About The Cats | Jack's Cats

About The Cats

“Exciting, intelligent, and fun, the Cats could swing any nightclub in the Golden Age of Jazz — yet they deliver a show that audiences connect with today.”

Swing clarinetist & saxman Jack Malmstrom’s sextet of the most in-demand players from Los Angeles’ thriving vintage jazz scene entertain audiences with a hybrid new/old sound unmistakably grounded in 30s – 40s swing, yet contemporary and alive. The Cats have been winning friends at clubs, private events, and jazz festivals by sidestepping modern jazz’s “faster/louder/higher” trend and instead delivering the warm, melodic sound of small jazz combos from the pre-bop era.

The Cats’ arrangements overflow with one half hand-picked standards, one half forgotten gems… and a third-half, Jack’s Cats originals done in a period style. Dancing — as well as listening — is encouraged!


Who Are The Cats?

The Cats can deliver their hybrid new-old sound with as few as three performers, although the group is at full strength as a sextet. Our most frequent roster is:

Jack Malmstrom Bandleader, Reeds
Somebody’s gotta herd these Cats.

Gretje Angell Vocals
What do you get when a famous jazz drummer raises a daughter who loves Anita O’Day, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carmen McRae, and has a voice so well-trained she can sing opera on the side? That would be Gretje Angell! Find out what she does on her nights off from Jack’s Cats here.

Mark San Filippo Drums
A founding and active member of so many admired Los Angeles bands it’s hard to keep count. Mark is busy most nights of the week for good reason: he’s great!

Phil Small Piano
You’ll hear Phil’s good-humored easy personality, intelligence, and keen artistic sense come across musically when he sits down at an 88.

Bryan Dedlow Guitar
Bryan’s equally at home delivering rhythm (a la Freddie Green, Gypsy Jazz, acoustic, or electric) or energetic, memorable solos. When not strummin’ for the Cat, he’s in demand across L.A.

Marcus Buser Bass
The man can pluck, bow, and sing while sending the crowd with a mischievous grin. Not bad when you’ve only got 4 strings! Check out Marcus other current project: Bird Concerns.


The band often includes guest artists who inject their own excitement, skill, and personality. Here are some of our favorite, frequent friends:

Marquis Howell II Bass
Molly Pease Vocals
Peter Kavanaugh Guitar
Janet Klein Vocals
Scott Steen Trumpet
Geoff Rakness Bass
Nahum Zdybel Guitar