VooDoo Katz
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VooDoo Katz

Band World Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos




By all rights, the long awaited debut from Charleston's popular Voodoo Katz should put them in a league with the regions best festival groups. Led by singer/percussionist Mark Davis, who fuels the band's ethnic bent with knowledge he gleaned while studying African music at the University of Ghana the band has carved out a distinctive musical niche that mixes whirling dance grooves with credibled world beat sensibility. The disk leads off with "Funga Alafia" (a west African greeting), a soulful, mid-tempo piece that captures the band at it's best. The tag team drums/percussion duo of Davis and Ammed Soloman, along with Kai Haynes solid bass work, anchors the track for Davis and Deron Sodaro's voices while Jason Gay answers and doubles the vocal line on soprano sax. "Monpong Market" ups the ante with Andy Park copping the beautiful "diamond fingers" style of West African guitar. From there the band dabbles in funk (Kai Haynes "Lonely Old Night" and "words). In the end, the world beat tunes make for the bands best tracks. "Thinkin' bout the now" is reminiscent of tribal jammers Rusted Root, while "Mothman", a loping, harmony filled ska tune, is a great live dance tune but recorded, it's a not-quite-clever novelty number. The disk may have been recorded locally, there's nothing local sounding about it.-- the quality is warm and full and should do well to spread the Katz's buzz outside the borders of West Virginia. - Michael Lipton


VooDoo Katz (self titled 2002 CD)
Glimpse (2007)



"A spicy brew of worldly flavors with influences from Africa to the Caribbean, this funky culture blending ensemble will keep you dancin' with spine wigglin' grooves, exotic melodies and an atmosphere of infectious participation."

The Voodoo Katz were formed in July of 2000. After collaborationg on a performance of traditional African drumming, percussionists Mark Davis and Ammed Solomon were inspired to form a band with a focus on ethnic influences. They brought in guitarist Andy Park and bassist Kai Haynes to further the collaboration. In order to round out the sound they needed a soloist which they found in a young saxophonist named Jason Gay. In the fall of 2000 after a stint in Portland, Oregon, bassman Deron Sodaro returned to Charleston after hearing the Katz and decided he wanted to be a part of this group. The Katz became a 6 man group as Sodaro contributed his talents and energy singing back up, playing percussion, alternating on bass with Kai and not to mention being the sound tech. After a year and a half, Jason Gay moved to Richmond, VA to study music, but the Katz were fortunate to find another young talent in Derick Kirk who in addition to playing sax, contributed to the vocals and added some amazing piano playing.

Still paying their dues in the music business, the Voodoo Katz are spreading their energetic sound playing clubs, festivals, concerts & private gigs. With the release of their new self titled cd, the Voodoo Katz are hoping to reach a wider audience with radio airplay, festivals and more high profile venues. Although the Voodoo Katz are still relatively young, the collective experience is that of a well seasoned group.

The Voodoo Katz are:

Mark Davis: Lead vocals and Percussion

Mark Davis is a native West Virginian and a 1997 graduate of WVU where he majored in voice and was a member of the highly acclaimed WVU African Drum and Dance Ensemble. He has studied at the African International Center of Music and Dance, University of Ghana in West Africa. Davis received his level 2 certfication in ORFF music from the University of Kentucky .He has been featured at numerous state and regional conferences, most notably the 1998 ORFF Association and the 1999 and 2000 West Virginia Fall Curriculum Conferences. He shares his talent and gift for teaching as a music specialist at Elk Elementary.Center in Kanawha County.

Mark's diverse musical experiences run the gamut, from symphonic choirs and small jazz groups to world class percussion ensembles and eclectic rock bands. As the drummer for Charleston alt-rock group Crazy Jane, he spent 8 years touring the east coast, producing 3 cd's, and making two appearances on PRI's live performance broadcast, Mountain Stage. Along with the Voodoo Katz, Davis works with the Elkins, WV based band the Montaneros and Comparsa.

Ammed Solomon: Drums and Percussion

Originially from the greater Cincinnati area, Ammed has made music his livelihood since 1973. Always a lover of music from an early age, it wasn't until age 16, after getting his first drum set, he discovered the real power and joy of music sending him on an unpredictable journey. Shortly after graduating high school Solomon began his professional career, where he spent six years in the club and hotel circuit developing the skill of playing and learning about the business of music. In 1977, Solomon moved to Hurricane, WV and put down some roots.

He spent the next fifteen years working with some of WV's most well known groups such as the Putnam County Pickers and Stark Raven among the more popular. These years provided the opportunities for touring nationally, playing clubs, festivals and opening for major acts. Solomon has gained valuable experience as a free lance percussionist working on a wide variety of music, composing, arranging and recording on over 40 projects to date. Today you can hear Ammed's talents worldwide on PRI's highly acclaimed show,
Mountain Stage, now in it's 20th season and televised on PBS stations nationally. As a member of the house band since 1984, Solomon has had the fortune of drumming for a veritable who's who in the music business such as
Shawn Colvin, Sarah McClachlan, Warren Zevon, Daniel Lanois and Dr. John to name a few. In addition to playing he also shares his knowledge teaching, with a unique workshop designed to develop rhythm. For over 10 years Ammed has presented these workshops for schools, art councils and artists in residence programs.

When he's not holding down the groove ith the Voodoo Katz, Solomon also can be heard drumming with the Soul Doctors (formerly of Big Planet Soul) as well as backing up solo projects with his bandmates on Mountain Stage
(Julie Adams, Ron Sowell, Steve Hill, Michael Lipton, Larry Groce and Bob Thompson)

Andy Park: Guitars and Vocals

Born in Pt. Pleasant West Virginia, (home of "mothman") Park began playing guitar at age 15. At 16 he experienced Muddy Waters live and was totally ho