Bass wonder Karina Rykman keeps rocking, even during COVID pandemic

Sandy Kenyon Image
Monday, October 26, 2020
Bassist Karina Rykman keeps rocking, even during pandemic
Sandy Kenyon has more on the musician who had to get creative when concerts shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK -- When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the live concert business shut down to the tune of almost $30 billion in lost revenue -- but that doesn't mean musicians had to stop playing.

For those who aren't big names, this just means they have to be more resourceful.

Karina Rykman was looking at a breakout year when COVID-19 hit. She was supposed to be in a recording studio the first week of the lockdown, and she was looking ahead to a full summer of festival gigs.

Of course, that was not to be.

However, Rykman wasn't going to let that slow her down.

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She certainly is not the first female bass player to rock out, but she is in her own unique way a pioneer.

"It's often, oftentimes, just me and a pack of men and a pack of boys," she said. "And it's been that way for quite some time."

Rykman has been performing professionally since the eighth grade, and for her, it's a necessity as much as it is a career.

"I have an absolute, fundamental need to play that I felt from the first moment I picked up an acoustic guitar," she said.

This year, even the pandemic couldn't stop her.

"We're all bogged down by so much these days," she said. "If I can, you know, just give people a little bit of relief with music, that's an amazing thing."

Her new single is called "City Kids," a song for New Yorkers like herself. She's a child of two Columbia University professors who encouraged her on her journey.

"Be bold and stick to your guns and do what makes you thrilled and makes you feel alive," she said.

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Her first year at NYU, she was part of a band called Youth Posse. Since then, she's played with the likes of Phish during a memorable sound check at Madison Square Garden.a

She's now part of the band for Marco Benevento while also fronting her own group, and she is an inspiration to so many other young women.

"I've had women come up to me after shows and say, 'You being the truest version of yourself has inspired me to be the truest version of myself,'" she said.

She says her career has taken her to "good places with kind people," and added that, "It's been an amazing ride, so I'm ready to keep on going. I'm ready."

She is tomorrow's star here today, and it couldn't happen to a better person -- a person who, by the way, is always quick to credit others with giving her so much encouragement through the years.

You can check out her music at


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