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12 July 2018

Camilla Rose Waters (1957 - ) musician, clown, social worker

Steve John Kern was born in Santa Rosa, California, and raised the youngest in a family of six kids, all of whom played musical instruments. Steve sang, and learned to play trumpet, trombone, French Horn, Baritone and tuba. From 7th grade he was teaching music.

He did a degree in Social Work and Music Therapy, and developed programs for those with physical and mental disabilities, and a 135-agency coalition to provide housing and food for the homeless. He created a company to provide musicians and other entertainers to corporate clients and to schools. He also became certified as a professional clown. He was for a while the Event Manager at the San Jose Convention Center. Discovering that the surrounding school districts had lacked music programs for 20 years, he set up programs that reached 1,500 students weekly.

He had been born lacking peripheral vision. This meant being unable to view the sheet music and the conductor at the same time. He compensated by memorizing the music. While he wore glasses from the 8th grade, it was not until age 30 that the problem was correctly identified.

Kern was often taken for the singer John Denver. After Denver’s death in a airplane crash in October 1997, Kern began singing in Denver’s style, and audiences were amazed at the physical as well as musical likeness, and in a 24-month period he ‘accidentally’ met a dozen people who had links with Denver.

In 2009, at the age of 52, Kern started transition, and became Camilla Rose Waters.

In 2012, in Flagstaff, Arizona, while out shopping, Camilla collapsed and woke up in hospital. Her lack of sight was now almost complete. She decided to move to Portland, Oregon for access to the Casey Eye Clinic, the city’s mass transit system and its strong music scene.

She was welcomed by the Portland Folk Music Society and invited to be one of the representatives of the blind community. She is the first trans person in the history of the Western Music Association. She was chosen by the Portland Folk Music Society as their featured artist for November and December 2013, however the Oregonian Newspaper refused to do a story on her, or to review her music.

Her current album is Songs from the Prairie.

*Not the musician and pastor, also called Steve Kern; nor the Steve Kern, son of Artie Shaw and grandson of songwriter Jerome Kern.
  • Paul Von Ward. The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation. Fenestra Books, 2008: 9, 85, 127, 175-6, 190, 200-2.
  • Ray Ashmun. “An Interview with Camilla Rose”. Portland Folk Music Society, August 11, 2013. Online.
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The book by Paul Von Ward proposes that Steve Kern and John Denver are a split soul.

Make of that what you will.

The book was published in 2008, just before Camilla Rose transitioned. If it had been published a few years later, what would Von Ward have proposed: that John Denver, had he survived, also would have eventually transitioned?

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