Bruce Katz to play the blues Oct. 17

Posted Online: Oct. 03, 2008, 2:39 pm
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Press release submitted by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society

Bruce Katz, a 2008 Blues Music Award Nominee for Best Keyboardist, will bring his fiery, passionate and very original take on blues, roots and soul music to the Redstone Room, Davenport, on Friday October 17 at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $15, $12 for Mississippi Valley Blues Society members (at the door). The show is sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.

An acknowledged Hammond B-3 master and acclaimed pianist, Katz will bring his top flight band with him as part of his CD Release Tour for his new album, Live! At the Firefly. Katz also actively tours with Gregg Allman and tours and records with John Hammond, who notes that “This man is as good as it gets—one of the greatest keyboard artists I’ve ever heard.” Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times says, “Katz cooks up a brilliant marriage of blues, jazz, gospel and soul.”

Over the past 25 years, Katz has been an in-demand sideman as well as leading his own band. He has played and recorded with many names in blues and roots music, appearing on approximately 60 albums with artists such as Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Jerry Portnoy, Little Milton, Jimmy Witherspoon, Big Mama Thornton, Mighty Sam McClain, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman, and many others.

After hearing a Bessie Smith record at the age of 10, Katz started teaching himself blues and early jazz piano. Eventually he found his way to learning boogie-woogie and swing styles as he continued his musical journey into more aspects of jazz and American roots music.

Katz attended Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s, studying composition and performance. For the next 15 years, he performed with many of the leading musicians in New England and played on the road as well. In the late ‘80s, Katz enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he earned a Master’s degree in Jazz performance. Five months after graduation he joined Ronnie Earl’s Broadcasters, staying with that band for five years before embarking on a solo career.

Besides performing and recording, Katz teaches piano, Hammond organ, and theory at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he also teaches an in-depth blues history and analysis course. At music festivals worldwide—including at the IH Mississippi Valley Blues festival in 2007—he conducts workshops about the Hammond B-3 and blues history.


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