Who Are Those Crazy Cats?
The Cat’s Pajamas makes very cool music for kids, bringing a musical comedy twist to high-octane kid-rock. The Cats put on more than a concert—they invite the audience from the very first note to enter a wild, wonderful world of stories, dance, puppets and props, all backed by a band making great music that just happens to be for kids. Up and down the East Coast, The Cat’s Pajamas captures the imagination of children while thoroughly engaging their families.Combining backgrounds in children’s theater, musical theater and early childhood music education, lead singer Janet Schreiner’s instant connection with audiences makes the Cats a favorite everywhere they perform.
Janet Schreiner's background in professional children's and musical theatre creates The Cat's Pajamas' high octane blend of music and theatrical highjinks. Janet has worked as an actor, director, producer, high school theatre teacher and taught early childhood music for 21 years. To answer the question most frequently asked by fifth graders, she's been on the stage since she was in ...fifth grade.
Janet sings lead vocals, plays the kazoo, is fluent in pirate, fish, shark, cow, turtle and a number of other puppet languages, and runs the band (which is like herding cats). She also wears a shower cap on stage, packs a 4 foot shark and a plunger, and makes puppets out of Emily's socks!
Heath Allen plays keyboards and accordion. Heath has been a working musician, bandleader and theater artist since he was in his teens (a couple years ago). He has released six CD’s of his original music and has composed for dance, film, theater, taught school, been a husband and father, and paid his Philadelphia taxes. Heath composed some of our favorite songs on the new album, Backseat Driver, including "Take Time Out" and "Just An Old Jalopy."
Emily Bate plays guitar and sings harmonies in the Cat's PJs. She's also a singer, guitarist, songwriter and avid costume wearer in many bands in Philly. She's been self-releasing albums, touring, and performing since she was 16. Emily lives in West Philly, and teaches international music classes for kids with All Around This World.
Bob Beach has been a working professional musician for more than 30 years, adding blues harmonica, flute and vocals to a broad scope of genres. Bob performs regularly with both local and national touring acts and does sound at World Cafe Live. He's been wailing away with The Cat's Pajamas since 2007.
Michael Beeson is the drummer who puts the "rock" in "Reading Rocks!" Not only is he an amazing drummer, he has a drum pad that makes barking dogs, yowling cats, and a racetrack full of Corvettes when Janet says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!" He has been playing and performing drums and percussion for 30 years. When he's not performing with the Cats, Michael plays with The Bighouse Band.
Duane Large, drummer for the band, also plays guitar, bass, mandolin, piano and lute. He has a degree in Classical Guitar Performance and masters degrees in Music History and Performance from Temple University. He is a featured performer with The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society and has played mandolin with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet. Duane has an extensive teaching practice both privately and at Germantown Friends School where he teaches music history and theory, choir, guitar, bass and piano.
Debbie started the Cat's Pajamas with her best friend Janet in 1995. They've been performing together since 1990! She sings harmony and plays bass in the Cat's Pajamas. Debbie has taught music at Germantown Friends School for 24 years. . . Her shiny red bass guitar is a Gibson named Susie!
Zack sings bass and plays trumpet in the Cat's PJs (Janet's always wanted a horn section - and she got one!). He's the newest Cat, and has already risen through the ranks to become the Head Maker of Silly Noises. When Zack's not singing, shoveling pretend snow, and playing trumpet onstage with the Cats, he's studying at Temple University.
Rodney produced both of The Cat's Pajamas DVDs, and has now started joining the band onstage! His awesome guitar and bass playing can be heard on our new album Backseat Driver. Rodney is an Emmy award-winner who composes music for film and television. He is the founder of Melodyvision, a full-service music, sound and recording facility providing production services, content, and education for the arts and entertainment communities since 1985.
Please visit all these musicians at their websites and see what they do when they're not playing with The Cat's Pajamas! You'll be amazed! We are very proud to have such talented and accomplished musicians working with us!