From the White Album to the White House:
Karin & Mike Kelleher Merge Their Lives and Music
Karin and Mike Kelleher have been making music together for over three decades. They once eyed one another across a crowded freshman music theory classroom, each too shy to talk. Later, they became friends through music, when Karin played violin in a string quartet while Mike played guitar and sang “Yesterday” and “Piggies”, as part of a recital of Beatles music he arranged and conducted.
Their paths diverged -- Karin leaving for graduate violin studies in Cincinnati, and Mike flying to West Africa to serve in the Peace Corps -- but the affection lingered. Hours before flying to Sierra Leone, Mike spent the last few dollars in his pocket to send Karin a single white rose.
A decade later, while unpacking after one of many moves, Mike saw the receipt for that rose. He gave Karin a call to see how she was doing. They went out for Chinese food and were married 18 months later.
They’ve collaborated throughout the years, playing Mike’s songs, performing classical music, or covering old favorites. Last fall, they decided to make a recording of their own music, combining Mike’s love for jazz with Karin’s passion for classical music. The result is their album, “Melange”, which is French for “mix”.
Produced, composed and arranged by Mike, Melange not only blends jazz and classical compositions and styles, it combines different eras, and with unique acoustic instrumentation, including string quartet, double bass, drums, guitar, oboe, and voice.
“Melange” celebrates the cross-influences of classical and jazz composers, highlighting musicians who perform -- and serving listeners who enjoy -- both genres.
Karin and Mike settled in the Washington, DC area just before Mike began a stint at the White House (NY Times story here), and Karin began playing with the Annapolis Symphony (bio here) and other orchestras and ensembles. They live in Maryland with their three daughters, perform regularly on the east coast, and are already planning their next album.