Every other Saturday beginning on September 9th, Minneapolis’ own Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows will be bringing their energetic jazz music to the Aster Cafe. The run follows Kate’s and her band’s previous residency at Vieux Carré in St. Paul, where they wowed audiences with their energetic jazz and swing standards. I got to talk with Kate to learn a little more about her and what to expect from the band this fall.
Kate is formerly a professional dancer, having worked as part of a Minneapolis-based dance troupe. She didn’t begin her music career until a friend asked her to sing in a band she was forming called Triangle Park. Kate, who always adds a unique flare to whatever she does, decided she wanted to do more than just sing, so she picked up electric bass to play in the band too. It was evident that Kate had true vocal talent, and she soon began landing gigs as a session vocalist for national advertisements for brands including Pepsi, Target, and Nissan.
Kate’s children inspired her next endeavor. After listening to a certain amount of kid’s music, she felt a need to create songs in the genre that parents could listen to as well. By adding kid-friendly content to more advanced musical composition, Kate and her husband released Clementown, an album based off the children’s book Polkabats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown. The author was so impressed with the album that he joined Kate on stage for a show at the Walker Arts Center where Kate and her band played while he drew pictures to accompany the music. The drawings were then auctioned off to benefit a non-profit organization.
Kate and Her Most Excellent Fellows was inspired by Kate’s work with patients in hospice care. She saw that many people nearing the ends of their lives often suffered from cognitive problems that prevented them from communicating. When a friend’s husband experienced significant memory loss, yet could still remember the lyrics and melodies of his favorite songs, Kate had the idea to form a band that could connect with elders through the popular music of their youths. Scientific research supports Kate’s theory, suggesting that memories of music are stored in an area of the brain that may not be affected by traditional memory loss.
The idea worked — the patients loved it. Even those with serious memory and communication issues would sing along and sway to the beat. Kate and Her Most Excellent Fellows was born.
The band was so well-received that it was clear they were meant for even greater things, so they began playing gigs for everyone to enjoy. Since then, Kate and Her Most Excellent Fellows have watched their audience transform from mostly friends and family to all-new faces who just love to hear their music.
Now, Kate and Her Most Excellent Fellows are bringing their unmatched energy, creativity, and musicianship to the Aster Cafe. “I love the Aster Cafe!” says Kate. “It’s classy, but casual, with a great vibe.” Kate is excited to begin her shows at the Aster, and I’m excited she’ll be there for this great run of performances.
For more interesting information about Kate Lynch (and trust me, there is plenty more), visit katelynchmusic.com. For information about and tickets to the Aster Cafe, please visit astercafe.com.
By Anthony Chiofalo