Following her prodigious beginnings on bass at age 8 and studies under renowned vocalist Tierney Sutton at 12, Thiroux was mentored by the legendary bassist John Clayton and was awarded a Phil Ramone Presidential Scholarship to Berklee College of Music while gaining experience on the bandstand with artists including Terrell Safford, Terri Lyne Carrington, Branford Marsalis, Larry Fuller, Ken Peplowski, Jeff Clayton, Patti Austin, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Charles McPherson, and dozens of others. She was a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Thelonious Monk International Competition and in a field where very few women get recognition, Thiroux is not only recognized but is a mentor to other female musicians.
In 2015 Thiroux self-released her debut album as a bandleader, “Introducing Katie Thiroux,” which received “Debut Album of the Year” from All About Jazz, Huffington Post, Jazz Journalists Association, and NPR Jazz listed the release among their Top 5 Debut Records of the Year. Her most recent album, “Off Beat,” from GRAMMY nominated label, Capri Records, collected rave reviews and was awarded a “Best Album Of 2018” by Downbeat Magazine and was named “Rising Star” jazz bassist in 2019 and 2018 Downbeat Critics Poll. Thiroux works closely with the Monterey Jazz Festival as a traveling educator and in 2019 she was named the inaugural director of the Monterey Jazz Festival “Women in Jazz” program. This features an international group of gifted young women that she mentors throughout the year.
In the wake of the pandemic, Thiroux realized her passion for teaching an opened an online studio in which she teaches bass, voice, special topics classes and hosts monthly virtual recitals. From Thiroux, “I believe that all students have the inherent ability to succeed. It is my responsibility as a teacher to work with students and guide them to discover a learning process that is successful for them. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe, stimulating and creative environment in which every student can flourish and grow.” Another healthy offspring from the pandemic is a weekly podcast, “The Hump with Katie” where she interviews leading artists of all genres in pursuit of how they became great and what can the public learn from them! Additionally, in August 2021, Katie was asked to join the faculty at the prestigious Thorton School of Music at the University of Southern California as vocal jazz professor.
Thiroux is thankful for the mentorship she received growing up and now while on tour internationally 30 weeks of the year, she incorporates masterclasses while on the road for students and audiences. Thiroux is an educator for the world’s largest acoustic bass educational website, Discover Double Bass, on faculty at University of Southern California, the Colburn School and is the co-creator and co-director of Jazz Maui Camp on Maui, HI. Major performances include: Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Singapore Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Madrid Jazz Festival, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, GRAMMY Museum, SF JAZZ, Germantown Performing Arts Center, Museum of Making Music, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Blue Note (NYC), NAMM, Symphony Hall Birmingham (UK), Guildhall School, a week residency at Birdland (NYC), three-month residency at Quincy Jones’ Dubai jazz club.
“This girl is IT!” (Quincy Jones)
“A multitasking talent who swings her bass with a Mack-truck-powered lilt that would make her hero Ray Brown proud, and who transforms her smallish voice into a thing of delight” (The New Yorker)
“In addition to her playing, her singing was natural, unforced and harmonically delightful. The promise that Thiroux portended that night is being played out steadily.”(La Times)
“Thiroux focuses on selecting the right note at the right time, proficient at self-editing-a true measure of craftsmanship.” (NPR)
“Katie has been turning heads since she arrived.” (Boston Globe)
“Genuine artists like this don’t come along every day, so take note” (All About Jazz)