“When you put that combination together, we make magic. I love the magic when it happens!”—Kathleen Bertrand

Passionate, Loyal and Cool are three distinctive words that describe the soulful Jazz vocalist, Kathleen Bertrand. The tenacity that lies within this woman, whose voice hits the three-octave range, is not easily seen or heard, rather it is evident in her performances, and during our interview. In her definition of life, she is passionate…“I try to bring 110% to the game, whatever the ‘game’ may be, which means I’m passionate about my children, music and my work with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the BronzeLens Film Festival, my hometown of Atlanta, my church, family and friends.” Kathleen’s loyalty includes people, places and things. Friends she’s known since first grade, the same vacation spot, and if she likes you—she sticks. She makes the point, being cool means “to maintain a sense of calm in difficult circumstances…,” and a close friend calls this “keeping it in the middle, so that your perspective remains clear. “You can’t help yourself or anyone else with a clouded perspective.” After getting insight into this seasoned Diva’s life who has endured a lot, but yet has aspired to reach her dreams; then you can appreciate why this extraordinary lady is engaged in the entertainment industry in such a creative way. As the Founder/Executive Producer of the Film Festival, she uses her gifts, favor and resources to give back to others, to help them fulfill their dreams too.

Understanding where her passion derives from will move you to compassion and humility that demands respect. What few know about Kathleen is that when she was 5 years old, her father died of cancer. “I never forgot the sound of my mother’s crying and wailing that early July morning. As I went through school, I wanted to excel so that my Mom would be proud of what I did, because I never wanted to hear her cry again.” The inspiring part about this testimony is the factor of setting a goal at an early age to achieve something great, so she could help someone else. It is no wonder that those traits she developed as a little girl are embedded in her and emanates in her work and life today.

In Atlanta and abroad, her music is legendary. It can be attributed to the elements within the songs that include expressive, deep and meaningful melodies and lyrics that stir the soul and allow her audience to relate to each song. When asked what makes her stand out from the crowd, her response was intriguing, “I am a lover of lyrics. As a vocalist, I feel that it is my job to musically interpret the lyrics of a song in a way that the listener cannot only understand what the songwriter was trying to say, but they can also personally connect to the song. In addition to that, when I have performances, I try to surround myself with musicians that have the same great love and passion for music that I do. When you put that combination together, we make magic. I love the magic when it happens!” That kind of magic will transcend time and space. After listening to Kathleen Bertrand, her audiences are left with a sense of fulfillment from the intoxicating vocals that are sensational and will leave you inspired, motivated or encouraged.

Her track entitled What They See, was written for the third installation of one of the chairmen of the 100 Black Men of America. Named from the theme at the time, it is now used as the national theme song of the organization. Written with her collaborator, Phil Davis, it was easy, especially after she saw the outstanding men doing meaningful work with the children in the community. Kathleen’s songs share magical moments of love in relationships, self-love, spirituality and motivation. Another track, Destined for Greatness has been used for countless graduation ceremonies from elementary to collegiate. KB, as she is known, says she loves writing inspiring lyrics for youth because as a mother of four, she truly “gets it” because her lyrics “…speak to other young people as if they are my own.”

Kathleen Bertrand is still making magic for a lifetime in every aspect of life, family, her audiences, and the youth who will become our next generation of leaders in film/entertainment. What better way to utilize your gifts within society so you can leave a legacy like Kathleen, “Knowing that I helped somebody as I passed along and I cheered someone with a word or song.” She is preparing for the 5th Annual 2014 BronzeLens Film Festival and working on her sixth CD project scheduled for release in 2015. “It is always an exciting time to be in a creative period.”

For more information on Kathleen Bertrand, visit: www.kathleenbertrand.com and the BronzeLens Film Festival: www.bronzelens.com.

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