Lucky Katz Take Gasa Gasa

Jeanette McKellar, Contributing Writer

There was an air of anticipation and chatter amidst the crowd at Gasa Gasa on Tuesday night before students would scatter across the country for fall break. 

Tulane students Dimitri Hanafin Reyes, Linnea DeVange, Isaiah Underwood and Joaquin Aboitiz took the stage and assumed positions next to their respective instruments — Reyes on the keys, DeVange at the microphone, Aboitiz on the drums and Underwood on the bass.

Jeanette McKellar

DeVange stepped up to the microphone, the limelight casting a glow on her intricate teardrop makeup. “She looks kind of like a younger Stevie Nicks,” one of my friends murmured. 

She announced the group as “The Lucky Katz,” and the members launched into a spirited rendition of Grover Washington Jr.’s “Just The Two of Us.” I was excited to see the classic song unfold on the stage in front of me. I felt like I was watching a playful conversation between instruments ensue before my eyes. It was a dynamic, upbeat cover that maintained an air of nonchalance, leaving the audience leaning in for more. 

DeVange briefly chronicled the story of the band’s formation. 

“Isaiah and I became friends through one ethics class,” De Vange said. “[We were] both interested in philosophy, [and] kept running into each other at The Commons. He knew Dimitri, [and I] really [got along] with both of them on a personal level and then we all happened to be musicians. It started out as jamming. All three of us are in the jazz program here, so that is definitely a unifying factor.” 

My favorite song of their set was their cover of SZA’s “The Weekend”. A popular pop song, the group placed their own sultry take on the beloved hit. 

“It’s fun to play pop [songs] with more of a funk or R&B feel,” DeVange said. “I enjoy taking pop songs and adding that flavor to it.” 

I couldn’t help but notice the band’s hold on the audience members during this song; each individual’s gaze was either fixed on one of the talented musicians, or lost in a sway to the rhythm. 

As their set continued, the physical space between the band and audience seemed to dissolve. There was a contagious, passionate energy that emanated from the musicians onstage.

When asked about her favorite element of performance, DeVange noted that interacting with the audience brings her the most joy.

“The voice is special in the fact that you’re the only musician who’s using words — that innately gives you more of a connection with the audience,” DeVange said. “It’s really fun feeding off the energy in the crowd and watching how creating art and doing something you enjoy can make others happy.” 

Similarly, Underwood remarked that his favorite part of performing is making connections with people.

“‘Whether it’s someone you’re playing with, doing something cool and looking at each other, or looking at someone and making a face or dancing with them. Fun little moments like that,” Underwood said.  

I was sad to see the impressive ensemble exit the stage. It was surreal to see classmates I have watched eat chili from The Commons participating in a notable display of musical talent for the public. I laughed at myself for being mildly starstruck by individuals that I exchange common pleasantries with on a regular basis. 

One thing’s for sure, The Lucky Katz is a group to watch. Don’t miss their next show on Oct. 30 at Gasa Gasa. 

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