• Ilana Katz Katz

Ilana Katz Katz has been hailed as “a rising star with her own blend of Blues and old-time Appalachian fiddling.” Ilana began as a busker in 2008, playing the crowded platforms of Boston’s subway stations. After a chance meeting with Ronnie Earl at a Billy Boy Arnold concert in 2013, Ronnie invited Ilana to sit in with him at an upcoming show. He subsequently took her under his wing, offering to accompany Ilana on her 2014 debut record, showcasing her as his guest in many shows around Boston and New York.

Her distinguished signature Blues violin and singing soon had her guesting with a who’s who of Blues musicians. Her second record featured NY Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Radcliff and multi-grammy nominated Cedric Watson. When she isn’t touring and performing ‘above ground’ – you can still find Ilana in the subway – playing her fiddle and serenading passersby with her own brand of Blues – including some jazzy scat singing in sync with her fiddle. She loves ‘bringing music to the people.’ She is known as a versatile, improvisational musician, equally comfortable performing solo, leading a band, or lending her fiddling prowess to bands in theaters, clubs, and festivals. She plays a lot of blues, but is also known for her Appalachian fiddlin’ and some rock ‘n roll violin as well.

Fun Facts About Ilana Katz Katz

  • 2018 marks her 10th year performing in the subway, and has performed there more than 400 times! 
  • Her 2017 Vizztone record release Subway Stories debuted on the Living Blues Charts, received many stellar reviews, and was #11 record for the year (2017) by the “Rock Doctor”
  • She won the Boston Blues Challenge (solo) and performed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN (January, 2018).
  • Her 2016 record release Movin’ On made the top ten list for 2016 – across all genres – by Steve Morse (Boston Globe, Berklee College)
  • Her original “Marlyn’s Blues” from debut I’ve Got Something to Tell You earned a finalist spot for “Coolest Blues Song in the World 2015” by Big City Blues Magazine
  • Her unique fresh breath of Blues fiddlin’ and singing have reached around the globe, from Australia to Poland to the Netherlands to Boston to NY and far beyond.
  • Ilana loves to bake and often gives out homemade cookies at her shows.
  • Ilana is an avid visual artist, known to paint and draw funny cat pictures, landscapes. She also paints murals on her boots she wears frequently when performing.
  • Ilana is a published novelist, The Underground.
  • She’s performed solo in all kinds of places – from the Mayor of Boston’s International Gala Ball, to the Bradenton Blues Festival, Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS, in NY City and Chicago subway stations (in addition to her home base of the Boston subway).
  • Ilana often donates her busking tips to the Killer Blues Headstone Project, providing headstones for Blues musicians lying in unmarked graves www.killerblues.net.
  • Ilana is an avid runner and has completed 3 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.
  • Her full legal name really is Ilana Katz Katz. Here’s the story behind that.

Here’s what they’re saying about Ilana Katz Katz

“Ilana Katz Katz travels handily across wide and personal terrain in Movin’ On, spanning blues and old-time American tunes and songs, and featuring some of her own ‘take no prisoners’ compositions. Great contributions from blues icons Barry Levenson, Bobby Radcliff and Louisiana folk virtuoso Cedric Watson help to make this a fun and uplifting musical journey.”  – Bruce Molsky, Appalachian Fiddle and Roots Music Guru

“Ilana Katz’s gorgeous new release is a breath of sweet, honest air that takes the listener on a journey thru old time traditional fiddle and blues inspired originals. She effortlessly makes the old sound new again, mining past treasures and informing them with her unique sonic signature. She wears her heart on her sleeve while daring her listeners to step back into the future.”  – Anne Harris, Trans Blues Fiddler