Cat earned a BA in music from the University of California at Santa Barbara, performing in their symphony for eight years, as well as local musical theater orchestras. Ever the lover of costumed historical events, her participation in the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and Dickens Christmas Fair eventually lead to a position as Music and Dance Director for the Living History Centre, producer of those events. Inspired to learn Celtic music, she and fellow fiddler Heather Alexander formed pioneering Celtic-Fusion band Phoenyx, whose only album “Keepers of the Flame” is still a cult favorite.
Further musical adventures included everything from orchestras and Celtic balladeers to blues and rock & roll. In 1992 Cat joined Kym Trippsmith to form the funky blues-folk-rock band “Amazon Queen” performing all over the greater West Coast “intriguing audiences with their wild style and multi-layered musical brilliance”. Cat’s playing inspired this quote form a reviewer “”Her profound commitment to music creates unique solos that defy gravity, creating what has been called a sonic-liquid sound”. She also performed and recorded with Celtic-Middle-Eastern-tribal-trance-dance ensemble Haunted By Waters, gypsy jazz-ers Go Van Gogh, and was featured on a number of albums including those by Tim Gorman, Dave Crimmen, Bob Madsen and Nancy Freeman. In 2004 she went back to her classical roots and joined forces with San Francisco’s Symphony Parnassus, with whom she played for four years. Cat joined purveyors of Celtic-Medieval Progressive Rock “Avalon Rising” in 1997 and performed with them at festivals up and down the West Coast and in China through 2013.
Avalon Rising’s second album, “Storming Heaven”, received wonderful reviews, including a fabulous review in Guitar Player Magazine. Referring to us as “absolutely stellar musicians”, the review includes one of the best complements I’ve ever had, when referring to Margaret David and I:
“The duo’s soaring, almost achingly sensual phrasing gives age-old and original melodies near-cinematic impact. (Don’t be surprised or embarrassed if you shed a tear when listening to their plaintive harmonic dances — it just means you’re a living, breathing, feeling person.”
– Michael Molenda, Guitar Player Magazine
Composition credits include Shanachie: The Challenge of the Sidhe, the Irish step-dance show that Cat produced, directed, wrote, and played in at faires and festivals throughout California, as well as recorded compositions for Phoenyx and Avalon Rising. She has also served as musical director and arranger for shows such as Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”. Film credits include accounting work on the documentary “Blink” for PBS and Thompson Productions and set costuming for “Keep the Gas Light Burning”. Published articles include “Music in the Palm of Your Hand” for Electronic Musician Magazine and a review of Gig Logic Gig-O-Rama 2.0 in Onstage Magazine.Cat has also been a clinician for Zeta Music and an endorsing artist for D’Addario Strings, Zeta Music, and Prodikeys.
As a violinist and and electric violinist, I have performed and recorded with many ensembles including Avalon Rising, seminal Celtic fusion band Phoenyx, the funky blues-folk-rock band Amazon Queen, Celtic-Middle-Eastern- tribal-trance-dance ensemble Haunted By Waters and Symphony Parnassus.
Fiddler’s Fancy showcased the talents of Celtic musicians and dancers for faires, festivals and weddings and included the critically acclaimed Celtic dance show “Shanachie: The Challenge of the Sidhe”, which combined the ancient Celtic storytelling tradition of the Shanachie with the music and power of Irish hard shoe dancing.
I was entertainment director for the nearly 800 performers for this wonderful holiday event for 22 years. Held at San Francisco’s Cow Palace every holiday season, visitors enjoy three acres of Victorian holiday delights – gifts, food, drink, and entertainments galore!
The Heart of the Holidays
Wonder and Delight! Enter the world of Charles Dickens’ Victorian London on a magical Christmas Eve, and discover the heart of the holidays! Resounding laughter, mirth and merriment abound. You are invited to join the dance, mingle with over 750 joyous performers, and revel in hearty food and drink!
Immerse yourself in Dickens’ heartfelt stories as they unfold around you. Explore over three acres of vintage exhibition halls, marvelously transformed into lamplit streets, boisterous pubs and wondrous theatres, music halls, dance parties, tearooms, and shops offering one-of-a-kind treasures.
Amazon Queen EP
(out of print)
Toys in the Attic: “White Bird”
Infinite Summer of Love (compilation)
Keepers of the Flame
(out of print)
Phoenyx: “Yo Ho”
Keltia (compilation – out of print)Dirty Linen