L to R: Carlos, Mike, Jed, Gabe, & Natalie
Photo Credit: Robert Martinez Photography
MEET THE BAND MEMBERS...
Carlos, founder of The Stellarcats Band, was born in Lima, Peru, and at the age of 11, his family moved to Pennsylvania. It was here that his father arranged for him to take guitar lessons in the hopes he would make some new friends. In doing so, Carlos discovered a newfound passion for music. He found he was attracted to the melodies of songs and this drew him towards a blend of genres, such as, Pop, Latin, and World Music. He wanted to learn everything about music and became a musical sponge, learning all he could about playing the guitar, different techniques, and music theory.
Carlos later began listening to and playing heavy metal music, which aided in him learning how to shred those wild guitar instrumentals. His influences include bands such as Metallica and artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Satriani and Andy Timmons.
In 1999, at the age of 15, Carlos moved to Hawaii where he eventually met other musicians, earning a spot with several different cover bands throughout the course of his music career. He later joined up with members from a heavy metal band, “Deadly Influence.” Overtime they disbanded and Carlos began creating youtube videos. You can find him on Youtube today – CarlosMurgaHi.
For a brief moment, music began to dwindle from his life as there was the thought that perhaps, the music was dead. However, a year ago, Carlos came to the realization that you only live once, and he could not let his love for music fade away into the tropical sunset. Instead he grabbed his guitar, revived his passion for music and began to scout and recruit people for a new band, and thus The Stellarcats was born. Carlos hopes to bring a mix of genres together into one cohesive sound, blending melodies with intricate instrumentals that would later on be known undoubtedly as The Stellarcat sound!
This multi-talented guitarist turned bassist has been playing music for much of his life. Mike grew up in the heart of Honolulu, and has always loved the guitar; it’s sound, and the seemingly endless array of arrangements one can create.
He started playing in the 9th grade and has continued since. He and his brother had shared a nylon acoustic guitar that his uncle had left behind. Eventually Mike would save enough money bagging groceries to purchase his very first Peavey.
His musical influences range from Jewel to Napalm Death, and just about everything in between. He has a true appreciation for music that is physically created. Mike has been a part of the live music scene since 1994 which allotted him new experiences, such as traveling to the Pacific Northwest for performances.
This Aquarius hopes that The Stellarcats will greet the world with success and hopes to make lifelong friends in the process.
RHYTHM GUITAR/BACKGROUND VOCALS
Jed was born and raised on the island of O’ahu. For a brief moment during his early years, his family moved to Florida. However, they soon learned that there was no place like home, and they returned to the islands.
Both of Jed’s parents played guitar, which initially sparked his intrigue. In Jed’s senior year in high school, he earned his first paycheck … one that went to fund the purchase of a Fender Squire.
Eclectic by nature, he is emotionally drawn to music that coincides with how he feels or how he wants to feel. Jed believes creating music is comparable to that of a superpower. “A person can create and arrange sounds in a certain pattern, which, when combined, can influence and/or alter one’s perception and emotions.” Like many artists before him, music is Jed’s therapy.
Although he has not been a part of the live music scene for a long period of time (Jed joined The Stellarcats in September of 2016), he hopes to use his artistic talent to create music that will continue to touch the lives of others long after he’s gone
Don’t let the sweet smile fool you, this amazingly talented Hawaii native is fire when it comes to keeping that rhythm. Gabriel (a.k.a. Gabe) gets his chops from his favorite drummer, Tony Roysted Jr. His other influences include, but are not limited to, Akira Jimbo, Cassiopeia, Randy Castillo, Ozzy, Dave Weckl, Chick Corea, Chester Thompson, and Genesis.
His expressive and dynamic style is what sets Gabe apart from the rest. He’s been playing the drums since the ripe young age of 2. (I think it may be safe to say that Gabe learned how to use drumsticks before he learned how to utilize a fork or a spoon).
When he’s not burning the beat on stage, he is designing fireworks as well at the weekly Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show as a pyro-technician.
In addition to lighting it up on stage and in the skies, Gabe is also expanding his horizons as a pianist. He hopes to continue growing and evolving his skills with The Stellarcats while making memories, creating history, all while keeping you grooving to the beat.
Born and raised on the island of Lāna‘i, Natalie had always wanted to sing since she was a teenager. Too shy to join choir or the school’s singing group, instead, she joined the band. This is where her love and appreciation for music blossomed. Eventually her high school music career would allow for Natalie to travel throughout the islands playing the soprano saxophone, doing Kenny G covers, and even competing in the Brown Bags to Stardom competition at the Waikiki Shell. Later on, she learned how to play the ukulele and began writing her own music.
Natalie did not perform publicly until she was called on stage by a local band at a bar and has been performing here and there ever since. Music is her outlet, her therapy, her so-called happy place. She grew up in a very musical family, there were uncles, aunties, cousins, as well as her step-father, who played instruments and sang. Natalie’s biological father was a lead guitarist for several bands in Austin, and she vaguely remembers the lullabies he played for her on his Gibson Les Paul when she was a child.
As the most recent Stellarcat inductee, Natalie is excited to see where this musical journey will take her. “I hadn’t been singing for a while now, and I thought that my time had come and gone… Having this opportunity to team up with the other Cats has been amazing thus far. I am both humbled and enriched. I am also reminded to never give up on the things you really love…”