ELKINS – Davis & Elkins College alumna and international recording artist Kaia Kater will present two special events Saturday, October 13 as part of Homecoming, Senator Nation and Family Weekend. A question-and-answer session, “From D&E to the International Stage,” will take place at 10 a.m. and a concert is set for 4 p.m., both in Robbins Memorial Chapel.
The events are free and open to the public. This engagement of Kaia Kater is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Kater earned a degree in religion and philosophy and was the highest-ranking Bachelor of Science graduate with the class of 2016. As a student, she was an inaugural member of the dance and string band Appalachian Ensemble and toured the region representing the College.
Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements and songwriting abilities landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone and BBC Music.
Kater’s newest album, “Grenades,” set to release in late October, is creating a buzz in the music and entertainment media. Now Toronto lists it among the “10 Toronto Albums We Can’t Wait to Heart in Fall 2018.” In August, Rolling Stone included the album’s first single, “New Colossus,” on the “10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week” list. Describing the song as “equal parts stoned mountain music and smart, atmospheric Americana,” the magazine recognizes Kater as “reaching far beyond her roots as an old-time banjo picker and Appalachian-influenced folksinger.”
The latest work is her third album. While a student, she crafted her first EP, “Old Soul,” in 2013 and her first album, “Sorrow Bound,” in 2015. Her 2016 release, “Nine Pin,” won a Canadian Folk Music Award and sent her on an 18-month touring journey from Ireland to Iowa that included festival shows at the Sisters Folk Festival, AmericanaFest, Newport Folk Festival and Edmonton Folk Music Festival, among others.
Kater’s performance at this summer’s 59th Newport Folk Festival again drew attention from Rolling Stone, tagging her as among the “12 Best Things We Saw.” Following her performance at Davis & Elkins College, Kater will continue her tour through the U.S. and Canada.
During Homecoming, Senator Nation and Family Weekend, Kater will be honored with the College’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award, presented annually to a young alumnus or alumna who graduated within the last 10 years and shows promise in his or her profession, including professional achievements and honors, community service/service to others, and commitment to the College.
For additional information on Kater’s performance and events for Homecoming, Senator Nation and Family Weekend, visit www.dewv.edu/homecoming-weekend