Kathy Zavada is a new age/adult contemporary vocalist, pianist, and producer whose work has been heavily influenced by traditional Indian music and Eastern religion. Zavada isn't an Indian purist, although she has, at times, shown a strong awareness of artists like Ravi Shankar, Jai Uttal and Ali Akbar Khan. Zavada is willing to use Indian tabla drums on her recordings, and she can sing in Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) as well as in English (her primary language). Many of the adjectives that are typically used to describe new age music are often used to describe Zavada's releases; adjectives like calm, tranquil, soothing, and peaceful. And she has, since the late '80s, enjoyed a small following in the new age market. But because she has been influenced by Indian music and Eastern religion, Zavada is also relevant to the world music field.
Zavada, a native of Baltimore, MD, has been singing since childhood. She was only four when she began performing with a Baltimore-based song-and-dance children's troupe that was run by German opera singer Julie Ozolins Miller. Then, at 13, she went to the University of Florida to study piano with Dr. Russell Danburg, who was a senior professor for the university's school of music. As an adult, Zavada did not remain in the eastern part of the United States; she ended up moving to the West Coast and presently lives in Mt. Shasta, CA. It was in 1989 that Zavada launched her recording career; that year, she released her debut album, Heart Space, on her own label, Precious Music. Instead of waiting around for a label to sign her, the Baltimore native decided to be pro-active and build a catalog at her own company. In the '90s, she went on to release several more CDs on Precious, including Mother's Song, In Love Divine, Trust There Is Love, and Union. For Zavada, there were various advantages to having her own label; not only creative freedom, but also, being able to keep her albums in print. At Precious, a Zavada title will remain in print as long as she wants it to. In 2002, the singer/pianist put out her seventh Precious album, Journey Home, which she produced herself. ~ Alex Henderson