keyboard artists I’ve ever heard." JOHN HAMMOND
"One of the most respected keyboardists on the
blues circuit." Wade Tatangelo, HERALD-TRIBUNE
Bruce Katz's music occupies a unique space where blues, soul/jazz, jam-band rock, and all aspects of Americana music collide into a style of original music all his own. As a performer, Bruce has been an in-demand sideman as well as leading his own band - playing and recording with many of the leading names in blues and roots music, appearing on over 70 albums with artists such as Ronnie Earl, John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman, Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker, Little Milton, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Paul Rishell, Mighty Sam McClain, Debbie Davies, David “Fathead” Newman and many others.
Katz has a lengthy background in classical piano. After hearing a Bessie Smith record at the age of ten, he started teaching himself blues and early jazz on the piano. Bruce then heard boogie-woogie and swing music and continued his musical journey into more aspects of jazz and American roots music. He attended Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s, studying Composition and performance.
For the next fifteen years, Katz performed with many of the leading musicians in New England, and played “on the road” for long stretches of time. After a particularly long stint of touring in the late '80s with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Katz decided to come off the road and enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he earned a Master's degree in Jazz Performance. It was during this time that he conceived of and started writing music that became the Bruce Katz Band.
In 1992, Bruce met Ronnie Earl, who soon invited him to join his band, The Broadcasters. During his nearly five-year stint with Earl, Katz toured the world and performed on six albums, writing and co- writing many of the band's tunes, such as "The Colour of Love," "Ice Cream Man," and "Hippology." The album “Grateful Heart” (Bullseye) won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Blues Album of 1996. The same year, Katz debuted his first solo album, "Crescent Crawl", on the AudioQuest label. He released "Transformation" the following year. Just before the release of "Mississippi Moan" in 1997, his third solo album, Katz left the Broadcasters to concentrate on a solo career. At that point, the Bruce Katz Band began touring the U.S. and Europe, and has been his ongoing focus, in addition to his many other projects. Bruce also played with Duke Robillard (2001-02), John Hammond (2005 – present), Gregg Allman (2007-13) and many other high-profile roots, blues and rock performers, while continuing to tour and record with his own band.
In addition to performing, Katz teaches piano, Hammond organ and theory privately at his studio in West Shokan, NY. He also conducts Master Classes in Hammond B3 and Blues History, which he has done at various schools and music festivals worldwide. Formerly from Boston, Bruce has been based in Woodstock, NY since 2005.
"He can play jazz, blues, Bach, anything. Man, he’s a heavy!" GREGG ALLMAN
"The Bruce Katz Band’s music has the air of unflagging tradition yet it blurs the lines between genres. It is of itself and beyond itself at the same time. It’s like Mozart with a jazz trio playing at Junior’s Juke Joint on a Thursday night." BLUES BISCUITS
"Bruce Katz and his men gave those present a concert they’ll remember a long time. Vitarello is an outstanding guitarist, with an astonishing technique and a broad creative range." ROOTSTIME
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