Klingensmith to play at Jazz & Blues Festival

Friday, December 23, 2011
Kelsey Klingensmith

On Jan. 13, the talented young Kelsey Klingensmith will be among the guests performing with Jimmy Davis & Friends at 9 p.m. to midnight at The Gathering Place as part of the 12th Annual Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival.

Kelsey Klingensmith is a sweet country girl from Moville with the soul of a songbird and the heart of an angel. A prodigious singer and songwriter, she has already written over 90 songs and recorded her first all original CD in December of 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.

Eddie Kilgallon, band leader and keyboard player for Montgomery Gentry feels "Kelsey is an inspiration for all of us who fill the air with magic..." Kelsey's original music has been endearing people of all ages, as it embodies a compassion and understanding far beyond her years. She is already a seasoned performer, and has been amazing audiences in Nashville, Branson, and throughout the Midwest.

Kelsey's passion for creating music began at a very young age. Her mother recalls how she would hum herself to sleep as a baby and as a toddler was constantly singing and dancing. "I would try to teach her nursery rhymes to sing, but she would just reply, 'No, mommy I sing my songs!'"

Fearless at the age of four, Kelsey made her first public performance singing "The Grand Old Flag" complete with cartwheels, backflips, and tap dancing. By age seven this budding songwriter learned how to write, and began to put her heartsongs to paper. For her ninth birthday Kelsey bought her first guitar with her birthday money. She took quickly to the guitar and began strumming and picking the melodies to her songs. She was an immediate natural on the guitar picking up difficult bar chords and finger picking styles with ease.

Then Kelsey's life took a challenging turn when at age 10 she became stricken with a mysterious illness. This difficult time became a blessing for Kelsey, and changed the path of her life, for out of her weakness she found strength and determination that would propel her music to places she had only dreamed of. As she became stronger, songwriting became a form of therapy, and the music poured from her heart.

Kelsey began to realize her dream when she made her first trip to Nashville at age 11 to record five of her original songs with Eddie Kilgallon, at Kelsey Studios. Eddie K. felt that "Kelsey's melody and lyric writing far surpass anyone I've met at her age." Her CD titled, "Live, Laugh, Love" was released in April of 2011. Kelsey is a member of Nashville Songwriters Association and BMI.

She was given a scholarship to attend NSAI's Advanced Song Camp in June of 2011 and was featured on BMI's website in July of 2011. She is quickly making her mark as a leading songwriter of her generation, garnering the attention of top Nashville music industry professionals.

Bullying is an issue that has touched Kelsey's heart and through her music she hopes to make a difference. Her song "You're Beautiful" was written based on her experiences at school with bullying. "One day I was looking in the mirror and this song just came to me. So many people, young and old, have been in this situation and can relate to the lyrics in this song." "You're Beautiful" was chosen to be included in an anti-bullying program called Inner Hero, which is being used throughout schools in Australia.

Kelsey's songs "You're Beautiful" and "I've Got Feelings Too" also captured attention locally. She was invited to perform for over 2,000 students and community members from the Siouxland area, including Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad at the Orpheum Theater for Tolerance Week in April 2011. This coming January her song "I Am Somebody" is slated to be in the MTV documentary "Bullied."

Kelsey has lent her musical talents to help other groups such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, CASA of South Dakota, The Gospel Mission, Middle Tennessee Golden Gloves Boxing, Project Rehema "Sing for Africa", and The Make a Wish Foundation. She has also had the honor of singing for our country's Veterans and has been asked to sing the National Anthem at many important events.

This past year she performed at over 100 shows in seven different states including Nashville, TN. Kelsey has enjoyed performing at world famous venues such as The Listening Room, The Cadillac Ranch, Tootsies, The Stage, Blue Bird Cafe, Commodore Grill, Nashville Palace, The Fontanel Mansion, and Hotel Indigo Downtown and West End. During the 2011 CMA Music Festival Kelsey participated in the Porter Wagoner Memorial Fishing Tournament with Dianna Clark and she performed at five venues including the CMA "Power Zone."

CMA fans watching Kelsey's performance commented they had walked for blocks just to see where "the voice" was coming from. They were surprised to find a 12 year old girl strumming her guitar and singing with a voice beyond her years. Kelsey has also captured the hearts of audiences in the Midwest as free stage entertainment on the Anderson Erickson stage at the Iowa State Fair along with many county fairs, festivals, banquets, and benefits throughout Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

At The National Traditional Country Music Festival, she won the title of "Best Country Singer" for 2010, and she won the 2010 Colgate Country Showdown in Mitchell, SD. This placing earned her a spot as the opening act for Gary Allen at the Corn Palace.

Currently Kelsey is writing, performing, and teaching herself how to play the piano and mandolin by ear. She has partnered with The Buffalo Ridge Band: Jimmy Davis on lead guitar, Steve Alingh on keyboard, Dave Hinners on drums, and Brooks Begay on bass. After only a few weeks of practice the band has already performed live at a benefit to collect food for those less fortunate.

The band was so well received they got a stand ovation with a call for an encore from the crowd. Kelsey is also making frequent trips to Nashville to work with industry professionals, co-write with top Nashville songwriters, and perform at her favorite Nashville venues. She is planning on recording her next CD in the spring of 2012.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: