Karrin Allyson was born with natural talent, but thanks to her mother, that talent was developed from an early age.

"She is a classical pianist," Allyson said of her mother during a phone call during a personal retreat in the woods of Massachusetts. And her mom placed the performer/recording artist in front of a piano and taught her early on.

"It is what I majored in," Allyson said, who added that her mother "likes jazz, but I don't remember really hearing it until college."

Allyson, a singer, pianist and bandleader, will play at the Sheraton Monday night. Joining her will be the three musicians that round out her quartet — drummer Todd Strait, guitarist Rod Fleman and bassist Larry Kohut. And her mom will be there, too.

The group, which has traveled extensively, has developed a close relationship.

"When you are on the road, its very important to love who you are traveling with," Allyson said. "These guys, I can't say enough about them. They are like my brothers. I don't have blood brothers, but they are like brothers and we don't fight," she laughed.

The road can be a grind, according to Allyson, and the time spent making music on stage can be short compared to the wait in airports, the actual travel and packing and unpacking.

So she looks for ways to recharge. "I am a nature girl, the outdoors replenished me, this election replenished me, and family and friends of course replenish me."

Performances achieve that as well. She has good memories of her previous performance in Utah.

"It was packed, extremely well-attended," she said. "It depends on the people to make a room. Even if it's a corner without a microphone, and I have played in every situation you can imagine, it depends on the people. I remember they were appreciative, almost hungry," she said.

Allyson has 11 records to her credit, including the 2008 release "Imagina: Songs of Brasil," on which she sings in Portuguese and English, all under Brazilian influences.

The two-time Grammy nominated musician credits the usual suspects — Thelonious Monk, Nancy Wilson, Louis Armstrong and Diana Washington — for hooking her on jazz. She also appreciates popular music as well.

"But it was jazz that really grabbed me," she said.

If you go

What: Karrin Allyson

Where: Sheraton City Centre, 150 W. 500 South

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $25

Phone: 278-0235

Web: www.24tix.com


E-mail: lc@desnews.com