"some music was meant to stay underground..."

The Great Kat

Formed: 1986
From: New York City, NY, United States
Last Known Status: Active


Born Katherine Thomas, The Great Kat is a violin graduate from the prestigious Juilliard School and has performed as a Classical violin soloist at Carnegie Recital Hall as winner of the Artists International Competition. The Great Kat has also toured as a violin soloist in Mexico, the U.S. and UK.

After graduating from The Juilliard School, The Great Kat decided “to bring classical music to the masses” and quickly switched to guitar. Kat then combined Classical music with Speed Metal, developing the exciting new “Shred/Classical” Music Genre : authentic classical masterpieces (Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and others) mixed with extreme speed and shredding guitar riffs.

Known as the “High Priestess of Guitar Shred,” The Great Kat’s discography includes 6 Shred/Classical CDs and an interactive multimedia CD-ROM. Kat’s “Wagner's War" CD has been hailed by critics as brilliant and revolutionary.

Latest The Great Kat News

Below is our complete The Great Kat news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

No Girls Allowed?: The Great Kat Interviewed

"No Girls Allowed?" is the title of an article written by David Segal for the Washington Post in which the issue of the lack of female lead guitarists is examined and The Great Kat (aka Karen Thomas) is interviewed. Here's an excerpt:

Where are all the guitar heroines?

Where are all the female guitarists who can light it up in some original, groundbreaking and influential way? Can you name any? Come to think of it, have you ever heard the phrase "guitar heroine"?

Probably not, and for good reason. This won't win you friends and maybe it can't be said out loud, but here's the hard and horrible truth: Fifty years after Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right Mama," the grand total of pantheon-worthy female rock guitarists is zero.

And then a little more from The Great Kat herself:

"Any idiot off the street can play the guitar," she sort of yells, without pausing for breath. "But you have to have attitude, you've got to know the basics, and women, unfortunately, whether in music or politics, they don't have the mind-set to practice and work to go [testicles] to [testicles]. Not letting guys take over. 'Get the [heck] out of my way, now! I'm going to kick your [rear]! I'm going to stomp all over you!' "

Read the full article at Washingtonpost.com.

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Info On The Great Kat's "Zapateado" Music Video

The Great Kat, named the "Top 10 Fastest Shredders of All Time" by Guitar One Magazine, has just released the new Patriotic Shred/Classical Music Video, "Zapateado." This is the world's first violin and guitar Shred/Classical Music Video, which combines phenomenal violin virtuosity, guitar shredding, patriotic glory, historical figures and documents, and the world famous "Uncle Sam" poster." Zapateado" is a 2-minute music video filmed in The Great Kat's signature rapid-fire style, culminating with Kat declaring the U.S. victory in war. "Zapateado" is a Shred/Classical arrangement by The Great Kat, of the Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate's famous violin work, and is Track 7, "Act III-Victory" of The Great Kat's revolutionary and critically acclaimed "Wagner's War" CD.

"Zapateado" Music Video Features:
· The Great Kat's Blistering Guitar Shredding
· The Great Kat's Breakneck Speeds of Classical Violin Virtuosity
· Patriotic Kat with tons of U.S. Flags and Americana
· "Commercial Break" with "Uncle Sam" sponsoring The Great Kat's ShredFest
· George Washington, "Declaration of Independence," and "Statue of Liberty"

Download a sample of "Zapateado" music video here.
Download photos from "Zapateado" music video here.

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The Great Kat Take Top 10 Fastest Shredders Honor

Guitar One Magazine awarded The Great Kat the “Top 10 Fastest Shredders of All Time,” (April 2003) by Chris O’Byrne. Known for her lightning-fast Shred/Classical riffs, The Great Kat has been heralded worldwide as the only guitar/violin virtuoso updating Classical music and is the only female guitarist included on the Guitar One “Fastest Shredders” list.

Read the full article at The Great Kat.

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