Kat was born and raised in the Philippines and started playing the piano when she was 6 years old. Little did she know that her first day of piano lesson would turn into over 30 years of playing and a life long commitment to exploring music through the piano. Her first 11 years with the piano were under the mentorship of one of the top piano teachers in the Philippines who guided her path to winning competitions, to performing on her own 2 hour piano concert with her colleague and a nomination for Dean’s Award for Music in Piano at the prestigious Ateneo De Manila University.
Shortly after she graduated college, majoring in Psychology and Communications, Kat moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She got accepted at a professional scholarship program at EDGE Performing Arts Center, and soon after that, began working in the entertainment industry.
She has done various music videos, commercials and print ads for Pepsi, K-Swiss, Aya Salon; TV shows and stage shows for CBS, VH1, Myo Dance Company, Ray Pierce Illusions, the El Capitan Theatre, Aerial Experience Productions; and various industrials for L’Oreal, Axe, Avon and Arena Swimwear.
Other credits include the World Expo in Yeosu Korea, dancing as the lead character in Samsung’s multi-media presentation, aerialist for Music on Ice in Bellinzona, Switzerland, playing the role of “Magic Carpet” for Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure, being a part of Cantinas Dance Project, dancing for the World Dance Awards, Dancer Palooza and the Dove Awards, and playing the aerialist and Rocket Raccoon role for a touring stunt show called Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes.
While she is a passionate performer and entertainer, she equally has a love for teaching that is very evident. She was the program director for Sky High, an after school enrichment program which she cultivated and grew from 5 schools to 60 schools, from 20 students to over 1000 students in just 5 years. She worked very closely with school principals, parents and students in various school districts in Los Angeles and in Ventura County. She was lovingly called Ms. Kat by all her students and even some of the parents and principals. When she steps into the room, all her students immediately light up and run to her as they all loved learning from Ms. Kat. But it wasn’t just the kids who were impacted by her. Kat has been teaching different age groups across different levels for the past 18 years. Kids and adults alike have learned and grown so much from her instruction and guidance and she is very excited to witness her students grow in their musical abilities as piano players.
In her spare time, Kat loves to read and go on adventures such as sky diving, bungee jumping, rappelling, kayaking, scuba diving, and anything that gets her adrenaline going! Her recent projects involve being a note investor and a co host of a podcast called Wildly Wealthy Life.
Kat’s main goal in everything she does is longevity and consistent growth. She hopes that whatever it is that you do, you’d pursue it consistently so you can achieve long term success.
Music has always been one of JJ’s best friends. It has been something he could depend on during the tough times in life, but it also has accented some of the best times as well. Being from the birthplace of Motown (Detroit, Michigan), he would dig through his dad’s music collection and took a liking to Funk, Disco and Soul. From that, his musical curiosity soared.
His curiosity of music introduced him to piano and dance at the young age of 7. He creatively expressed his talents in competitions all over the U.S. throughout his childhood and teenage years. That eventually led him to write his own music and create mixes for his dance studio and high school hip hop club.
In 2004, he moved to the West Coast to become a professional dancer where he got an apprenticeship and trained under some of the biggest choreographers in Los Angeles. He danced professionally for over 10 years and was blessed to live out his dream. He danced in music videos for artists such as Michael Jackson, in commercials for Disney, and in Hollywood films such as High School Musical 3 and What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro and Kristen Stewart.
He also shares his passion for music by djing & teaching to the youth while MCing over 20 school performances a year. He has dj’d over 600 events and has also created mixes for several choreographers and dance studios.
Through teaching, J.J. realized how impactful it can be not only for himself, but for the students as well. He loves to connect, have fun, and watch his students grow not only in their love of music, but also as human beings. It is a truly rewarding experience.
He believes music is a journey and he can’t wait to share his journey with you.
Vanessa Gamble was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio in a family that loved music and musicals. Before teaching, Vanessa started performing professionally at the age of 17 and got her degree in Musical Theatre Performance from Columbia College Chicago. She continued to perform professionally in Los Angeles working with the Pacific Opera Project, Tony-Winning Producer: Heather Provost, and many other theater companies and jazz clubs.
After a few years of performing in LA, she realized she only wanted to do music all day every day. She began assistant music directing musicals at the Burbank Community Theater, when after rehearsal one day, a few actors asked her if she taught voice. She said, "Yes!" even though that wasn't entirely true. However, she fell in love with teaching and she has taught ever since. She specializes in helping beginners find the joy and the discipline for playing piano, ukulele, or singing. She is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and really enjoys prepping her students for contests, auditions, or performances.
In 2019, Vanessa graduated with an M.A. in music therapy from NYU. She was a practicing music therapist in a community hospital through the pandemic. Though that was rewarding, she is so excited to be joining the Katz Keys team and getting back into teaching piano.
She is passionate about teaching and she looks forward to sharing the love of music with you!