWS | Ear Candy: music contest winners, powered by Sonicbids – College News

Kate Diaz may be only 14, but her voice and her songs make it clear that she is wise beyond her years. The Chicago-area singer/songwriter/guitarist has already participated in Kidzapalooza and has been featured on local TV stations to display her talent. She's released an acoustic album titled "Two by Four" and will be participating in her Third Annual Children's Cancer Fundraiser Holiday Benefit Concerts. Fans can donate to the cause by purchasing her song "Christmas Smiles" for a dollar here. - September 29, 2011

Sonicbids Weekly Shoutout | Forget the new iphone, we're all about yellow phone! This music conference in Milwaukee was off the hook, so in case you missed these bands, allow us to be your star-6-9. - Sonicbids Weekly Shoutout Vol. 41 Sept. 2012 – Sonicbids Weekly Shoutout Vol. 41 Sept. 2012

Kate Diaz is a name you may not have heard of yet, but I can almost guarantee you will become very familiar with in the next several years. At the age of 15, she already demonstrates songwriting prowess and maturity that most 25 year olds only dream of. Having an incredible voice definitely doesn't hurt either. Simply put, she's ten years ahead of everyone else, and I can't wait to see where she ends up.

VENTS Magazine: Kate Diaz – VENTS Magaine

VENTS Magazine interview

Sonicbids Blog | My day at the Yellow Phone Music Conference Oct. 2011 - Tess Cychosz - Sonicbids Blog – Tess Cychosz - Sonicbids Blog

A highlight for me was seeing Kate Diaz. After getting over the moment of depression I had when I realized that a 14-year-old had more musical talent than I’ll ever have, I really enjoyed listening to her voice and I was shocked at her incredibly mature songwriting. She explained that her song “At The Same Time” was about her being torn between playing music and soccer, but after listening I really just think “soccer” was a code word she gave her parents for “boyfriend.” (Don’t worry Kate, I won’t tell!)

Chicago Tribune | TURN IT UP: A Guided Tour Through The Worlds Of Pop, Rock And Rap By Greg Kot – Greg Kot - Chicago Tribune

Catch If You Can: Kate Diaz (11:30 a.m., Kidz): Promising 14-year-old Northwest suburban folk-pop singer should get the day off to a pleasant start at the well-shaded Kidz oasis. - Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun-TImes | Lollapalooza’s got lotsa music in store for kids, too Aug. 2011 - Tor Hyams, Kidzapalooza festival producer – Tor Hyams, Kidzapalooza festival producer - Chicago Sun-Times

She’s one of the better songwriters I’ve heard in a long time. She’s like a pretty well-rounded, well-adjusted kid who’s from Chicago and just loves to play music. It’s empowering … if you’re a kid and you see someone near your age playing like that … it’s amazing. That’s pretty inspiring.

Chicago LIVE! 08-04-11 – Chicago Tribune

Chicago area native Kate Diaz gives a preview performance before her breakthrough gig this weekend at Kidzapalooza.

Music Tour Reviews | Emblem3 – Music Concert Reviews

It was the show you did not want to miss. Local, Kate Diaz opened up the show. She played a couple of original songs on the guitar. And although it must have been nerve-wrecking playing up on stage for the big crowd that it was, she made it look easy. She did an amazing job; ... It was a lot of fun and very memorable. Both acts did a fantastic job and knew how to please the crowd. A lot of success is in store for Kate Diaz, and Emblem3 is about to set the young adult market on fire this summer.

live concert review: Emblem3 rides "Riptide' into Chicago House Of Blues – Daniel Deslover, music photographer - Examiner.com

Local musician Kate Diaz opened the (sold-out) show, appearing solo with acoustic guitar. The teen artist was warmly welcomed by her peers and gave a strong vocal performance of original material. - March 27, 2013.

Top 10 moments from Kidzapalooza 2011 | Friday - Judy Sutton - TimeOut Chicago Kids – Judy Sutton - TimeOut Chicago Kids

The entire set played by 14-year-old Northwest Suburban singer/songwriter/guitarist Kate Diaz, who nailed every stirring song. You heard it here first: You'll likely see her performing on one of the Lolla main stages in a few years.

anrGirl Hot Seat Monthy Critique June 2012 - Holly Hutchinson, owner/A&R Executive - ANGIRL – Holly Hutchinson, owner/A&R Executive - ANGIRL

I love the tone of this young girl’s voice and think she’s a promising songwriter. At the age of 15, I think she’s off to a superb start. The song “Down to Earth” is a “call to awareness” type of song. She has a natural knack to her writing that has a natural rhythmic flow. The lyrical content is clever in her approach in raising awareness to environmental matters. The arrangement is tight. This is a song that seems to be over too quickly….ear candy created with piano melodies, vocal flow, etc.

A Quick Guide to Kidzapalooza 2011 – SAShepherd - ZooGobble

Kate Diaz is a Chicago-area teenage singer-songwriter who, judging by her YouTube channel, writes a lot of songs. I suspect that of all the teen acts at Kidzapalooza this weekend, she's the most likely to graduate to one of the other stages at the festival.

...click for more press & interview podcasts and videos – various

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