kat & the travelers members

With an original focus on American roots blues, folk, and blues rock, kat &the travelers have performed in varying formats of duo, trio, and full band since 2007. As membership changed and interests evolved, the group began to settle into a trio of Kathleen Kraft, Doug Hedstrom and Kelley Chapman in 2010, together developing an extensive songbook of roots jazz, blues, swing and country along with original songwriting. On occasion, talented musicians were added to shows on percussion, keyboard, blues harp, and horns. In 2018, jazz drummer Quintas Mills joined the band providing percussion to performances on a regular basis and rounding out our group to a quartet. In late 2020, Michael Haag began sitting in on bass and will continue to perform with kat & the travelers in 2021. 

Kathleen Kraft: Lead Vocals  Kat grew up as a traveler, moving with her nomadic family across the continental US, Alaska and Europe. Under the large musical influence of her singer father, Kat heard a wealth of music as a young girl, listening and singing with dad to campfire songs, church hymns, folk and blues as well as jazz standards, swing, big band, Broadway and 70's soul. Over the years, Kat has stepped on stage at numerous area cafes, clubs, events and festivals. Past performance credits include lead vocals on R&B, funk and soul for Everyday People, as well as featured vocalist for jazz groups Wes Allen & Tom Harbeck, Marlon Foster & Friends, Mills Family Band and others. Kat has performed jazz, blues, swing, folk, country, rock and more as lead vocalist with her band, kat & the travelers, in its varying formats since 2007. Kat has also enjoyed her work as an advocate for her local arts and music scene, supporting artists and musicians by organizing exhibits and gallery shows at her own Gallery at Laughing Dog, and volunteering as a primary organizer of Harrisonburg's Fridays On The Square Summer Concert & Film Festival for 28 years. 

Doug Hedstrom: Guitar and Vocals Doug picked up the guitar at age 13, when his little brother started taking lessons from an old jazz guy; "I was too shy to go along, so when my brother would come home, I'd get him to show me what he'd learned, and it surely worked out." Doug is an inveterate tinkerer and has built many hotrod and custom vehicles... so it's only natural that he also builds his own amplifiers and guitars. Thirty years ago, Doug moved to Virginia and started the band, Bluzonia, which became a longtime musical project. From Ernest Tubb to Thelonius Monk, his main influences are Jazz, Swing, Bebop, and old Country. In 2010, he began playing guitar with kat & the travelers performing roots jazz blues and swing, vintage country and many of his originals as a duo, trio, and with a full band....Doug says, "Who could resist the chance to play with such fun and talented musicians? "Well, thanks, Doug!"  

Quintas Mills: Percussion  Quintas seemed to arrive in this world ready to beat that drum, graduating from pots and pans as a tyke to a full drum set at 9 years old. By middle school he was studying under Marlon Foster (James Madison University) and performing in school concert, pep, and jazz bands. In high school while studying under Robert Jospe (University of Virginia), he performed in school concert, symphony, jazz, and musical pit as well as marching band where he earned the position of drumline captain. Q auditioned for the jazz studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University and upon acceptance carried on with jazz percussion studies under VCU's Tony Martucci. Favorite highlights in his drumming life so far include performing with his HS marching band in the Peach Bowl Parade and Peach Bowl Halftime Show at age 14, jazz concerts on the VCU W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts stage, and now drumming back in his home territory with his mom Kat along on vocals for kat & the travelers. Along with regular performances with kat & the travelers, Quintas enjoys invitations to sit in with area musicians playing jazz, blues, and rock.

Michael Haag: Bass and Backing Vocals - Michael originally hails from Northeast Ohio and started his musical journey playing trombone and began playing bass out of high school. Between working and raising a family, he performed with local Ohio bands over the years. Michael then stepped away from playing music for a time until he moved to Virginia in 2004, where he was introduced to the Charlottesville music scene by the Charlottesville Music Exchange Group and joined the Central Virginia Blues Society. Since locating to Virginia, he has performed in The Delta Backburners, The Electric Biscuit Continuum, The Gypsy Moths, The Still House All Stars, and Soul Perception, playing R&B, Soul, Classic Rock, Country, and Blues. Michael is honored to be performing on bass now for kat & the travelers and says "He feels he has some big shoes to fill following Kelley Chapman." We are so happy to have Mike on board!

Kelley Chapman: Bass Kelley originally hails from Washington, DC and first picked up the bass at age 14. Just a year later he was playing on the Deerfield Radio with the Tower Hill Mountain Boys. During high school, he was drafted into the pit orchestra for the Oak Grove Music Festivals. By '84 he was crossing the ocean and toured Europe playing jazz with fellow musician friends. Kelley has played in several popular local bands, including The Tony Roberts Band, The Convertibles, Wanda and the White Boys, and Bluzonia. Bringing his noted jazz background to kat & the travelers, Kelley has provided outstanding performances on bass with the band since 2010. In 2020, Kelley took a break from live performances and he is greatly missed. We wish him well!  

our song book

With a discovered shared affection for the beloved American standards of jazz, blues and country and a stored collection of originals written over the years, kat & the travelers have put together quite an eclectic and large songbook. 
Brush Against The Moon
Black Eyed Susie
Call Me
No Guarantees
Don't Know Why
Who Will Your Next Fool Be
Love You Baby
40 Miles
Blues They Come
Summer Nights
Leavin In The Morning
Check Yourself
Look In The Mirror
Good Friend Blues
Takes A Fool
Raven's Roost

more favorites:
How Long
Love Me Like A Man
Route 66
Step Up Honey
Tennessee Whiskey
Blues With A Feeling
Turn Me On
Walkin' Blues
Kansas City
Tennessee Waltz
Dust My Blues
Monkery's Blues/Blue Monk
Stormy Monday
Buddy Bolden's Blues
Saint James Infirmary

other favorites:
Blues Don't Care
They're Red Hot
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Frim Fram Sauce
The Richest One
Nobody Knows You 
Sunday Kind Of Love
Beginning To See The Light
I Love You Because You're You
Walkin' The Floor Over You
All Of Me
World On A String
Write Myself A Letter
Have You Ever Loved A Man

still more favorites:

Cold, Cold Heart 
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't 
Lazy Bones 
Night Life 
Your Cheatin' Heart 
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry 
Sweet Home Chicago 
I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got 
I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues 
All Blues 
A Change Is Gonna Come 
Can't Find My Way Home 
Walkin After Midnight 
Angel From Montgomery 
The Weight 
Tupelo Honey 
You Can't Always Get What You Want