Karen is the daughter of jazz musicians Carla Bley and Michael Mantler. As a songwriter and a bandleader, her style has attracted a world-class list of musicians to her band throughout the years, including Steven Bernstein, Eric Mingus, Hiram Bullock and Arturo O’Farrill. As an instrumentalist and vocalist, Mantler has shared the stage with the likes of Terry Adams, Jack Bruce and Elvis Costello to name a few. She has performed frequently in Europe with various musicians, most notably John Greaves, Chris Cutler and Peter Blegvad. Robert Wyatt included three of Karen’s compositions on his 2003 recording, “Cuckooland”, which also featured her on harmonica and vocals. As a Hammond organ player, Karen toured and recorded with The Carla Bley Big Band from 1988 - 2009. In 2013 Anton Fier hired her to play keyboards and harmonica with his band The Golden Palominos. Her 5th CD as a leader (featuring Doug Wieselman and Kato Hideki) was released in 2014 on the label XtraWATT (ECM). Downbeat magazine gave the album 4 & ½ stars. Most recently she can be found playing Hammond organ, harmonica and glockenspiel on Peter Blegvad’s newest recording, “Go Figure” (released on the label ReR in 2017), which also features John Greaves, Chris Cutler and Bob Drake.