The Next Level with Cat Madden

Cat Madden | May 15 | 8pm

The Next Level series celebrates Whistler’s local music scene, showcasing the talents of five Sea to Sky bands who have recently completed Arts Whistler’s professional development program – Creative Catalyst “Band Boot Camp”.

The Next Level with Cat Madden

If you are seeking a talent-filled and unforgettable live show that encapsulates an eclectic mix of classic styles… then meet Cat Madden; an honest old soul with a modern twist.

Live from the Maury Young Arts Centre theatre! Tune in for a 60 minute set of original music and support your local music scene.
MAY 15
8-9pm | Free | Rated PG-14

“Her voice is like an opera singer mixed with a Husqvarna chainsaw” – the words of a bleary-eyed gas station attendant from Squamish, the morning after a Cat Madden set. Perhaps this unique tone stems from a childhood spent with a rock, punk, and ska enthusiast for a father (Madness, The Specials, Blondie, Who, Clash, Beat, Jam) and a mother in love with French classical composers; Debussy, Ravel, and Erik Satie.
As a teenager, Cat became more acquainted with folk artists like The Cranberries, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Eva Cassidy, and was particularly captivated by the poeticism of Laura Marling, quickly coming to know the British songwriter’s catalogue as if it were her own. 
Most weeks the Madden family would educate themselves by watching “Later… with Jools Holland”. One night, on the show, as she watched a mesmerizing solo performance by KT Tunstall of ‘Black Horse and The Cherry Tree’, something clicked… A 13-year old Cat watched in awe, then vowed: “I’m gonna do that”. The more she explored her musicality, the more she was encouraged to pursue it by her family, her peers… by everyone.
Cat moved to London to study and perform as many forms of music as possible – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s blues, Al Jearreau’s jazz, and George Clinton’s pizazz. She was mentored by great teachers like cellist Audrey Riley and vocalists David Combes and Vic Bynoe. People who can count Blur, Foo Fighters, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and James Brown among their collaborators. 
Her sound and passion for songwriting were emerging from a musical melting pot. Yet, during this time, Cat was crippled by a seemingly endless lack of self-confidence when it came to performing. See her on stage today and you would never guess that, as a budding artist, she “would hide behind her guitar”, run off stage, and cry for the fear of playing to a crowd. 
If only an early-20s Cat had known that Canada beckoned and that this is where she would finally dropkick performance anxiety in its metaphorical gonads. Canada was a fresh start. A thousand miles from her comfort zone, Cat pushed herself to perform at karaoke nights, which she says “saved her life”, then open-mic nights, and eventually collaborated with artists, venues, and companies spanning from Vancouver to Washington DC.
She started her own company “Cat Madden Music” and now works primarily as a performing artist, composer, and vocal coach.
Her biggest achievement may have been when she was asked by Tamara Stanners and Kirsten Andrews to perform at the inaugural Squamish Constellation Festival alongside Begonia, Serena Ryder and Half Moon Run. Cat has performed adjacent to Old Soul Rebel and regularly plays at The Railway alongside good friend Emily Molloy, with Five Alarm Funk and other Vancouver bands supporting them from the crowd.
Photos by Logan Swayze Photography

These bands are set to rock the house – tune in and watch them take their performances to The Next Level!

Find out more about the Creative Catalyst project, the participating bands and all of the incredibly talented creative professionals who helped coach the bands in preparation for their Next Level shows: