Bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst is described by the Chicago Tribune as "a versatile young bassist who plays in far-flung bands and sings with uncommon delicacy and authenticity." She is co-leader of the adventurous Chicago-based jazz trio Twin Talk and has received widespread critical acclaim for her Dorothy Parker poetry song cycle Little Words, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2015.
Some recent notable performances and awards include performing in Mexico City, MX for a Chicago/CDMX Improvised Music Exchange in 2020; multiple performances at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival; performing with MacArthur Fellow and renown pianist/composer Jason Moran at the Chicago Symphony Center and the Kennedy Center; receiving a composing residency at the Ragdale Foundation; representing the USA as bassist and vocalist for the 2018 EuroRadio Jazz Orchestra in Riga, Latvia; and being named a Luminarts Fellow in Jazz in 2013.
Katie is an active sidewoman in the jazz and improvised music communities of Chicago, and travels throughout the US as a guest artist/clinician for young musicians. She is the director of the jazz ensemble at Wheaton College and teaches at Birch Creek Music Academy for the Jazz I summer program. Katie holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media and a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.