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Keep it KOOL, baby!

San Jose's KOOL KATZ coming to L.A., July 14 - 15

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: July 12, 2007


Keep it KOOL, baby!


Every so often, an original Chicano music band just reaches out and grabs me, compelling me to tell the World about them when mainstream America just won't...(The book "Hitmen", Vintage Books, 1990, explains volumes as to why American Music is like that).

Bands like PEPE MARQUEZ & THE FLASHBACKS, BARELA, THE WISEGUYS, LOS MOCOSOS, and QUINTO SOL are relatively new guys on the old circuit of the Land of 1000 Dances that draw people together once you've heard them, or heard of them. Their talent and performances tell the rest of the story.

I've said often over the years how my love of music & my involvement in the music business has blessed me with gifts of music & friends from all over the World, and this piece focuses on one of the latest gifts...my new friendship with THE KOOL KATZ.

I first heard about the KOOL KATZ from my compadre CRAZY CHUY HERNANDEZ of Texas's CHICANO EXPRESS RADIO about 4 years ago. He plays them every so often on his show. Then, a couple of months later, some good friends of mine visiting San Jose attended a KOOL KATZ concert, and gave me a burned copy of their CD, with a bubbling recommendation that this band "would make it in L.A." if given a chance. Trouble was, the burned copy had no info on it, and I had no way of contacting this band.

Consequently, I could only play one song on my former KCLAFM.com weekly show that I knew the title of, "I would do most anything", that drew some positive audience response. In frustration of not finding anything on the internet about the KOOL KATZ music (besides the point that I was searching under Cool Cats~~duh!), and e-mails going unanswered, I gave up searching, thinking the band defunct.

Then, about 2 years later, a friend of mine and one of the heavies of West Coast Latin Jazz Radio, Erik "Chico" Manqueros returns from a business trip up north, and gifts me with a couple of CD's of Northern Califas Bands he's checking out, and one of them was the KOOL KATZ. He tells me they're friends of his, and that they will be visiting him and Steven Chavez of RAMPART Records soon.

Finally, I thought, I get to meet these guys. A couple of weeks later, I spot Steven Chavez & a couple I've never seen before in the audience at a show I was hosting featuring the powerful SATISFACTION Band. We meet, exchange pleasantries & contact info, and they stay to enjoy the show. The next day, the couple, Art & Kelly Galvan, join me for lunch and a cold one at the Santa Fe Springs swapmeet where BALANCE was taking the stage. Later on that day, they guested on one of my radio shows, and I felt comfortable that I had made some new friends. They thanked us for our hospitality, and offered to perform in L.A. if the opportunity came up.

...only I hadn't heard them perform live, so I reserved my recommendation until I had, know what I mean? (Their CD is killer by the way...I just gotta hear somebody live after being fooled before by studio "genius" engineers before!)

About 2 months later, Chico Manqueros invites me to co-host a concert~party with him in Santa Clara featuring RICHARD BEAN & SAPO, the JAMMIN' BAND, SUENO,LUV~TAXI, MIDNITE BREEZE, RON MOPON of CONFUNKSHUN, and of course...the KOOL KATZ, on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

I was pleasantly suprised to find out it was Art Galvan's birthday party, and that Art & Kelly had personally extended the invitation through Chico to both Steven Chavez and I, along with our ladies...talk about a touch of class to promo a show!...

...and what a show & party it was! The talent rocked a full house at the Club Avalon in Santa Clara all night long, but it was the KOOL KATZ that stood out, busting out with hard hitting brass, and impressive stage moves, not to mention great dance music. Steven Chavez, myself, and Chico Manqueros came back to the City of Angels so impressed with the KOOL KATZ that we began putting out the word of our new Northern California discovery and friends.

Enter the Goddess of Ritmo, a little luck, and a couple of good friends. 2 of L.A.'s top Chicano Music show promoters, Peter Jaramillo and Cory Silva, just happened to be in good moods and interested in new talent when I contacted them.

Peter had an unexpected cancellation at his RADISSON HOTEL,RESTAURANT,and LOUNGE, and Cory needed an opening act for his blockbuster Summer 60's & 70's Tribute Concert slated for the A MI HACIENDA RESTAURANT & CANTINA main ballroom. After reading the story I wrote about them here on LatinoLA.com, and listening to their music, it wasn't a very hard sell. They both agreed to give the KOOL KATZ a shot and gave us dates ...and by coincidence, the dates fell on the same weekend! To make things even sweeter, Steven Chavez was able to nail down a small club for a private reception and welcome to L.A. party.

Fast forward to today: The KOOL KATZ, featuring Art & Kelly "The Kat" Galvan bring their saucy , hard hitting, Northern California "Chicano Soul with Rock, Chili, and Roll" sound to the Land of 1000 Dances the weekend of July 14th & 15th, 2007.

Saturday, July 14th ~ Peter Jaramillo and the staff of Jaramillo Entertainment Group host THE KOOL KATZ as they make their L.A. debut appearance at the Whittier RADISSON HOTEL, RESTAURANT, and LOUNGE, starting at 8:00 pm. For tickets and info: (626)488-3344.

Sunday, July 15th ~ Midnight Productions presents the TRIBUTE TO THE 60's~70's LEGENDS of SOUL,starting at 2:30 pm, featuring the sounds of THE TEMPTATIONS, THE DELFONICS, THE CHI-LITES, THE TEMPREES, THE MARVELETTES, THE STYLISTICS, THE SHIRELLS, THE "bAD bOYZ OF oLDIES" ROCKY PADILLA & CORY SILVA, L.A.'s newest Chicana Diva, SARINA SILVA, hosted by FRANKIE FIRME & CHICO MANQUEROS...and opening the show:...THE KOOL KATZ!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, the KOOL KATZ will make it in L.A.! I personally invite YOU!

...and with that, LatinoLA takes pride in welcoming our newest warriors de Aztlan, in the Land of 1000 Dances ...THE KOOL KATZ.

Check out their website at : www.thekoolkatzband.com

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul, heard everyday on www.eastLArevue.com and every other day on www.chicanoexpress.com




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