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Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz: Los Gatos At Rush Street

89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman. Join us for a 5:01 celebration of music featuring the Los Gatos at Rush Street in Ann Arbor on May 6th at 5:01 pm sharp.


The lively Latin jazz quintet Los Gatos wrap up WEMU's  5:01 Jazz series on Friday, May 6th at the Rush Street Nightclub in Ann Arbor. Drummer -percussionist Pete Siers founded the group in 1997. For nearly 20 years the quintet has maintained the same personnel:

  • Pete Siers on drums and timbales
  • Cary Kocher on vibraphone and vocals
  • Brian Di Blassio on piano
  • Kurt Krahnke on bass
  •  Al Di Blassio on congas, percussion and vocals.


How does a band such as Los Gatos become a favorite among the very discerning listeners In Ann Arbor?  I think it is because they are dedicated to excellence and are fervently passionate about good and authentic music.  They practice and perfect their early repertoire and are continually expanding the range and variety of new songs.   Perhaps another reason for the Los Gatos following is the group’s longevity.  There has only been one member change since drummer Pete Siers founded the ensemble 19 years ago:  Al DiBlassio is now the percussionist and conga player in place of Jonathan Ovalle.  This speaks volumes about the mutual respect and trust shared by the quintet which also includes vibraphonist Cary Kocher, pianist Brian DiBlassio and bassist Kurt Krahnke. 
In a world where music can be the flavor of the hour, Los Gatos make the case for dedication and believing in legacy music.  In 2001, their first CD, Cats Got Your Tongue? showcased the influence of cool Latin jazz master, vibraphonist Cal Tjader.  Their 2007 offering, Insight took the listener deeper in to the roots of Latin music and the rich percussive world of Joe Cuba (aka José Calderon).  Insight also revealed another musical side of the quintet – they sing along as they play.  This cannot be easy – to count the intricate Latin rhythms, to play percussively with strength and to sing in tune – yet these cats make it seem effortlessly simple.  For the listener – it is rollicking fun – plain and simple.  
Rumor has it that a new Los Gatos CD is on the horizon.  A wise music director never makes advance promises to play a recording, but if the new disc is anything like their first two PKO Records offerings, I predict that the new one will stream out of WEMU for years to come and join the living legacy of Insight and Cats Got Your Tongue?.  Secrets may be revealed on Friday, May 6th…. Pl
ease join WEMU at 5:01 PM sharp at Rush Street Nightclub for our final spring 2016 Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz show presented in memory of Dr. Jan Winkelman. 
 The show is at Rush Street314 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor, Friday May 6tth, 5:01-7 p.m. Admission is free.

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Open to all ages!

See you at the 5:01!

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— Patrik Holubik is the WEMU New Media Coordinator and social media producer for 89.1 WEMU. Contact him at 734.487.3363, on twitter @PatrikHolubik or email him pholubik@wemu.org

Linda Yohn simply cannot remember a day in her life that was not filled with music. Her early life was full of changes as the daughter of a well-respected cancer research scientist who moved his family about, but one thing was constant: the love of music instilled by her mother. So, when it seemed life was too hard to bear, young Linda would listen to her radio, play her guitar, dance her heart out and sing at the top of her lungs. So, it isn’t so strange that “older” Linda still does all those things!
Patrik is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and functions as the New Media/Social Media manager for 89.1 WEMU.