Karen Lee


Board member Karen Lee has been involved in music since the age of 4 when she insisted on piano lesson. At age 15 she began studying organ and soon was busy both as an accompanist (piano) and as an organist, an avocation she pursued until her mid-thirties. Then she switched careers from Director of Educational Media in the public schools, to land use trial lawyer. In that capacity, she led several ground-breaking cases in both state and federal court.

With retirement on the horizon, Karen feared that the right side of her brain may have severely atrophied. She began musing about a different free reed instrument, the accordion. With a year of intermittent lessons, Karen joined an accordion orchestra.

After a period of very little progress on the instrument, she finally caught on that it takes more hard work than wishes to re-find lost skills. She began serious study of the accordion with the internationally acclaimed jazz and Hollywood studio accordionist, Frank Marocco, continuing her studies after his untimely passing with Ilmar Kuljus. And she also found a new avocation as a music copyist. She presently is the accordionist for the Shtetl Menschen Klezmer Band, and is a member of the North Hollywood Accordionaire’s Pops Orchestra.