Charisse Lowe

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Charisse Lowe Kahler

Charisse Lowe Kahler      Steve Kahler

Biography

Charisse’s music is a composite of many styles and influences. She grew up listening to her parents’ recordings of Maxine Sullivan, Mahalia Jackson, Benny Goodman, Josh White, and Billie Holiday. When her father retired from the Air Force and moved the family to Ithaca, NY, Charisse fell in with the folk element in the small college town, and was introduced to the contemporary folk writers of the day. (To this day she believes that Joni Mitchell is the greatest singer-songwriter of all time, the Queen). While still in high school she taught herself guitar and began playing venues in the area to include the seminal Bound for Glory, a live broadcast from Cornell University on WVBR radio.

Initially, Charisse played traditional folk music stamped with her own personal touch. Over the years she has evolved into a singer-songwriter unconstrained by genre or style. Her writing covers topics as diverse as a Down syndrome everyman, prima ballerinas, Henri Matisse, and all facets of the human condition. She has been a consistent Song Showcase winner at Winfield, and in 2006 won first place in the 59th Annual Ozark Folk Festival Songwriting Contest in Arkansas.

Charisse has played to audiences all over the country and Europe. She has shared stages with folk elite Greg Brown, Maura O’Connell, the late Mickey Newbury, Kate Campbell, Jack Williams, and Small Potatoes.

The year 2001 brought Charisse’s first all original CD, “Places I’ve Been…People I’ve Known” to fruition. It received favorable reviews and airplay on several indie stations throughout the country, and the track “Red Dirt” won the Winfield Showcase that year. In 2004 she released “Fountain Street”, a bare-bones effort recorded by Wichita friend, Larry McDoniel. It captures the soloist coffeehouse sound, and included another Winfield winner, “Jesus Loves You”. The fall of 2006 Charisse recorded “New and Overdue”, her third collection of original songs that included two contest winners, “Blue Factory Hill”, and “Across the Border”. In 2008, Charisse won both first place and an honorable mention in the Woody Guthrie Song Competition with “Across The Border” and “Blue Factory Hill”. She and Steve were invited to do a full set at the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, OK, on opening night.

Her voice can be as loud as Broadway, or quiet as a small town Saturday night. Charisse can jump from a wild, up-tempo jazz tune to an ancient ballad without missing a beat. It all works because the woman loves to sing!

Currently living in Wichita, KS, Charisse and husband Steve often play as a duo, called “The Kahlers”. They have become local favorites in area venues for their wonderful harmonies as well as their unique dual guitar and mandolin style.