photo by katherine copenhaverDolorata Band Photo

Band Bio

Dolorata is a modern day old school band. With passion and raw power, this all-female quintet rocks with the sensibility of the iconic 70's, combining distinctive influence and experience to create a new sound, which can be described most simply as "rock and roll."  Vibrating deep in your heart, you not only feel the soul and blues that had guided the pioneering bands of rock?s heyday, but you also catch the momentum building for each stripped down, captivating rhythm that demands the attention of today.  This musical mix defines Dolorata.

Guided by lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Katie Colpitts, each lyrically compelling song is recognizable and riff based.  She is strongly supported by Dori Sappo on guitar, Veronica Savage on bass, Dawn Richardson on drums, and uniquely accented by Emily Palen?s persuasive violin. Each brings her own influential and hard-hitting vision to Dolorata.  Members of the band have not only hailed from Bay Area groups such as, 4 Non Blondes and The Hail Marys, but have performed at the Grammy?s and have played with legendary icons like John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, The Foo Fighters and Tracy Chapman.

Dolorata has vibrantly rocked some of San Francisco?s most celebrated venues from The Warfield, The Fillmore, Slims and Bottom of the Hill to esteemed establishments in the southern CA region from The Whiskey a Go-Go to the House of Blues.  Unshakable headliners, as well as dynamic supporters of such artists as Iggy and the Stooges,  The Gossip or Von Iva, Dolorata consistently manifests the magnitude of their uncompromising, driving, soul vibrating rock.

Releasing their debut album, Believer, in May of 2008, Dolorata continues to capture attention, garnering praise from such notables as Curve Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, The Bay Guardian, and SF Weekly.  Tracks from Believer have electrified the airwaves on Bay Area radio stations, including 107.7 The Bone.

Dolorata?s blues influenced, hard rock inspired collaboration always packs a punch. Somewhere between Cream and Led Zeppelin - Wolfmother and Queens of the Stone Age, you'll find the sound of Dolorata.

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Katie Colpitts

Lead Guitar / Vocals

Katie Colpitts is the founder, lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of Dolorata. Driven from a very young age by her love for music, she began playing guitar at 12 years old and was performing live music by the time she was 15.

She has been in numerous bands including The Hail Marys (where Katie met current Dolorata bassist Veronica Savage), Underground Tsunami, The Pitts and various other projects. Hailing from a musical family, Katie has been in bands with both of her talented brothers. The Pitts included brother Pete, former drummer of The Loudmouths and currently of The Young Offenders. She has also collaborated with her brother Than, bassist for The Dirty Rigs. Katie has also performed extensively as a soloist in the Bay Area. She has played in many well known local venues including The Fillmore, The Warfield, Great American Music Hall, Slims, Bottom of the Hill and various others. While Katie has a wide range of influence, her love of blues and soul shows through strongly in the rock 'n roll of Dolorata. She is very excited to be playing with four great musicians who consistently inspire and motivate her to keep playing and pursue her musical vision.

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Dori Sappo


Dori's love of guitars and music started at a young age. Dori got her first guitar when she was 8 years old. She learned the basic chords. She learned more during visits from a musical aunt and uncle that she could force into playing guitar. She learned a bit more from friends - creating the guitar goddess you see before you today! But it was all a secret until.

Dori relocated from Long Island to San Francisco in her mid-twenties and decided she was ready to take her guitar playing public. She has since performed with Supersugar, The Amazon Mollies and The Dave Galaxy Band before joining forces with Dolorata. Katie and Dori were friends for sometime and had played a couple of shows together before Katie decided to put the band together. Dori is now quite happy and proud to be playing with such an incredible group of musicians who have all become good friends and sort of family. When Dori is not playing guitar (those rare moments) she enjoys her career as a massage therapist; spending time with friends; going to shows; and eating and drinking and being merry.

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Veronica Savage

Bass Guitar

Veronica grew up a sweet southern gal in North Carolina, horrifying friends and family with her love of heavy metal music. When her French horn experience proved unsuitable for gigging, she picked up guitar, wrapping it in electrical tape to emulate Eddie Van Halen's fashionable axe. Unfortunately six strings were far too complicated, so she taught herself bass by plucking along with her favorite radio tunes. She enjoyed a few years with The Hail Marys before joining Dolorata, where she is constantly challenged and invigorated. Veronica enjoys being a mom, working in a cubicle, subculture, and performing heroic feats of life balancing. She hopes to be a rock star when she grows up.

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Emily Palen


Emily Palen, violinist for Dolorata, grew up in Midland, Michigan and started studying violin at age 4 and piano at 5. She pursued a classical music education, performing in orchestras, chamber ensembles, competitions and solo performances. In the midst of her studies at University of Michigan School of Music, under professor of violin Paul Kantor, she moved to California and began her pursuit of rock.

Over the years Emily has performed and collaborated with various musicians including Gladhand, Kompare and Shelley Doty's Xtet, all the while searching for musicians who carry the same musical vision and inspirations. Immediately upon meeting Katie Colpitts and Dolorata, her drive was reignited and her musical vision met. Emily is honored to play with the members of Dolorata, who share her love and commitment to musical creation. She feels music is a conduit of truth and a passageway to the heart and has found a musical home in the band. Emily also composes music and teaches private violin and piano lessons in the Bay Area.

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Dawn Richardson


Dawn lives in her own world that revolves around drums and Diet Coke with Lime. She likes to play the drums, write about the drums, teach the drums and program drums. Dawn grew up in Los Angeles and began playing at the age of 13. Throughout high school and college, she played drums and percussion in all sorts of groups including rock bands, marching band, concert band, orchestra and percussion ensembles and is excited to be the latest member of Dolorata, as this is creating an opportunity for yet more drumming! Yeah!

Dawn has also previously toured and/or recorded with a bunch of folks including 4 Non Blondes (Interscope Records), Erika Luckett (Birdfish Records), Lillix (Maverick Records), Penelope Houston (Normal Records), Angel Corpus Christi (Almo Sounds), The Loud Family (Alias Records), Kindness, Joe Gore, The Martinis (featuring Joey Santiago of The Pixies), 2Toggle, Perps, TaB and Vicki Randle (The Tonight Show). Dawn has also composed soundtracks for several short independent films and has three drumming books available through Mel Bay Publications: Building Blocks of Rock; Fill Workbook and Block Rockin' Beats. Dawn is endorsed by Pacific Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks.

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