Kitty and the Katz are the musicians that were brought together by Jack Malmstrom for his Jack's Cats project. We were nominated for a Music Nova Scotia Award, performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival, recorded a live album at the Music Room, won Bronze in The Coast's Jazz Group" category,were interviewed by The Chronicle Herald's Stephen Cooke and CBC TV's Colleen Jones, and performed gigs around Halifax from 2012- 2014.
Now that Jack has decided to return to his roots in California, we've decided we like playing together so much that we're regrouping as Kitty and the Katz. We're delighted to have the amazing Charlie Doucet ( Mark Roberts is concentrating on his group, Swig) and the talented George Ewanick joining us. Our style is a little more varied, drawing on the interests and experience of the Katz, - we're calling it Swingin' Bluesy Jazz... stay tuned for Kitty and The Katz gigs...they're going to be a blast!
Gordon Fader has had a long and varied musical career in Halifax. Classically trained by the Sisters of Charity beginning at age 7, at 13 he shifted to study with Delbert Jones at the Maritime Conservatory where he added a component of modern music including arrangements by Fats Waller and others. In high school at St. Patricks High he became the pit pianist playing for the many plays, musicals, choirs, folk singing groups and the high school band - the Patricians. At the same time his career expanded to playing guitar, bass, piano and organ for popular groups such as the Starlites, Walt and the Satins, The Sins and Lovers, and the DeHavilins. In university, while studying geology, he had a busy musical life playing regularly with Davy Wells and the Four Winds that led to CBC productions, backing Ann Murray, the house band at the Forces Fleet Club Atlantic, and the production of an album. This was followed by a period of playing with some of Halifax’s big bands at many venues such as the Noon and Night Watch atop Chateau Halifax, the Eddie Richards Orchestra, The Continentals with Erno Reti, John Alphonse big band, Dave Woods Orchestra, to name a few. Gigs got more serious with a long term engagement at the Privateers Middle Deck with Bucky Adams and Basin Street in the mid 70s and the production of a successful album.
In the late 1970s, he became the organist for the Halifax Metro Centre playing for the American Hockey League. He also played with a variety of bands in most clubs and dance halls in Halifax. In 2004 he once again picked up with Bucky Adams and joined the band “The New Basin Street” playing every Wednesday at Northwood Manor and many other engagements including the Halifax Jazz Festival. His recent activities include pianist for Jacks Cats and now Kitty and the Katz in a swinging jazzy style.
Thelma “Kitty” Farmer
Born in Cape Breton and singing ever since, Kitty is thrilled to be playing with The Katz as they develop and expand upon the Swinging Jazz musical stylings of the group from which Kitty and The Katz evolved; Jack’s Cats. Trained at Dalhousie and The National Theater School, Kitty has extensive performance experience in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, ranging from musical theatre, to voicing principal roles in animated television series and national and international radio and television advertising campaigns; as well as being a singer/songwriter, jingle singer and studio session singer.
Since returning to Halifax, in addition to performing with Jack’s Cats at The Halifax Jazz Festival, nightclubs and events; Kitty has performed in radio and television ads, developed and delivered voice-over workshops for Actra Maritimes and is a soprano with the Dartmouth Choral Society. Kitty considers the opportunity to interpret and perform the wonderful classic Jazz repertoire with this extraordinary group of musicians as the highlight of her singing career and is eagerly looking forward to recording, performing, and bringing joyous jazz to audiences of all ages.
Charles E Doucet
Charlie, as a life-time member of the Atlantic Federation of Musicians, has played Guitar and Electric Bass with many easy listening jazz groups over the years, both in the Atlantic Region and in Toronto, Ontario. He also is an acclaimed videographer and documentary producer having produced many shows during his career as a freelancer and with Vision TV. In his early musical career, his guitar played a role in the rhythm sections of notable Halifax orchestras led by well-known personalities such as Don Warner, Erno Reti, Johnny Manders, Eddie Richards… and in recent years, The Chalmers Doane Trio. His Bass was featured for many years in various bands led by saxophonist extraordaire, Bucky Adams of Halifax. A highlight of this musical collaboration occurred when Bucky’s Trio, featuring Gordon Fader on piano, was asked to entertain guests at the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Charlie lays it down for the energetic swing band Kitty and the Katz “doing his thing” on his Rickenbacker electric bass guitar.
Dave skinner was born and raised in Halifax and was nurtured by his father's 78 collection of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. He started in soul groups and variety groups playing everything from the Monkeys to James brown. Blues and swing still called and with the Mason-Chapman Band, Charlie A’ court and the Tritones. Dave is the driving force behind the band with his uncanny timing and great sense of swing. And don’t forget his fabulous voice and harmony skills that he employs on a regular basis.
George is one of Halifax’s best kept secrets. He comes from a musical family and his dad played with Moxie Whitney and Frank Bogart for a total of 60 years having started in bands at 14. George was also 14 when he started on the Tenor sax and moved to playing Jewish and Ukranian weddings at 17 in Toronto. He then moved to NS and played with many top 40 bands but enjoyed the lush life of the ballads. Listening to George and his jazz phrasing brings back many memories of sax greats and one can often heard some of those wonderful lines of the “Halifax Sound” made famous by Bucky Adams. George is at home with Kitty and the Katz and is looking forward to many years of swinging gigs.
Music and science are his passions! Dylan is currently working on a PhD in neuroscience and playing jazz guitar. Jazz and science seem like strange bedfellows but they have lots in common – both demand focus, attention, creativity and of course, an ability to improvise. His interest in jazz started in high school and this led to studying jazz guitar at St. FX University. Some of his favorite jazz musicians are Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, Hank Mobley, Wardell Gray, and Miles Davis. He also enjoys singing jazz standards and finding the small nooks and crannies in jazz songs where he can insert creativity and something fresh.