All grown up: Kate Hamann releases first EP at age 21
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — At 10 years old, Kate Hamann chose to play the trumpet, because, she said, she wanted all of the solos in the band.
“I was always ready to step out,” Hamann said.
And step out she did. At 21, Hamann recently released her first EP titled “When I Grow Up,” which features four tracks that she composed, arranged and recorded herself.
Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, she recalled her father constantly playing Miles Davis and Chet Baker in their house.
“I was definitely exposed to jazz at an early age,” she said.
Her trumpet lessons turned into more than a hobby when she left her high school in Omaha to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in northwest Michigan.
“At Interlochen, music was taken more seriously as a whole,” Hamann said.
Torn between studying jazz or classical trumpet, she ultimately decided on jazz as it became clear to her that jazz was the place where she could express herself more artistically.
“I think the opportunity for improvisation allows for more creativity and expression,” she explained. “I have grown to have my own unique vocabulary — meaning phrases and small ideas that contribute to a solo, a language for improvising — and it allows me to be more creative than interpreting written music on a page.”
When it came time to choose a college, she received a scholarship to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where she is currently a junior pursuing a major in jazz trumpet performance.
There, she tried her hand at composing and writing. Her EP is the culmination of some of the first pieces she ever composed. She gathered a few friends from school, and together they recorded the four tracks that feature Hamann playing trumpet and singing.
“The theme of the EP is embracing the fact that I am releasing music at a very young age, and that’s reflective of the title,” she said. “I want to embrace the fact that there’s more to come. As artists and as humans, we’re constantly evolving and changing, and this is a statement of where I am right now.”
The first track, “Lady Lupine,” is a reference to her favorite children’s book, “Miss Rumphius.”
“The song captures what I’m trying to do with music in general,” Hamann said. “Making the world a more beautiful place is the theme of the book, and that’s what I plan to do with my music.”
Hamann, who spends much of her summer and winter breaks in Steamboat Springs where her mother Jen Hamann Boschi lives, has played at various locations around town and hopes to return this summer for more performances.
While she says the EP is her biggest accomplishment and most rewarding experience to date, she hopes to record a full-length album by the time she graduates in 2022. Post-college, she has plans to integrate herself into the Miami music scene even further than she already has.
“The jazz scene is really cool in Miami,” she said. “There is a huge mix of music down here with Cuban and Haitian and Caribbean influences.”
Hamann will find her own niche, because, as she says, “jazz is where I feel like I belong.”
“When I Grow Up” is available on all streaming platforms and can be purchased on katehamann.bandcamp.com.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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