Originally from Boston, Massachusetts and based in San Francisco, Karen played with Marilyn Mazur (Miles Davis) and Suzanne Fasteau (Bill Evans) in Copenhagen as a teenager. She co-founded the acid-jazz band “Red Clay” with David Brown (Brazzaville, Beck) in Los Angeles in the early 1990’s. Karen has studied with teachers including Dean Brown (Marcus Miller), Ray Copeland (John Coltrane), Cedric West (BBC Radio Orchestra) & Jean Marc Belkadi.
Karen has been developing her original project in the Bay Area since 2002, including collaborations with Perry Thoorsell, Fred Randolph, Jonathan Ferris, Marcus Shelby, Alan Hall, Babatunde Lea, Sameer Gupta, Ricky Carter and Jef Labes. Karen Segal Trio's two CD recordings: “In The Moment” and “The Mystery Of Life” (lilleskat) have been described as "a prodigious leap in jazz fusion" (JazzTimes 2009) and "a particularly free spirited style of jazz." (JAZZIZ Oct 2009). Karen was awarded a Fullbright-Hays grant in 2010 to bring her trio to perform in Denmark at the Århus Jazz Festival. Karen's recording "Come With Me" was included on the JAZZIZ compilation disc: "Sign of the Times: Women 2010" which describes her as taking "her toneful predecessors (Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell) in intruiging new sonic and rhythmic directions."
Karen earned her B. A from Hampshire College, M.Ed from the University of California Los Angeles, , M.M. and M. M. Ed from Boston University. She taught band and general music at PS 207 in Harlem (New York City), Luther Burbank Middle School (SF), and currently teaches at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco and Nea Community Learning Center in Alameda. Karen was the Jazz Artist In Residence for the 2010 JCC Macabbi ArtsFest in San Rafael, CA. She teaches and directs Ms. Segal's Band Camp and Girl's Rock Camp at the Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco.
Karen has performed in the following Bay Area venues: Yoshi's SF; Herbst Theater; Bimbo's, Pearl's; Enrico's; Rasella's; Savanna Jazz; Elbo Room; Cafe Du Nord; The Jazzschool; Cafe Revolution; Bottom Of The Hill; Hard Rock Cafe; Lou's Pier 39; The Saloon; Simple Pleasures Cafe: Bazaar Cafe; Skip's Tavern; Socha Cafe; Blue Jay Cafe; Mama Arts Cafe
Other venues of note: The Roxy, The Lava Lounge, Atlas Bar & Grill, The Musician's Institute (LA); Asana Tea House (Santa Cruz); The Palace, The Rock Garden, The Bow Bells (London); The Purple Door, Århus Kvindemusifestival, Århus Jazz Festival, Fairbar, Valby Kirke (Copenhagen)