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Judge for Karen Curious & The New Professionals

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Portrait of Karen Curious & The New Professionals

One of the most riveting and inspirational rock singer / songwriters of New York City, Karen Curious combines fearless vocal strength and emotive subtlety with dynamic harmonies and compelling song structure. Her songs get stuck in and around your head like a crown of thorns, carefully woven from the chosen trials and true to heart lost-love stories of her life experience. One of those unique needle in a haystack voices, she speaks both personally and universally. She's gained the respect of her peers and audiences coast to coast with her powerful sensitivity and originality. Shifting from her birthplace of Oak Ridge Tennessee to Biloxi Mississippi, and soon onto the barren landscape of southern California's Mojave dessert, the varied first images of Karen's childhood were tempered by her guitar, the one constant element of her upbringing. From the toy guitars she strummed to Johnny Cash songs she'd watch on TV to her first acoustic at age 10, she is purely self-taught and innately made for music. It wasn't long before Karen moved to nearby Los Angeles, where several bands took an immediate interest in her large personality and skills. She joined different all girl powered rock bands, received calls from Donita Sparks asking her to audition for L7, and was invited by The Go-Go's Kathy Valentine to play rhythm guitar in her solo project. "It was playing with her that pushed me harder to believe in myself and to write and to not be afraid to sing and play". Karen tied a lot of experience under her belt playing both guitar and bass, eventually finding the band Curious Yellow with whom she played with for several years. She developed a lasting bond with singer Scott Gilman, adopted the name 'Curious' (officially becoming known as Karen Curious), and flew through Hollywood performances with rave reviews, "it totally rocked and it was so awesome playing heavy music". A huge advance occurred when Karen moved to NYC and decided go center stage and lead her own band, New Professionals. She wrote, sang and recorded her first single 'Nothin Pretty' which was dubbed the punk anthem of the 90's by Debbie Harry. The song also inspired cinematographer Katrina Del Mar to shoot a video on a warehouse rooftop in Brooklyn, the city skyline in full view. Karen quickly became a fixture of the NYC music scene, her unrelenting focus serving as the spine of her band through its rotating cast of players while they played local venues and toured nationally, building audiences in major cities such as Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Miami. Her first album 'Come Hell or High Drama' was produced in 2003 by her former band-mate and longtime friend Scott Gilman. The songs 'I Loved You Baby' (arranged by Bill Aucoin) and "Happy Girl' went to number 65 and 69 on the Sirius Satellite Radio Charts. The momentum continued when "Too Hot" and "Rockstar" were featured in Girl Play, a film directed by Lee Friedlander starring Dom DeLuise. The political and personal themes throughout this album put Karen on the map as an outspoken female critic of society and lover of freedom. Her second album 'Coffee and Medication' followed in 2006, heavily influenced by the tragic loss of her brother and confident Derek Bellman. Karen spent the following year shooting a documentary film in attempt to solve the cold case of his murder while touring across Texas and California. Songs such as 'To Save You', 'RIP/The Desert Song", and 'Part of Life' are featured in the film and often performed in his memory today. With her unforgiving stamina and dedication to civil and animal rights, Karen has been asked to perform at Boston Gay Pride, fundraisers for Farm Sanctuary, WSPA & ASPCA, along with benefit shows for tsunami relief, and earthquake victims in Haiti. Her 2009 national tour included a showcase at SXSW, an opening gig for HR of Bad Brains in DC, and a special intimate performance with steel-guitarist Big Al from the EmmyLou Harris band. Karen is currently living and performing in NYC under her own name, working on her third album to feature her latest songs 'Slow as a Summer Breeze' and 'She's More Beautiful'. She's carved her niche in American music and will continue to stay true to her calling as a rock 'n roll artist.