Sam Pink, founder of Red Cat Jazz Festival, explains why jazz is in his blood

Sam Pink pic
Photo courtesy of Sam Pink

Sam Pink is the founder of Red Cat Jazz Festival, Red Cat Jazz Preservation Society and the owner of Red Cat Cafe. The Red Cat Jazz Festival will take place Mother’s Day weekend in Galveston Island, Texas.

How long has the Red Cat Jazz Festival been around?

Six years.

What inspired you to start this festival?

Being the eldest son of trumpeter turned famed Houston attorney Walter J. Pink, jazz is in my blood. As the owner of Red Cat Jazz Café, known as the “Home of Live Entertainment,”, featuring live jazz, I sought additional ways to present the gift of jazz to everyone. In 2010, the Red Cat Jazz Festival was a resounding success. The festival grew quickly, attracting nationally renowned musicians such as Grammy Award winners Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Maurice Brown, Grammy Nominees Boney James, Mike Phillips and Houston’s very own Ronnie Laws, Marion Meadows, Tom Brown, Karen Briggs, Norman brown, Mindi Abair, Peter White, Eric Darius, Nick Colionne, Kermit Ruffins, Hirsoshima and the list goes on.

In 2014, the festival evolved from a one-day outdoor live music event into a four-day celebration at Moody Gardens on Galveston Island over Mother’s Day weekend.

What is the purpose of this festival?

Since its inception, Red Cat Jazz Preservation Society has produced educational events for young people and families by partnering with various community organizations, such as Diaz Music institute and O.B.A.P. The Society hosts a variety of programs, lectures, events, concerts and workshops that are designed to build and nurture a richer appreciation of the Jazz genre. The Red Cat Jazz Festival is the Preservation Society’s largest annual fundraiser.

What are some of the events going on during this festival?

We have a host of events during the Red Cat Jazz Festival [including]: Opening Night Mayor’s Reception where Mayor Yarbrough will give the key to the city to Tina Knowles-Lawson, mother of Beyonc♪0 and Solange Knowles; Red Cat Legends Awards, a black-tie affair hosted by Thomas Miles, aka Nephew Tommy; #RedCatforPink, a Health, Wealth & Beauty Conference; a Veterans Breakfast; 3rd Annual Red Cat Jazz Celebrity Golf Classic; Jazz Cats Workshop; All-White VIP Pool Party; and the ultimate after-party, an All-Star Jam; and a Mother’s Day Gospel Brunch!

What other events or festivals do you execute?

I was on the team for the Houston International Jazz Festival

 How did you determine your career path?

 It determined me.

 Who are some artists that will be performing?

Jonathan Butler with Gerald Albright, Jessy J, Alex Bugnon, Warren Hill, Mike Phillips, Theresa Grayson, Jhasmin Ghent, Chris Mitchell, La La Wilson, Eric Darius, Mindi Abair, Karen Briggs, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Eric Marienthal, Lao Tizer, Kyle Turner, Andre’ James, Ronnie Laws, Marion Meadows, Joey Sommerville and Michael Ward

.Name three books that changed how you saw life that you would recommend to others?

Iron John: A Book About Men by Robert Bly

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

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