Spice Up the Night with Nina Katrina at Sammons Cabaret


Want to spice up your Sammons Cabaret Night with international flavor? Add Nina Katrina; tune up her accompanists, and feel Kurth Hall sizzle. This Thursday, April 18, is your chance to experience the unique styling and world-class repertoire of this Dallas-based international songbird. You don’t want to miss her.

The eldest child born into a military family in Lubbock, Texas, Nina Katrina received her first introduction to music at a tender age when her family moved to Brazil. Responding to the sultry rhythms, diverse range of instrumentation and poetic lyrics, young Nina found herself bit by the musician bug and began playing guitar for her own entertainment. “Everybody thought I would become a visual artist as I had real talent for it. I didn’t think about becoming a professional musician; I just knew I loved the music.”

Call her an “accidental” musician? It must have been her fate. “Living in Panama, we got very little American music, mostly British. When I returned to the US for college (Texas Tech), I got inundated with the American and California music scene and felt overwhelmed, yet kept playing privately and growing as a self-taught artist. I visited Austin one weekend and promptly transferred to school there, where I continued studying visual art. During the summers, I’d visit my parents now stationed in Germany. One evening I got asked to play at a little club; they loved me and the music I was now deep into playing, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan. I got over the stage fright that had inhibited me at home and began playing regularly. Things changed when I returned to Austin. I realized I didn’t want to spend my life making visual art. I started playing music and quit school and never looked back.” Music has taken her places most people only dream of going.

Solo playing bloomed into duos and trios, and Nina added genres, from jazz to Bonnie Raitt to Freeport Convention. “I started hiring well-schooled musicians, recognizing what their knowledge and skills added to the professional level of performance.” Traveling between Austin and San Francisco, playing professional gigs, she shared stage and recording space with a wide range of musicians, from Jerry Jeff Walker to the Austin Lounge Lizards. “In San Francisco, the diversity of jazz and world beat music really appealed to me, and there was Union work available. I found it a friendlier, more open scene. But “Carnival” was big in Austin at that time, drawing thousands of fans to its performances. As I spoke and sang in Portuguese, I became the “go to” gal for the Brazilian sound at that event.”

Performing at the “Carnival” event reinvigorated her interest in international music. She found she had a good ear for languages and began expanding the repertoire to include Spanish, French and Hebrew. “I love the sounds of different languages. I started playing abroad, in Europe. My brain resonates with the sounds of different languages and I enjoy singing them.” She finds German the hardest to sing and prefers the Romance languages, all tied together with their origins in Latin. Portuguese is still her favorite with its poetry and distinctive grooves. Of the nine different languages she sings in, she says Brazilian music is the genre she would take to a desert island if she had to choose….

Nina says it’s been hard to narrow down her choices to a working music set for Thursday night. Her first set will focus on piano music with the versatile Dave Zoller accompanying; her second set will expand to guitar with Jason Bucklin. She hopes her audience will enjoy the variety and diversity of the repertoire and appreciate the universality of beautiful music from cultures around the world.

Satisfying spice for the adventurous palate!

Nina Katrina’s international-flavored cabaret takes place April 18th in Kurth Hall at the Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines at Oak Lawn. The ticket price for each evening’s concert includes free valet parking, coffee, and beer, soft drinks, wine and light snacks.  Seating is general admission.  Regular ticket price is $40.00; Members $35.00. Performances are on Thursdays from 8:00pm –10:00pm. Doors open at 7:30pm Reservations are required. CALL 214/520-7789.  All major credit cards are accepted. http://www.sammonsartcenter.org


Joanna St. Angelo, Executive Director

(214) 520-7789  joanna@sammonsartcenter.org 

Arlington Jones, Artistic Director

(817) 375-8096  arlington@sammonsartcenter.org

Support for this series is provided by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and TACA, Inc.  Other Sponsors include The Dallas Voice and Worldwide Piano.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s