Born in 1982 in a small town outside St. Petersburg, Katerina Brown was drawn to music as an
infant. Jazz and American records were still hard to come by in the waning years of the Soviet
Union, but she soaked up her father’s albums by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Studying
classical music throughout her adolescence, she started performing in local clubs as a teenager,
singing mostly blues and standards. Ambitious and eager to learn more, she moved to St. Petersburg
at 19 and quickly fell in with a cadre of young musicians who loved and played jazz.
A savvy bandleader by 21, she started performing regularly at the Red Lion Blues Club, which was
owned by an American, and spent the next five years working steadily around the city as a blues