James Katz has been a staple of the NYC music scene since the early 1990s. Katz spent his early days studying Performing Jazz Voice at The New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music Program under the legendary instructor Arnie Lawrence. Arnie's unconventional and inspired teaching and playing style was an immediate inspiration to James, and within a few weeks he had started singing/freestyling in Arnie's band "The Co-Elation". During it's seven year run, The Co-Elation did hundreds of entirely improvised performances and featured a rotating lineup of some of the worlds greatest studio and Jazz musicians. James’ experience in The Co-Elation served him well as founder, songwriter and front man of NYC's legendary 'Choosy Mothers' (myspace.com/choosymothers).
In addition to performing several nights a week with various other artists in styles from afro pop to funk to rock, James would play over 100 shows a year with Choosy Mothers. The Mothers' infectious blend of song craft, groove and improvisation helped them pack Manhattan venues up to 5 times a week, and they shared the stage with numerous national acts including Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley, Ziggy Marley and many others. Their high-energy multi set performances featured some of New York's best musicians, and the band quickly earned the reputation of being one of NYC's best-unsigned acts. Enjoying long term weekly residencies in prestigious Manhattan venues such as Wetlands, Mondo Cane, New Music Cafe and others allowed James and The Mothers to sell over 15,000 recordings of his original music "off the stage" with no marketing or label support.
When Choosy Mothers disbanded after their 6-year tour of duty, James dove head first into the art of audio production (http://jameskatz.com/production.shtml). Writing for, producing, arranging, mixing and mastering demos and albums for numerous artists in pop, hip hop, alternative, soul, folk, jazz, heavy and progressive rock gave him the freedom to explore in more detail the many of the styles that had influenced his own sound. Armed with this new inspiration, James returned to writing, recording and performing his own music with renewed passion. The result is a fresher take on James' signature sound that covers a lot of ground yet remains unmistakably James Katz (myspace.com/jameskatzmusic).
The James Katz CD 'glow' marked his first release since Choosy Mothers, and produced 4 number one songs on Garageband and Broadjam.com. Songs from 'glow' have won over 100 "Reviewer's Picks Awards" and 22 chart awards on GarageBand.com, and have racked up more than 200,000 plays on myspace.com.
Over the last year, James has worked as a sound design/mixer for American Public Television, Zoomari Films and the band 'Erasure' as well as acting as a music consultant/guitar double for the upcoming Warner Brothers film 'August Rush' (staring Robin Williams and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). He also made time to co write and produced an EP for child prodigy guitarist, CJ Tywoniak (cjtywoniak.com).
Currently, The James Katz Acoustic Band has been enjoying it's second year of a 3 set Friday night residency at The Cupping Room (SOHO, NYC), and James completed work on his first live CD entitled 'into the bright white light' (May 2007 release). This CD was recorded live at Arlene's Grocery, NYC and features Matt Beck (Rob Thomas, Rod Stuart, Matchbox 20) on guitars and backing vocals, Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright) on drums and backing vocals, and Ken Rich on bass. 'into the bright white light' was produced and mixed by James at mother's milk studio, NYC (http://jameskatz.com/production.shtml).
With fresh sounds and songs on the way, Katz is planning to begin work on his next studio album in summer '07.
More info at myspace.com/jameskatzmusic and jameskatz.com