1. Toshiko Akiyoshi
  2. Geri Allen
  3. Andrews Sisters
  4. Angela Andrews
  5. Lil Harden Armstrong
  6. Dorothy Ashby
  7. Pearl Bailey
  8. Beverly Barkley
  9. Karen Briggs
  10. Suzanne Brooks
  11. Ruth Brown
  12. Diane Cameron
  13. Betty Carter
  14. Joan Cartwright
  15. Kim Clarke
  16. Gloria Coleman
  17. Alice Coltrane
  18. Dorothy Donegan
  19. Ella Fitzgerald
  20. Rita Graham
  21. Jace Harnage
  22. Billie Holiday
  23. Bertha Hope
  24. Shirley Horn
  25. Lena Horne
  26. Alberta Hunter
  27. Jus' Cynthia
  28. Sandra Kaye
  29. Emme Kemp
  30. Vinnie Knight
  31. Lavelle
  32. Peggy Lee
  33. Abbey Lincoln
  34. Melba Liston
  35. Gloria Lynne
  36. Tania Maria
  37. Marian McPartland
  38. Carmen McRae
  39. Mabel Mercer
  40. M'zuri
  41. Sandy Patton
  42. Trudy Pitts
  43. Cheryl Porter
  44. Shirley Scott
  45. Nina Simone
  46. Bessie Smith
  47. Carol Sudhalter
  48. Sarah Vaughn
  49. Dinah Washington
  50. Ethel Waters
  51. Mary Lou Williams



Karen Briggs was born in Manhattan, New York to a family with a long-standing tradition of musical interest and involvement. Her natural acumen on the violin surfaced with her first lessons at the age of twelve. Since that time, she has evolved into a master violinist of gospel, jazz, classical, pop, Latin and New Age musical idioms. This diversity has allowed her to develop an unmistakably identifiable and contemporary style that continues to comprise itself of all of her musical encounters.

Briggs has performed internationally as a featured soloist in concerts and venues ranging from the Harlem’s Apollo Theater to the Agra India’s Taj Mahal. In 1994 she made her Carnegie Hall debut with noted pianist, Dave Gruisin. The performance then entitled “Fiddlefest,” later became the theme for the current motion picture, “Music of the Heart” in which Briggs has a cameo appearance. Versatility has played a major role in her accomplishment as a musician. She continues to be accepted and celebrated for her fiery solo presentations in Salsa music. She has also been called upon to record and /or to perform as a featured soloist with such other notable artists and producers and Diano Ross and Arif Mardin, Stanley Clarke, the Wu Tang Clan, Soul II Soul, En Vogue, Chaka Khan and Juan Sebastian, among others.

Briggs’ influences are unique . . . especially for a violinist. Her sound combines the rip and rock of Jimi Hendrix, the rich soulfulness of Aretha Franklin, the bop and swing phrasing of Charlie Parker, embellished with Latin rhythm, but delivered with respectable classical technique.

Briggs was catapulted into international recognition as the featured artist on two world tours with Grammy-winning New Age Composer/Performer, Yanni. The multi-platinum-selling video/CD presentation and PBS television special of both “Yanni Live: At the Acropolis” in Athens, Greece, and “Tribute” performed and televised at the Taj Mahal, Agra, India and in the Forbidden City, China featured an array of international talent. Over a period of nine years, Briggs was featured and interviewed as a solo performer.

Currently, Briggs' second instrumental solo project is in production. She continues to be in international demand for live concerts, guest artist recordings and artist tours, demonstration lectures and for private instruction. She and her family quietly reside in Maryland.