Karen Escovitz (aka Otter) is the founder of SheWho and provides direction, musical and otherwise, for the group. She has been a musician all her life. She has played a variety of instruments, but these days concentrates on fretted strings (guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin) and percussion. She has sung in choral and other vocal groups since childhood. While in college at Wesleyan University in the mid-1980s she founded and directed an acapella ensemble, QuasiModal, which still exists today. She was a member of Anna Crusis Women’s Choir in the 1990’s as a singer, accompanist, Music Committee member, and occasional arranger.
Otter decided to start SheWho out of an interest in a more challenging and intimate singing experience than is possible in a larger choir. She had a dream of creating a group that was about more than singing — but which was also about creating a context in which a group of women could develop skills, find our collective and individual voices, create deep connections with one another, and become the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Eager to develop further as a songwriter/composer and arranger, she is also interested in using SheWho as a music laboratory for developing more original woman-centered, feminist choral works that could be shared with the woman’s choral community. So far, it seems to be working.
When she is not wearing her SheWho hat, Karen Escovitz is a social worker, researcher, and trainer in human services. Her latest musical adventures have her studying Brazilian Samba percussion with Unidos de Filadefia. She is aunt to 3 wonderful nephews and co-parent of four 4-leggeds. She lives in a big old fixer-upper in Germantown most of the time…the rest of the time she’s shacked up in Ardmore with her beloved partner, Lid, whose 2 young adult sons have adopted her as a pseudo step-parent.
Otter has built her own guitars and repairs fretted stringed instruments so email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got a neglected guitar, mandolin, banjo or bass that needs attention.