Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Local Band Spotlight; for Kim Reteguiz & the Black Cat Bones, It's All about the Sweat Equity

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Local Band Spotlight; for Kim Reteguiz & the Black Cat Bones, It's All about the Sweat Equity

Article excerpt

Byline: Jordan Bebout

Jacksonville has a rich musical history dating back to the mid-1800s, and Kim Reteguiz & The Black Cat Bones is continuing that cultural legacy. The group plays "hybrid blues," mixing classic blues with funk, R&B, Latin and Caribbean influences to tell stories as well as give listeners a new type of music education.

The group will play from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9, at the inaugural Second Sundays in Springfield event, a free monthly show in Klutho Park.

The band has developed from the fledgling stage into a semi-professional group. Last year, Reteguiz and her fellow band member Shawn Pfaffman won Best Duo at the International Blues Challenge. She was named Springing the Blues featured artist in 2011 and again in 2015, and this year she performed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis with Pfaffman. IBC is the nation's biggest and most respected blues showcase.

While the band is well-known today among blues aficionados, it actually began in Jacksonville about five years ago with its lead singer, Kim Reteguiz.

Reteguiz began singing in the church choir when she was 5 , and caught on quickly. She's played piano since she was young, but also picked up skills on the guitar and hand percussion instruments. She started college at University of Mississippi as an opera major on a full music scholarship and transferred to the University of Florida two years later with a scholarship as well.

After graduating, she returned to Jacksonville, playing in several groups and doing various side jobs before founding The Black Cat Bones. Reteguiz is a career adviser for local community colleges, and has advice for young musicians.

"Choosing a career in the arts is expensive, and it feels like a glorified hobby sometimes," she said. "We put in more sweat equity than people working a 40-hour workweek."

She also encourages musicians to always have a skill or something to fall back on. At UF she focused on music theory, something musicians can teach to students in private lessons or classrooms to make extra money.

"It would be nice to be like the Beatles and practice every day, but almost every contemporary musician I know has a day job. …

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