Spotlight of the Week: Kristin Sponcia

Kristin Sponcia is a pianist, vocalist, composer and teacher who is from Milwaukee but now lives in Chicago. Her career has focused on teaching and performing American jazz.

ME: How did you get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?

KRISTIN: It was through a friend of mine, Marcya Daneille, who was already a member. She suggested that I check out the organization and that I join; I play piano for her often so that’s how I’m affiliated with her. That’s how I found out about it.

ME: Right on. Yeah, she’s been part of it for a while. She was one of the first spotlights I did.

ME: So, you’re based kind of between Milwaukee and Chicago, yeah?

KRISTIN: Yeah. I’m based in Chicago now but I do come back to Milwaukee to work.

ME: Tell me about your song, “Lucky Girl” available on your website.

KRISTIN: I think I started it many years ago and I didn’t finish it until several years after that. Sometimes I call it the only happy love song I’ve ever written (laughs). It’s about those happy feelings you have when you’re crushing on someone.

ME: Nice, I know those feelings all too well…I get it (laughs).

ME: What are some spots in Chicago that you’re excited to perform at?

KRISTIN: I’m pretty new to the city as far as being a resident so I’m just at the beginning of getting into the scene here. I would love to perform at The Green Mill, and at Andy’s, and at Winter’s Jazz Club – all those classic jazz venues.

ME: What about Milwaukee venues?

KRISTIN: I’d say I’m probably equally in-tune with Milwaukee as far as what’s going on in the scene, although the Chicago scene’s way bigger so I have more to connect to still. But I’ve been making trips to Chicago in the last few years and have made a lot of friends here. In Milwaukee I’ve always wanted to perform at The Jazz Estate, and I finally will be in September with Marcya – I’m very excited about that! We’ve also performed at places like Saint Kate’s…Blu at the top of the Pfister…those are nice rooms. Way back in the day, I played at Caroline’s but haven’t been there recently.

ME: I’ve actually never been to Caroline’s. Have you ever played Angelo’s?

KRISTIN: No, where’s that?

ME: It’s a piano lounge off Brady Street on Van Buren.

KRISTIN: I know exactly what you’re talking about. I remember driving past it wondering if it was still open because I’d never heard of it. I do love getting the vibe of different environments.

ME: Yeah, it’s a very intimate venue. When you’re at the bar, it makes you feel like you’re a part of the social dynamic between the artist and audience just by being there.

KRISTIN: I’ll definitely have to check that out!

ME: What are you working on now?

KRISTIN: Well, I’m working on getting my apartment organized (laughs). I’m preparing to record some tracks for an EP or full-length album; I’m not sure yet if I’m going to release songs as singles. I have some arrangements and originals picked out to record, and it’ll be my first official release as a solo artist. I’m pretty pumped about that; I’ve been waiting a long time to have the time and resources to do this so it’ll be very exciting when it does happen.

Visit Kristin Sponcia’s website here.

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