The Kennedy Center

Rose



Biography

Rose was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, at the tail end of the cultural explosion that rocked the Boston-Cambridge area in the 1960s. Raised by a socially-minded tribe of artists and musicians, Rose was weaned on the musical legacy of folk heroes like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and her own jug-band uncle, Jim Kweskin. The latter recognized Rose's perfect pitch when he heard her singing to herself as a child. By age 14, Rose began writing original work, combining her folk-music lineage with sounds gleaned from other modern archetypes: the sweetness of Edith Piaf, the soul of Nina Simone, and the R&B of Etta James and Ray Charles. She moved to Spain in the early 1990s, where she sang blues, jazz and folk standards with local acts and paid the bills busking in Madrid’s underground with her guitar.

One year later, Rose returned to the States, armed with a cache of original pieces. In 1997 she moved to Washington, D.C. and mustered the courage to perform and record her own songs. In the fall of 2000, Rose took the stage at Staccato, a northwest D.C. piano bar, and played her first gig comprised entirely of original work.

On stage, Rose's music is torn between lovesick ballads and angry rants, each one framing a personal vignette. The Castilian influence from her tenure in Spain is evident in the upbeat "Maria." Meanwhile, melodies like "Prove Yourself" and "Blue Irish Eyes" evoke the folkie sound of her forebears, a style that has since evolved into more musically complex arrangements like "Beautiful" and "Move Me."
Rose