Kat Jimenez
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Kat Jimenez

Band World Reggae

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"CLUB REVIEW: Kat Jimenez at the Key Club"

The Players: Kat Jimenez, lead vocals; Michael Sena, guitar, backup vocals; Joey Navarro, keyboard; Randall Yamamoto, bass; Rene Rutledge, backup vocals; Erez Ginat, drums; Johnny Sandoval, percussion.

Material: Kat Jimenez has carved a new niche in music in a unique fashion, creating a mixture of pop and reggae, with a hint of Latin. Her lyrics are heartfelt, noted in “Nothin But Love,” and humorously noted in “Quarter Life Crisis.” Jimenez also sings a spirited rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” with a reggae spin added to it.

Musicianship: Classically trained, Jimenez put together a top-notch band to showcase her songs, and it’s evident that she spared no expense. Guitarist and backup vocalist Michael Sena (who is also co-writer and producer) play sweet mellow riffs that complement Jimenez’s vocals and deliver licks with a style similar to Carlos Santana. Other standouts are bassist Randall Yamamoto (who gets a chance to play a few deliciious guitar-style solos), and keyboardist Joey Navarro whose playing style gives the group its retro vibe by adding electric piano and Hammond tones. Smoothing out the mix are drummer Ginat, percussionist Sandoval and backup vocalist Rutledge.

Performance: Jimenez commanded the stage like a diva, fully confident, sincere and committed. She played to the crowd with her dance expertise and by singing from the heart. She also revealed how each song was inspired, and the audience ate it up. Her backup mates were enthusiastic as well, appearing to be having a great time while keeping the music tight.

Summary: Kat Jimenez has something going on. She has beauty, talent and a feel for what her audience wants in a performance. In fact, she should have no problem expanding her already loyal fan base, as long as they’re into island and reggae music sung by a true diva.

—Anne O’Neary, Music Connection - Music Connection


Discography

Kat Jimenez has just independently released her very first album, Nothin' But Love. The album includes upbeat reggae tunes about love and living life at that awkward mid 20's age - when big decisions are supposed to be made - so society says - like landing a career, a husband, happiness, etc. The album also includes Kat's reggaefied version of "I Would for You", by Jane's Addiction.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Kat Jimenez has been a lifelong lover of music and song. From the second grade on, her mom put her on stage for any reason she could come up with, whether it was the kid looking up Anna's skirt in the "King and I" or a tree on the set of "Wizard of Oz". She was shy at first, but by the fourth grade found a way to ease her stage fright. Choir. There she got to sing in front of a crowd of people thinking "Nobody even hears me! I can mess up and we still sound good." Next thing you know she was writing songs for her choir to perform.

Then came news from her parents that they would be moving to America - she was born and raised in the Philippines and had never known of anything else. "Coming here was definitely a culture shock - but even with certain language barriers, music always became my means of communication and the move definitely became an inspiration for writing."

That's when her first singing group came along, "Intermission". It was during the days of Boys to Men, En Vogue and SWV. It was she and three of her girlfriends, singing on every street corner of high school and all the burger joints around Seattle. Then came a trio group, "Nuance". Their voices sounded so perfect together that their version of the "Star Spangled Banner" became a staple of every football game, assembly, graduation, etc.

After highschool, when she expressed her desires of becoming a singer to her parents, they agreed on one condition: Graduate with a degree first, they called it her 'back-up plan'.

While majoring in Psychology at the University of Washington, she joined theatre groups, playing principal roles as an actress, singer and dancer and took advantage of all the creative opportunities college had to offer. She wrote and performed spoken word, dabbled in experimental theatre and comedy improv.

By the time she graduated, she knew she wanted to be onstage, but also had to make money. So, she moved to New York, acted on a few off-off-Broadway plays by night, and worked for a 'dotcom' by day. The day job started to take over her life. After two years of struggling in New York, she realized that she had to re-focus her energy and get better at her craft. That's when she decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue singing full time.

As soon as she moved to Los Angeles, she found a stable gig as a backup singer. After a year of singing backup, she started songwriting again and began performing at small venues like the Lava Lounge and SOL with producer/guitarist, Michael Sena. She decided it was time to start recording, especially with folks approaching after every show, asking if she was selling CDs. She was making great progress in the studio and onstage when she met Wyclef Jean. It was he who introduced the idea of doing reggae music. Up to then she had shown great flexibility in her voice, capable of doing almost anything from light opera to rock. When she and Sena, who has an extensive background in reggae, got together to write, it was instant magic. What became the title song of her first album 'Nothin But Love' was written in an hour at the studio one day. They put together a strong band and overnight they went from a two-piece acoustic duo to a seven-piece power ensemble, made up of some of LA's best players. That lineup received a glowing review in Music Connection and the rep began to build. They have become regulars at the Key Club on Sunset and regularly pack the house up and down the Strip.

Now you can see Kat and da Kine Band live at venues in Los Angeles and Orange County. The new 'Nothin But Love' album has just hit the streets and is available on the website, CD Baby and amazon.com. A West Coast tour is being planned for next spring.