If you listen to Karina Rykman’s public playlists on Spotify, you’ll hear a diverse set of artists strung together through careful curating. These playlists are products of a rich education in music and culture. Karina’s pursuit has been to find groove, artistic integrity, and liveness in music and to spread its gospel by putting her enthusiasm behind it.
Beginning her career in music growing up in New York City, Karina experimented with music photography and videography. Karina directed and produced a video series for Toronto-based gear company ToneConcepts and conducted several other interviews on her own accord. These projects have brought her in conversation with artists such as Nels Cline, Dweezil Zappa, Jim Campilongo, Alex Skolnick, Trey Anastasio, and more. She began working as the General Manager at the independent concert promotion company Rocks Off while studying at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. At Rocks Off, Karina books and hosts shows (on land and at sea), often MCing and DJing the company’s legendary concert cruises, occasionally dressed as a unicorn.
Any project Karina takes on comes in tandem with her study of musical craft. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Invention and Distribution from NYU in 2016 – a title of study that exemplifies her balance as a promoter and artist. Karina’s ear has led her to the low end, rooting her primarily behind the bass. Her hunger for music with a certain je ne sais quoi has put her in the company of musicians who seek to share in her exploration.
In 2016, Karina joined the Marco Benevento trio, replacing her “guru” Dave Dreiwitz (Ween). In the many U.S. tours, trips to Japan and the UK since joining the band, Karina has developed a permanent and powerful presence in the band, playing headlining shows, festival sets, and opening for bands such as Dispatch, Vulfpeck, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Guster, and many more. Aside from her gigs with Benevento, Karina’s musical résumé has almost grown too large to keep track of, but includes highlights we’d be remiss to exclude: a performance on the Today Show with pop artist Julia Michaels, a now-famous soundcheck at Madison Square Garden with Phish, playing in the backing band (in front of Howard Stern, at Radio City Music Hall) on America’s Got Talent with a flame-spewing helmet on her head, gigs with the Everyone Orchestra (featuring Robert Randolph, Al Schnier, Alan Evans, Aron Magner, and many more), one-offs with the likes of John Medeski and Billy Martin, and finally, the formation of her own band.
The namesake band features Karina on bass and vocals, Adam November on guitar (and loopers and effects), and Chris Corsico on drums. Though initially an all-improv act, in the calendar year where that changed (2019) quite a bit happened. Karina put out two singles: “Plants” and “Elevator” – the songs have garnered six-figure streaming numbers + air time on Sirius XM Jam On. A few live highlights include opening for Khruangbin at the Capitol Theatre, playing moe.down and Hulaween, headlining Rough Trade in the Spring then moving up to Brooklyn Bowl in the Fall, opening for Guster at Higher Ground, and headlining clubs across the North East such as Nectar’s and The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH. The group has welcomed special guests including Skerik, Nels Cline, Robert Walter, and more. And this is just the beginning.