When Peter Katz is in the room, you know it. He has solid stage presence. So much so that when he performed a solo gig Tuesday evening at Artspace – without back up band or musicians his crystal clear voice and edgy guitar style won over new fans.
Like many artists today, Katz criss-crosses musical genres and dips into them like fifty flavours of ice cream, emerging with a delicious blend of indie, folk, jazz and rock music.
His lyrics are often described by critics as “honest” and I can attest to that, having heard his live performance of one of his latest songs called Forgiveness. Not too heavy but thought-provoking.
Katz travelled from Vancouver for one night at Artspace (he plays Fort St. John next) and showed the crowd what multi-talent really means.
Besides his voice and musicianship, Katz is a gifted composer who has written music for modern dance choreographers. He was commissioned to compose an original 30-minute score for international choreographer Meagan O’Shea’s When I See You Again which recently premiered in Toronto.
He also moves with the guitar, generating a kind of energy that keeps crowds rocking.
“I’ve been writing like a maniac lately,” he told the Free Press, “trying to simplify my songs a little and hopefully make them even better. I’ve decided simple and straight-up is a good way to go. Get rid of the clutter that I had in my earlier songs.”
There are exciting tours on the horizon.
“I just signed a new record deal and I’m going on a solo tour of Europe this summer. In the fall, I tour with my band The Curious, with a re-release of my first album More Nights,” he said.
Jeremy Stewart who opened for Katz Tuesday said he was impressed with how the local arts community supports its visiting artists.
Describing Katz as a “contemporary folking, rocking, storytelling, thoughtful pop singer,” Stewart said the artist’s music is both pop and profound.
“His music is a soundtrack to people’s lives they just don’t know it yet.”
Katz got the interest of local music lovers who turned up on a Tuesday night to hear a quality musician from out of town, he said.
“Some of them didn’t know his music but they became fans.” As he spoke, several people came up to buy CDs and asked to be on Katz’ mailing list. The winner of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award and the Grand Prize Winner of Toronto’s IndieWeek, smiled as he added their names to the list.
For a guy who it is reported “wins over fans the old-fashioned way, one at a time” he more than lived up to that.