Matthew Gross (of The Bushpilots) & Kathryn Kitt, Jake Benjamin
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
This event is 21 and over
Matthew Gross (of The Bushpilots) & Kathryn Kitt
Matt ‘n Kat form an eclectic, unique duo that combines the talents of singer-songwriter Matt Gross and vocalist Kathryn Kitt.
Matt’s is considered by his fans as the “Musical Miracle.” He was the founding member, vocalist and songwriter of a 90s rock group, The Bushpilots. The group formed in Denmark and after major success in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia – where his song “I Want to Spank You, Girl” won Best Song and the Bushpilots were named Best New Band – Matt and the group resettled in the US in 1996, developing an enthusiastic fan base and playing to sold-out venues in New York City.
But in 1997, the band was devastated by a lone gunman who started firing a semiautomatic handgun at visitors on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing the band’s lead guitarist and shooting Matt through his head. Matt was given little chance of surviving the night. Not only did he survive the night, but he has gone on to recapture the wit, passion and unique musical talent that infuse his work.
His remarkable recovery keeps him playing, singing and writing music. Since the shooting, however, he has done only a few public performances, including one at the legendary Café Wha in New York City, and in 2017 with Kathryn Kitt at Town Crier in Beacon, NY.
Kathryn Kitt, a long-time friend of Matt since they met as students at Bennington College, received formal training as an opera singer and received music degrees from Bennington College and SUNY Purchase. She has performed extensively through the Tri-State Area,
delighting audiences with a wide variety of musical styles and genres. But it’s when she and Matt join together that a very special kind of musical magic happens
Their show at Mercury Lounge will be a milestone in their collaboration as a duo and in the miracle of Matt’s continuing music.
A jazz-tinged indie singer-songwriter, Jake Benjamin, is one of those rare gifted artists that early on could sing better than they could speak. Yet, when it came time to go to college, Jake decided to pursue a career as a music business professional, and chose not to fine tune his prodigious talents. However, while in college, Jake became reacquainted with songwriting and discovered the beauty of jazz. “I fell in love with the fact that music could be an exchange of energies between two people,” Jake shares
The New York-based artist earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music’s Music Business and Studio Music & Jazz programs, and earned his master’s degree from Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music where he studied voice. Because of this formal training, core to Jake’s aesthetic is his sophisticated harmonic compositional vocabulary.
Jake tempers this studied musicality with adventurous artistic explorations via a loop station. His innovative approach with this technology treats the loop station as a compositional tool through which he explores the possibilities of vocal layering, beatboxing, and body percussion. “I write original music for the sensitive and heartfelt millenial, and I reimagine jazz repertoire to make tunes my own. The stories in my songs are about me, or somebody I know. I don’t like to make up stories of things I didn’t go through,” Jake says.