Born and raised in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon, Christiane’s unique vocal style stems from her love for different musical traditions. She is the leader and founder of the award-winning ZilZALA Ensemble, which blends classical, traditional, and folk music from different regions of the Middle East and the Balkans with contemporary jazz. She is also the leader of the acclaimed Pletenitsa Balkan Choir. She has had the privilege of sharing the stage with the likes of Yanka Rupkina, Hüsnü Senlendirici, Javier Limon, the NY Gypsy All-Stars, Ran Blake, Jamey Haddad, the Assad Brothers, Binka Dobreva, Javier Limon and Bobby McFerrin. She has performed at venues & festivals such as Carnegie Hall, Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Symphony Space, the Koprivshtitsa Festival, Casa Arabe & the Moscow International House of Music among others. She appeared in the 2009 PBS documentary film "The Music Instinct: Science and Song", featuring Bobby McFerrin, Daniel Levitin, Oliver Sacks, Daniel Barenboim, and Yo-Yo Ma, and has also been featured on VH1.
In addition to performing, Christiane is an award-winning songwriter (the USA Songwriting Competition, SESAC, The John Lennon Songwriting contest, and more recently several nominations by the Independent Music Awards) and film composer. Christiane's latest release, 'Eastern Tapestries', celebrates the different vocal traditions of the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia, and ranges from traditional renditions to in the moment contemporary improvisations. Her latest project, the Christiane Karam Quintet, strives to explore human connection and the journey of healing darkness and separation, while celebrating the exuberance and depth of the vast array of musical traditions she comes from.
Christiane is also a staunch activist for cultural understanding, tolerance, and non-violent conflict resolution. She was honored by Berklee in 2001 for her “outstanding contribution to international goodwill and understanding” for a multi-national peace concert she produced in the aftermath of 9/11. Currently on the faculty of Berklee College of Music, as an Associate Professor in Voice, Ensemble and Songwriting, she is the founder and leader of the Berklee Annual Middle Eastern Festival, and actively continues her work of bringing awareness and Positive Social Change through music and the arts. Christiane also performs and teaches around the world and is on the faculty of the Omega Institute, as a co-leader of the Circlesongs workshop, alongside Bobby McFerrin and members of Voicestra. As a holistic practitioner, she is also committed to promoting wellness and balance through various mind body practices.