Terra Gatos is one of Colorado's fineest straight-ahead jazz combos: Five hepcats laying down tasteful standards, bossa nova, cool jazz, hard bop, latin, and select R&B numbers. The quintet features seasoned axemen on tenor sax, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Since 2009, Terra Gatos has been lighting up jazz clubs, wine bars, and private events.
Band Member Bios
Tom Bartling, guitar (top)
Tom was living in Hawaii when he joined his first garage band and has since gone on to play in many genres, from rock, country, variety, Hawaiian, to community theater, as well as numerous jazz combos and big band groups. He has also gone on to graduate from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. Tom takes inspiration from many kinds of musicians playing many different styles: "as long as it's got something to say musically, I'll dig it!"
Doug Wardlow, piano (top)
Doug is an east coast transplant musician. Having studied music from age nine, he has played may genres of music on several different instruments. He has been in numerous concert bands, orchestras, big bands, rock bands, blues bands, and jazz bands. After studying jazz performance at William Paterson College under Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Doug played trombone in the U.S. Army band and toured extensively throughout Europe. While playing all of these different styles and been enlightening, jazz is his primary musical passion. Doug also teaches and tunes pianos, for more information see BradburnPiano.com.
Ken Tomlinson, bass (top)
Ken began studying music at age nine, playing trombone in grade school and continuing on through college in the highly regarded Jazz Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado. After college he continued playing in a number of musical ensembles, from symphonic concert bands to big band and jazz combos. At the suggestion of a musical colleague, Ken took up the bass guitar and found his true musical calling.
Brian Kauffman, drums (top)
Brian began drumming at age five (imitating Ringo on coffee cans), joined the school band in fifth grade, got his first kit in middle school (a classic 1960's Gretch bop kit), played his first paying club gig at age 18, and has been playing non-stop ever since. Brian has made the rounds, playing blues, country, pop-rock, art-rock, R&B, jam-band, ambient/industrial, classical Hindustani (tabla), and indie/alternative -- but lately he's been focusing his attention on straight-ahead jazz.
"Obviously I find a lot of different music interesting, but the jazz I like is interesting on so many different levels. It grew out of popular music and thus is, or, in my humble opinion, should be, entertaining, melodic, toe-tapping music (if not outright dance music). But it's also about what happens when you assemble a particular group of unique voices and the resulting spontaneous conversations and interactions. And there's an intellectual angle of taking familiar things and reworking them into new variations. Jazz isn't just a catchy song or song-style, it's a framework for musical conversation and invention."
Doug Yager, tenor sax (top), alumnus
Doug is a Colorado native and is influenced by a number of Colorado musicians. He was immediately hooked on jazz after Denver’s own pianist, Ellen Rucker played for his elementary school. Former Golden High School music director Ernie (Kaz) Kazmier was a tremendous mentor, providing many performance opportunities and life lessons. Doug has played with the University of Colorado at Denver-Metro State College Jazz Band One, Swing Incorporated Big Band, and the Colorado Jazz Workshop. Today, surrounded by a great group of musicians and friends, Doug is in his element playing the music he loves.