Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I want to say it's spring, but it was definitely snowing this morning!!  That is not changing what I think though, it IS spring!!!

This spring has been so fun at the Kozak house. I have never had a garden of my own; I mean, I house sat for a house with AMAZING gardens and I kept it alive the whole week, so that kind of counts, right?.  It is like Christmas in my yard!!  I'm raking leaves uncovering garden spaces and finding amazing things.  I have crocuses.  Not only do I have crocuses, but I have ninja crocuses that say "MOVE leaves!  It's spring!  Imma coming THROUGH!!"  I mean...look!
This is nature's version of the Kool-Aid guy.  OH YEAH!!!!!

So now I'm sitting here, looking out of the window, feeling guilt over the 14 bags of leaves (and 2 of dog poo!) that is getting rained on in my yard.  I'm not proud...we woke up on Sunday and it happened.  However, that meant we worked INSIDE!!

I am so excited to announce that I have an in-home teaching studio now!!  Instead of my students having lessons in the living room and effectively taking over the house, now they head upstairs to the little front "bedroom."  I put that in quotes because it has the weirdest closet built just to make it a bedroom for real estate purposes. I wonder, what was the room used for in a past life?  Anywho, my studio has seating for families and students who arrive early, a stand of course, a desk and chair, and ALL of my music.  If I want a student to try a new piece, I have it RIGHT THERE for them.  I also have a condenser mic ready to go for recording.  My students are going to have so many great opportunities now.  I am so thankful for John's help and ingenuity in setting up the recording equipment!

I hope everyone out there is thinking spring too!  Stay warm, stay dry, and stay positive!  I'm taking Saturday and Sunday off for some well deserved birthday celebrations for my sweetheart!  Friday I will be performing with my husband, Johnny Kozak, and the Washboard Time Machine Gun crew.  We'll be at the Keller Bar in St. Cloud.  Come on down (literally...it's in a basement).

Monday, April 7, 2014

More scarce than meteor showers, rarer than a 75 degree day in April, a chance to perform with Scotty Horey and his crew calls for celebration. This time the line up includes David Feily on guitar, Kevin Gastonguay on keys, Doug Brown on bass, Julie Johnson on flute, and of course the composer - soloist - percussion extraordinaire, Scotty Horey! I am thrilled to get to join them on ELECTRIC violin this Sunday at the Fine Line. For just $5, you can see this avant-garde group including a premiere by Horey composed especially for this interesting instrumentation and another local super group called Foreign Motion. What a deal!! 7pm doors.

Here is a taste of what you will see. The core of this group is from a Mahavishnu Orchestra inspired ensemble we call “Meeting of the Spirits.” Here we are way back in the day (2012) covering some tunes. Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Come on down!!!

Ah, that magical time of summer where I am actually excited to see school supplies.  I'm weird like that though.  I like the fresh new start, goal setting, new faces, brand new supplies that comes with a new school year.  There's also a big part of me that clings to each moment of summer as it fades away.

I'm pretty stoked that August is off to a great start.  I traveled to the mountains of California for the Kozak family reunion.
This didn't even look real in real life!  Ah...kayaking on Big Bear Lake.  So fun...and SO SUNNY.  Life lesson - when in the mountains, you're closer to the sun.  Wear more sunscreen than you normally do or you'll have mangled shoulders like me or full fledged lobster status like Johnny and Tony.  Aloe is your friend!!!

The reunion was great because it gave a chance to get to know A LOT of people that may be at the wedding.  I would HIGHLY recommend attending a reunion or something before a wedding - it's made me super excited to see HIS side of the family too!!

After the reunion, Johnny, Tony, and I stuck around to get into more shenanigans.  The three of us made a great team.  First, after leaving their aunt's house at 4am to bring their dad and another aunt to the airport, we picked up our rental car.  I have crazy incredible luck with rental cars - this time from Fox Rental car.  For less that I would have paid at another place for a 2 door something or other, I got THIS:

mmmm...Ford Fusion!  Satellite radio, review mirror defrosters, TONS of space inside and in the trunk.  Plus, what a cool color - eggplant!  This could be a contender for my next car, I loved driving this car!  Plus, I thought the company was cool too - Fox Rental car gets a thumbs up from me and probably my business again soon!

We took the car to THE PRICE IS RIGHT!!!!  BUCKET LIST!  I've always dreamed of going to the show.  We got in line around 5:30am (uff da!) and espressoed ourselves up for a LONG day.  The process is quite long, there are many steps to becoming and audience member, but with good company it passes quickly.  We left our phones in the car so we wouldn't have to wait to pick them up - all electronics are collected so there are no pictures in the studio or looking up of answers.  They interview EVERY PERSON in the 320 person audience.  EVERY PERSON.  They want to make sure they're going to have a contestant that's excited and entertaining.  All three of us had a lot of fun chatting it up with the producer during the interview and with the people around us.  One of the steps before going in was the picture in front of a green screen.  We had no idea what the background would be, but when we saw this, we thought it was hilarious so we purchased a print:

hmmm...that Anthony guy looks a lot like my future brother in law, Tony

The air date for the episode is November 13th.  I wish I could see it beforehand...I'm pretty sure I look like a blathering idiot most of the time, but I guess that's the point.  We were right on the aisle, high fiving everyone who came down.  We jumped up and down and yelled out numbers until I almost lost my voice.  It was hard to keep up the energy on 4-5 hours of sleep for the entire show, but I'm sure we looked pretty excited regardless.  I won't say any more, just that you need to watch the show on November 13th.  It's a Wednesday.  Mark it on the calendar or set a reminder on your phone, it'll be worth it!!!

How was the show?  Oh, I dunno...you'll just have to wait and see!!

We didn't make it to Conan, but it was worth it.  Now I have fulfilled my childhood dream of seeing a taping of The Price is Right.  FORTY YEARS of coming on down.  I would HIGHLY recommend the experience - it was so much fun!!  

One of the cousins met up with us at our hotel and cabbed it to the Hollywood Bowl where we saw Phish.  My 14th show, Tony's 3rd, and who knows what number for Johnny and cousin Joe.  We had our own little box and we danced and jumped and had a great time - surprising ourselves at how much energy we STILL had.  CK5 made use of the iconic architecture.  Wow...I am hooked for life and this show solidified my new found phan status.  I mean look:
Option 1: go with the normal light show which has reached legendary status
Option 2: Supplement legendary light show with highlighting the architecture of the famous Hollywood bowl.  Mind. Blown.

I'm still in disbelief over such a great trip.  Johnny and I had so much fun with Tony, when we went to our separate terminals to go home, we kept thinking we were still a trio, looking over our shoulder to see if we needed to wait for him.  Johnny will be going out to see more Phish shows (of course) with Tony in a few weeks.  It's so cool to see siblings become good friends as they become adults.  I couldn't be more excited to be joining such a great family.

Well, from 50+ Kozaks to John's dad-brother-2 aunts-a couple of cousins to the Johnny-Karen-Tony trio, to SOLO!  I'll be playing a SOLO show at The Acadia this Friday when i like you and Johnny are out of town.  I have a lot of surprises in store and am excited to share new material with you.  I play late (12ish?), but come down early as the WHOLE show is going to be fantastic.

I'll leave you with an oldie but goodie before I get ready for John (and the pop-off camper)'s return from The Big Wu family reunion (where I played THREE sets with THREE very different bands in more than THREE different styles until THREE THIRTY in the morning on Thursday...more on that some other time though).  OH and Happy Gnome tonight too!  Be there!!

How's this for a throwback!

You'd make a face like this too if you realized you signed on to play a show BY YOURSELF!!  
Circa 2006 - Stevens Point, WI

Please come to my solo show on Friday.  Please please pretty please.  Acadia - West Bank, Minneapolis.  I will play cool things on my violin and hug everyone.  Please.