The Catz are honestly the most phenomenal live band ever and you made our entire wedding!!! You exceeded our expectations and, as you know, I don’t think the dance party would have ever stopped!
Anthony “Downtown” Tony Brown
(Bass & Vocals)
Albeit, R&B is his forte, Tony wears many, many hats. He plays R&B, Jazz, Rock and Gospel, and is the organist for Healing Temple C. O. G. I. C. He also plays drums, lead guitar and of course the bass. He has played for many talented artists, just to name a few: Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Nancy Wilson,Etta James,Solomon Burke, James Brown, Bo Diddely, Dr. John, Peaches and Herb, Della Reese, Albertina Walker,The Winans, Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, Commissioned,The Barrett Sisters, Thomas Dorsey, Jessie Dixon and Shirley Caesar. Tony is not only the bass player in The Chicago Catz, but he is a well rounded individual who has mentored many in the music industry. While currently a music producer, for “Downtown Productions“, Tony has produced Michael Avery, Roxanne Harvey, Durell Daniels, Stanley Ratliff and Hope House, Phase 2, Zaya Z and the Jesus Word Center Life Changing Choir.
He is currently producing Lady Dallas. Tony has also ventured down the path of actorsville where he’s played and can be seen in such films as ‘Ali’ with Will and Jada Smith, ‘Above the law’ and ‘Undersiege’ with Steven Segal, ‘A Family Thing’ with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall. He just recently participated in a movie ‘The Guardian’ with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher,also on sound track’s for ‘A PERFECT MURDER’…’DEAD PRESIDENT’S’ … and the Disney Film ‘HOLES’. TONY a man of many means … if you know what I mean.
Richie has played on over 2,000 jingles in the past 20 years. He has recorded with Bobby Womack, Dennis Edwards, Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, J.T. Taylor (Kool & the Gang), Angela Bofill, Roger (Zapp Band) The Impressions,Gavin Christopher, Billy Preston, Ronnie Barron, Patrice Rushen, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Grand Master Flash. Mariah Carey, Do or Die, Twista, Brian Wilson and Enrique Iglesias. He was a member of Maxx Traxx (formerly Third Rail) and has performed on stage with The Winans, Patti LaBelle, Nancy Wilson, Najee, Tom Scott, Bo Diddley James Burton and Kenny Loggins. Richie is the brother of film director, Andrew Davis (The Fugitive. Under Siege , Holes, The Guardian). He performed the lead role in the feature film Stony Island and has written and produced music for Above The Law, Under Siege, The Package, A Perfect Murder, Holes and The Guardian.
(Drums & Vocals)
Wayne has played on countless commercials including: McDonald’s, PizzaHut, Ameritech, Coca Cola, Ford Motors, United Airlines, Burger King, Sunkist, Coors Beer, Miller Lite Beer, Illinois Lottery, Payless Shoes, Oldsmobile and many others. He has recorded with the O’Jays, Boyz II Men, Chuck Mangione, Dennis DeYoung, Richie Havens, Angela Bofill, and Bonnie Koloc to name just few. Wayne has performed with Nancy Wilson, Pattie LaBelle, Najee, Dennis DeYoung, Anita Baker, The Winans, KennyLoggins, James Brown and Bo Diddley. Wayne can be heard and seen in the feature films Above the Law (Steven Seagal), Under Siege (Steven Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones) the soundtrack of The Package (Gene Hackman), and A Perfect Murder (Michael Douglas). He is the also the drummer for the Christ Universal Temple Choir and has backed Ben Vereen’, Billy Preston, Della Reese and Albertina Walker.
(Keyboards & Vocals)
This composer, arranger and producer has performed as a vocalist and arranger on recordings by Ramsey Lewis,Richie Havens and Chuck Mangione and has composed for “Pops” Staples. He has been a staff composer for Joy-Art Music Production Company and the C.Batton for Music Production Company. Kevin has composed, arranged and produced the theme music for local radio and television shows and for national campaigns for Ameritech, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Kraft General Foods. Kevin currently is the owner and composer of Prophecy Productions specializing in music production and sound design and is the keyboard and vocalist for The Chicago Catz, music director for Tecora Rogers and The Chicago Spirituals and is a staple in the Chicago music ministry scene.
This musician, composer, producer and audio engineer is owner of LRS Recording Company and a co-partner of Airjam Music & Sound Design. These companies have produced original music for United Airlines, Spiegel, Coca Cola, AT&T, IBM, Gatorade, Montgomery Ward, Quaker Oats, Zenith, Sears, and many more. As well as original scores for movie and film such as: The Package and God’s Will. Mark has played professionally on hundreds of commercials for companies such as: McDonald’s, Sears, Michelob, American Airlines, Taco Bell, Oldsmobile, RCA, Budweiser, Ford, Pizza Hut and others.
He has toured with Woody Herman, Styx, Buddy Rich, Sammy Davis Jr., Chevere, Chizil and Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows. His on stage performaces have included: The Temptations, James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Doc Severenson, Muddy Waters, Doctor John, Louie Bellson, Victor Borge, Liquid Soul and others. Mark can be heard on albums and movie sound tracks by Styx, Dennis DeYoung, The O’Jays, Richie Havens, Chuck Mangione, Harvey Mandel, Dave Mason, J.M. Silk, Sonia DaDa, The Package, Perfect Murder and The Guardian.
Devin Thompson was born in Joliet, Illinois. Growing up in a family steeped in gospel, rhythm and blues and jazz, Devin took to music at an early age. Devin sang his first solo in church at the age of five. At 12 years of age, he joined his older brother’s band, Mezzo Forte, honing his skills of singing and playing the trumpet. Devin went on to do backup work for R. Kelly, Steve Cole, Chante Savage and Martha Walsh of the Weather Girls fame. To date, Devin has recorded numerous jingles, a CD entitled, “Club Zero” and was featured on the soundtrack for the Disney movie, “Holes”and The “Guardian”.
James A. Perkins, Jr.
(Saxophone & Woodwinds)
As a multifaceted and versatile musician, saxist and woodwind player, The James Perkins performance repertoire reads like a virtual “who’s who” of the music business. Having played on over 250 albums, thousands of jingles, commercials and industrials, and having been on hundreds of tours and productions locally, nationally and abroad with everybody from Albert King to Bobby Lyle, He has indeed enjoyed the title of “Chicago’s 1st call saxophonist” for the last twenty years and has been recognized as […”a master of his craft and instrument” San Francisco Times, 1992][“…an exciting and exhilarating force to be reckoned with!”L.A. Times.
Mr. Perkins has also been the recipient of several awards, some of which include; The 1986 Budweiser Showdown Award for 1st place R&B group (which included a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records), Several awards of merit for musical contributions and services during numerous tours of Japan from 1986 to 1992. In 1988 he was selected and awarded a permanent listing to the “Outstanding Young Americans” journal as well as having his locally led group ‘The James Perkins Ensemble’ featured at the renowned Chicago Jazz Festival. During his military service tours as a member of U.S Navy Band (1994-2000) he received several awards of merit, which also included a ‘Letter of Commendation for Outstanding Performance of Duties’ from the Commander of Naval Station Great Lakes.
His performance and recording credits also include such notables as; Dr. Billy Taylor, Phil Perry, Jack Mcduff, Lynne Jordan and The Shivers, Von and George Freeman, The Winans, Ramsey Lewis, The Dells, The Chi-Lites, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Anita Baker, Michael Wolfe, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lou Rawls, Kristy Black, The Imperials, Malachi Favors, Don Moye and The Sun Percussion, The Shadow Vignettes Orchestra, The Brien Perry Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Grant Park Orchestra, The James Mack Orchestra, Gladys Knight, Nancy Wilson, Ashford and Simpson, Dawn Lewis, Henry Johnson, The critically acclaimed production of ‘Five Guys Names Moe’, The AACM, The Chicago Cats, Daryl Tookes, Robert Irving III, Val Gray Ward, Malachi Thompson, Grand Staff, Teresa Griffin, Phase4, Nat Adderly, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Billy Higgins, Ed Thigpen, Joan Collaso, Kwamee Steve Cobb and Chavunduka, Stefon Harris, Donovan, Mambo 911 Orchestra, and many, many more just to name a few.
Born and educated in Chicago (August 17, 1960) (Northeastern Illinois University), James not only plays and teaches woodwinds, but also leads two performing groups; The James Perkins Ensemble [“A strong unit that performs everything from serious “straight ahead” to” fusion” Patricia Smith/Chicago Sun Times], and The James Perkins Trio, [“A group that outswings them all” Larry Smith/WBEZ JAZZ RADIO/Chicago]. James also leads “The Perks”, a horn section that has gained much notoriety and respect amongst the more serious bands in the Chicago area.
Tony “TOCA” Carpenter
Tony Carpenter is an urban percussionist who began his percussive journey in the early 70s when he began exploring traditional rhythms of West Africa, such as the Rumba and 6/8 patterns. After adding Sambas the Whan Whan Co, and the Mozambiqueto his vocabulary, Tony added an assortment of percussion instruments to his Arsenal. Also in the early 70s Tony performed with African Dance Troops such as Julians Swains Inner-City Dancers and Najwa Dance Troop. This is where the development of the ethnic rhythm began. Tony has also played with many Masters Cogueros including, Mongo Santamaria, Armondo Peraza, Alex Acunna, and Giovanni Hidalgo.
Tony is comfortable playing R&B, Gospel and Jazz. The melodious tones of TOCA is a sound you wont forget. He has combined these rhythms with favorite Jazz classics which he calls cultural Jazz . He has performed with many great artists of all genres, such as Leroy Hudson, Tyrone Davis, The Emotions, Jerry The Ice Man Butler, Ramsey Lewis, The Soul Children of Chicago, Kim Stratton, Malachi Thompson and the list goes on. “Playing with the Catz is always a party! We grew up on these tunes… to perform them is second nature. Man, I can’t wait for the next Gig! come and check us out.”
David Gross is part of an uplifting rescue story. In his younger days, David has performed with such jazz talents as Art Farmer, Bunky Green, Bobby Watson, Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Conte Candoli, Jiggs Whigham, Rob McConnell, Ashley Alexander, Lee Konitz, Dennis DiBlasio, Bunky Green, Pete Christlieb, Frank Mantooth, Louie Bellson, Ed Soph, Rob McConnell, Steve Houghton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Diane Schurr, Rich Matteson, Terry Gibbs, Jack Jones, Guy Lombardo Orchestra and even more people you have never heard of.
In the 80’s, the trombones were the latest musicians replaced by the DX7 and horn patches, so he got a sheepskin in Computer Science from Elmhurst College and later a day gig. Not wanting to give up his music, he hooked up with a noted Chicago Sleepy-Time Society Orchestra: The Harry Neverswing and His Orchestra, which tragically sucked him dry of all of his musical mojo.
A concerned member referred him to our Outpatient Funk Clinic for rehabilitating the documented “1&3 Clapping Disorder” brought on by the prior mentioned Leader. Intense groove therapy by Dr’s Brown, Davis & Stewart has been a success, proving that removal from a twitchy, uptight wedding band, can lead to a funky horn player … with little or no side effects.
Tony Cazeau began playing the piano when he was three years old under the tutelage of Mark Jordan, pianist for the Barrett Sisters. In 1986 and 1987 Tony won 2nd and 1st place for the State of Illinois Piano competition for his age range 12-15 years of age. During his teen years Tony began playing for many gospel choirs throughout the city of Chicago including Walt Whitman’s Chicago Soul Children. In addition, Tony began studying jazz and r&b piano in his latter teen years working with Professor Roxanne Stevenson, director of Jazz Studies at Chicago State University. Tony has played for the following artistst including: Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Paul Taylor, Peter White, Maysa, Rahsaan Patterson, Kirk Whalum , Donnie McClurkin, Bebe & Cece Winans, Brownstone, Syleena Johnson, and most recently Larry Carlton. He also has been working with one of Chicago’s premiere bands The Chicago Catz for three years. Tony is currently recording with D’Angelo’s famed guitarist Isaiah Sharkey for his debut album. In addition, Tony is producing several albums this year including latin sensation Amaryllis Santiago’s debut r&b album.