Whether they are singing John Coltrane, KC & the Sunshine Band to Motown and Taylor Swift, Gwen & The Kats are a soul and swing , jazz and jump blues, rock n’ roll or romance band that will keep you upbeat and swinging until your hearts content.
And their soulful sounds brought couples to the dance floor as they slow danced during our 192os themed June date night. Guests were serenaded during dinner, the casino games, and into the evening as the night lasted forever.
"We are the hippest, coolest Kats around and every gig is a chance to make our clients shine," states Gwen Hughes. "When we make them happy and see a full dance floor or a room full of energetic conversation, then it inspires us to a great job for the next client. Outside of that, we just inspire each other as a band -- professionals make other professionals perform even better. And we love our job as musicians."
The band started in the mid 1990s as a jazz band (The Retro Jazz Kats) and has recently morphed into the more party-friendly name of Gwen & The 'Kats. A veteran on the Southeast music scene, Gwen is one of the busiest bandleaders in Atlanta. The rest of the Kats are equally impressive: Arthur Turner on keyboards; Ramon Pooser on bass; Mace Hibbard on saxophone; Melvin Jones on trumpet; Wes Funderburk on trombone; and Mike Hinton is the faithful back beat on the drums. Collectively, these players (and Gwen) have about a century of experience playing all over the world.
Bringing together the deep-pocket swing of the 1930s and 1940s and segue effortlessly into contemporary beats, Gwen & the Kats offer trios, quartet jazz, dance bands of five to 14 pieces in every setting - weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, and more. "My objective has always been to have a band that enjoys each other – it makes the audience enjoy the band that much more and it makes the music even better, " states Gwen.
And what does Gwen enjoy for date night? "A great dinner of unusual food and wine, good conversation, and a concert of unusual music!"