Monday, February 20, 2012

About Your Host and This Blog

Welcome all to TIMKAT's Jazz Corner of the World!  I'm your host, Kathryn Ballard Shut, president and owner of TIMKAT, but also a real, living breathing person, jazz pianist, vocalist, and over all roaring music fan. I love great and respectful conversations about how music shapes our lives.

A brief bio of me:  I'm in my 40th year of life and not even feeling close to my age.  In that time, I have studied jazz for over 25 years, learned to play piano and several woodwinds (clarinets, saxes, some flute), and have been a professional musician in the Denver music scene for the past 5 years.

I have served as a leader in several groups, and played with notable folks out of Denver such as Mark Diamond, Jean-Luc Davis, Keith Oxman, and Jared Johnson, but also with California-based film and music star Daniel Valdez, all good people and friends.  I also headed my own group for a time, now under the direction of my friend, Mike Evans (

In addition to playing music, I love to discuss trends in jazz and music. I have been an (amateur) reviewer on forums such as AOL and Usenet (1990s), CDBABY and (2000s)(example: - wow, has it been 7 years already!?)  Outside of classic jazz, my favorite bands are Steely Dan, Tower of Power, The Rebirth, Stevie Wonder, and so many more in the R&B genre.

In 2007, my father, also a great jazz musician, Tim Ballard (, and I opened TIMKAT as a means of exploring the richness of sharing music online, but also as a way of discussing jazz, spotting new talents, and basically serving as a home base for people as they launch their careers.  It is one reason that we use the black and white picture of a young man on trumpet as our "logo". That is my father, age 19, taken on Feb 25, 1967, playing in a band in Kansas City.  The photo reminds us that in everyone is first a dreamer and has to start somewhere.  Many are talents just waiting to be found, and even if you feel you've "made it" (I haven't), we should never forget how scary, confusing, competitive, and difficult the road you walked can be to someone else.  Success is a journey, after all, and not a destination, best traveled with friends.  TIMKAT attempts to be those professional friends.

Over the past couple of years, the company has been relatively dormant as I dealt with Tim's passing; however, I am getting my second wind and once again ready to explore the changes in music, online, and in the industry.  We are digitizing and getting ready to release an album that Tim released in 1978, filled with fantastic cuts from the golden age of seventies soul, and it's an exciting time.  (Here's a shameless plug for our engineer, Colin, and his audio company,  I literally found him on Craigslist and he's excellent.  If you use him, tell him TIMKAT said hello.)

So enough about me, already.  Come on in and pull up a chair.  Stay awhile and know that here, you're among a growing number of friends. Be free to contribute to the discussion, because it's no fun for me to hear myself talk.  Start a discussion, post a response, anything to pay tribute to one of the world's greatest art forms.

Best always,
Kathryn Ballard Shut  (pronounced /shoot/ with a long 'u')

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