Kate Olson is an improvising saxophonist and music educator based in Seattle, WA. Since moving to Seattle in 2010, she has done her best to infiltrate the local, regional and international improvised music scenes. She can be heard performing with her own projects KO SOLO and KO ELECTRIC, and as a collaborator with Syrinx Effect, Ask the Ages, the Seattle Rock Orchestra, the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble and Electric Circus (led by Wayne Horvitz), the Seattle Jazz Composer’s Ensemble and with such Seattle staples as the Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses and cabaret producers Can Can Presents and Verlaine & McCann. Kate has a BA in Music (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Wyoming and an MM in Improvisation from the University of Michigan.
Kate’s international resume continues to grow, including performances in Russia, Latvia, Turkey, Switzerland, South Korea, Cuba, and Slovakia. She has appeared on stage with Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Pauline Oliveros, Allison Miller, Bobby Previte, Skerik, Patricia Barber and pop music icons Elvis Costello, Brandi Carlile, Sir Mix-a-lot, Matt Cameron, and Big Star’s Third (featuring members of REM, the Posies, and Nada Surf) among others. Kate was nominated in 2011 and 2013 for the Earshot Golden Ear Award in the Emerging Artist category, and in 2014, 2016, and 2020, she was nominated for the Best NW Instrumentalist Category, and in 2016 her band KO Ensemble was also nominated as best NW Alternative Group. The KO Ensemble finally won a Golden Ear award in 2019.