Bob Katz frequently performed as a teenager with the vocal trio The Special K’s, once opening for legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch. Later, he had a long stint with the Congregation Beth Simchat Torah Chorus, led by renowned choral director Joyce Rosensweig. In 2007, Robert had a leading role in the off-off Broadway world premiere of "beTwixt, beTween, & beTwain," an original musical composed and adapted by Danny Ashkenasi. Recently, he has been developing a solo singer songwriter career, studying with famed guitarist Pete Kennedy of the folk rock duo The Kennedys and with vocal coach Joyce Hall. Previous teachers include guitar teachers Joe Piket and Henry Hample and songwriting teachers Jody Gray and Tony Conniff from The Gotham Writing Center. A member of the Gotham Songwriters Circle, Bob Katz recently completed his debut album, When Good Mangos Go Bad, produced by Pete Kennedy.
Here Are a Few of My Favorite Things
I like to listen to everything, but my favorite genre is folk rock: The Kennedys, Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Judy Collins, Dar Williams, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega, Graham Parker, Richard Thompson, Linda Thompson, Sandy Denny, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Kate Bush, Stew, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Morrissey, Joan Baez, Catie Curtis, Tracy Chapman, Julia Fordham, Rickie Lee Jones, Pat Humphries, Robin Holcolm, Billy Holiday, Carole King, Everything But the Girl, U2, Shawn Colvin, Ani Difranco, Jonathan Richmond, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Nancy Lamott, The Decemberists, Fairport Convention, The Mammals, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Randy Newman, Conrad Cummings, Emmylou Harris, Dixie Chicks, Loudon Wainwright, Laurie Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sloan Wainwright, John Gorka, Carly Simon, Cliff Eberhardt, Nick Drake, Gillian Welch, Loretta Lynn, Indigo Girls, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Billy Joel, John Denver, Amy X Neuburg, Emily Bezar, Elton John, Patti Smith, Bob Franke, Kathleen Edwards, Beth Orton, Ferron, Joanna Newsom, Corey Dargel, Jill Sobule, Tift Merritt, Steve Earle, The Jayhawks, David Gray, Kate Wolf, The Smiths, Fiona Apple, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Beverly Smith and Carl Jones, Lauryn Hill, Rosanne Cash, Andrew Shapiro, Joe Piket, Matisyahu, Pentangle, Shelby Lynne, Toshi Reagon….and oh course, I totally dig my partner Conrad Cummings’s new opera, the Golden Gate, based on the novel in verse written by Vikram Seth. It was staged for the first time in January, and totally blew everybody’s mind, including the New York Times, which gave it a great big review in their Arts section.
I LOVE MUSIC!!!!!
Favorite TV Shows:
I admit that I seem to have a thing for shows that were written to appeal to teenage girls: My So-Called Life, The Gilmore Girls, Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl (I admit it), Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, All In The Family, Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man, Maude, South Central, Kate and Allie, The Jeffersons, The Night Stalker (not the remake!), Felicity, The Sopranos, Dawson's Creek, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Howard Cosell Show (oh yes he did!), tennis, basketball, boxing (embarrassing but true), Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Everybody Hates Chris, I Love Lucy, Family, Star Trek (the original only!), The Brady Bunch (of course!), The Partridge Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Taxi, Welcome Back Kotter, Dangerous Minds
I am a movie freak! Raging Bull, The Sound of Music, My Beautiful Laundrette, A Room With A View, Maurice, Harold and Maude, Eric Rohmer's Tales of the Four Seasons, anything by Pedro Almodovar, anything by Woody Allen, The Hours, anything Ang Lee (especially Brokeback Mountain), West Side Story, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Show Boat, Wild Strawberries, Fanny and Alexander, Angels In America, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Hello Dolly, Funny Girl, anything by Spike Lee (especially Passing Strange: The Movie, She's Gotta Have It, and Clockers), The King of Comedy, Horror Hotel, Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Monsters Inc., Up, Ratouille, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, anything Godzilla, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Piano, Orlando, The Grapes of Wrath, Wuthering Heights, Best in Show, On Golden Pond, Moonstruck, Pretty Woman, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, The Omen (the original!), Jaws, Rocky, Rosemary's Baby, The Wizard of Oz, A Single Man, An Education, The Hurt Locker, The House of Games
The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck), A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood), Maurice (E.M. Forster), Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Fire Next Time (James Baldwin), Family Dancing and A Place I've Never Been (David Leavitt), Catcher in the Rye (J.D.Salinger), On the Road (Jack Kerouac), Martin Eden (Jack London), Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison), My Name Is Asher Lev (Chaim Potok), Rubyfruit Jungle (Rita Mae Brown), Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre), The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (Irvin Yalom), The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (Oliver Sacks), Borrowed Time (Paul Monette), The Diary of Anne Frank, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain), I Have a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore (Ethan Mordden), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Songwriters on Songwriting (Paul Zollo), Reinventing Your Life (Jeffrey Young, Ph.D.), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Micheal Chabon), Hidden History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (Martin Duberman), Gay American History (Jonathan Katz), The Hours (Michael Cunningham), the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook (Sobel and Ornstein), Like This (Rumi), A Guide to Rational Living (Albert Ellis, Ph.D.), Number Our Days (Barbara Myerhoff), Wayward Puritans (Kai Erikson), Like People in History (Felice Picano), Escape From Freedom (Erich Fromm), Games People Play (Eric Berne, M.D.), Walden Two (B.F. Skinner), A World to Care For (Howard Rusk), And The Band Played On (Randy Shilts).
"I do like a good mango"
I came across this quotation when we were traveling in Japan last year. I found it very profound.