Karen Willough, songwriter and longtime choral singer grew up in New York and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. After completing undergraduate education at the College of New Rochelle, she went to New York University for graduate studies in Psychology.
She quickly discovered that the field was not for her and bounced around in an assortment of jobs while continuing to study music and pursue a songwriting career. Karen met michéal Castaldo when they were both members the Songwriter’s Guild of America, at offices located in New York. He produced several of her original compositions.
After living on another continent and traveling to over 25 countries, Karen finally returned to where she belongs--the world of music.
Karen sang with Capella Sint Jan in The Netherlands for several years, before returning to the U.S. Since 2012, Karen has been singing with Chicago’s prestigious Mount Carmel Morning Choir under the direction of Paul French. She also studies and works with the incomparable Beckie Menzie, who introduced Karen to the world of cabaret.
Karen made her solo debut with “Tra le tue Braccia” It was followed by the duet "World without You" with Chicago jazz musician Michael Jones,
who also plays trumpet in the song.
“Scrumptious,” Karen's first CD/EP includes a swing version of “Whispering,” most famously recorded by Paul Whiteman in 1920, as well as a sultry rendition of the 1975 Orleans song “Dance with Me.” The title track, “Truly Scrumptious” comes from the enchanting film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” The song also features a flugelhorn solo by Caleb Mitchell, graduate of the prestigious music program at DePaul University and trumpeter for the group “The Right Now."
The video for “World without You,” starred Paul Walter Hauser, who appears in the Oscar-nominated film “I, Tonya.”
“Shall We Dance,” another duet with Michael Jones, reached #4 on South Africa’s indie chart and stayed there for over a month.