The House Cats have been grooving tunes for almost three decades, making them the longest-running jazz ensemble in the music scene in St. Augustine, Florida. Performing a variety of 30s and 40s jazz, swing jazz, jump blues, and swing, the four-piece ensemble has been the house band at Stogies Cigar Bar every other Saturday night since the establishment opened over twenty years ago. From the King Cole Trio to the legendary Miles Davis, The House Cats pull out vintage tunes like tickertape and are known for their deep knowledge of music theory and jazz history. Originally formed in the early 90s, The House Cats is the brainchild of upright bassist, sculptor, woodworker, and visual artist Joe Segal. Joe remains the founder of the group and the only original member of the ensemble after years of shifting, morphing, and growing into the regionally famed jazz quartet it currently is today.
While the band primarily performs instrumental tunes, about one in every four songs is led by electric guitarist and lead vocalist Bill Welch. Bill has been a member of the ensemble for close to ten years now and his vocal stylings are strictly jazz, bringing to the table a delicate touch of nostalgia that transports listeners back in time. Bill Welch and Joe Segal are joined by rhythm master and drummer Chris Hadjopoulos who relentlessly stays in the pocket, building energy and laying back throughout each song, giving the band it’s signature diversity of sound. On tenor saxophone is Fernando Cruz, a powerhouse of air and wind that has been known to just about blow the roof off during his steamy solos. Together this quartet becomes a phonograph of years passed, urging listeners to pop on their fedora hats and antique cuff links to occupy the dance floor for a chance to experience a time when jazz was king.