Karen Kalafatas (aka Karen K) is a singer, songwriter and social entrepreneur based in Chapel Hill, NC. As a children’s and family artist, she is founder and leader of the award-winning tot-rock band Karen K & the Jitterbugs (“A Must See Act!” The Boston Globe) and Jitterbugs Music Classes (Best of New York, NY Magazine & Best of Boston x3), an early childhood music program than ran for over a decade and served thousands of children in NYC and Boston. She is also creator and executive producer of Kids Really Rock™, the largest free family music festival in the country, attracting 10,000 attendees annually and promoting inclusivity and community through the arts. For her work on this event and her leadership in Boston, Karen was awarded a Berklee Urban Service Award in 2016. In 2019, Karen co-founded Family Music Forward, a collective dedicated to creating safe and welcoming spaces for Black artists and families in the children’s music and entertainment industry.
Karen continues to work as a community advocate for children and families, and as a singer and songwriter for audiences of all ages. She has learned and led as a non-profit fundraiser at Harvard University, City Year Inc, 1 World Chorus, and other top-tier organizations focused on the arts, youth development, education, and civic service. She is currently director of a non-profit management consulting firm supporting mission-based organizations across the country.