What makes this band different?
We play and promote original music and selected covers with a twist
toward a positive vibe. We speak of our own experiences through our
music as we connect with much more than music. We find that every song
has a message. We choose to use the songs and stories to promote fun,
well-being, peace, love and joy.
We have a female vocalist who is an incredible keyboardist as well.
You will love her groove!
We have horns that ramp up the energy level. You know the party is on
when the horns arrive.
Collectively, We have been playing music in nearly every setting
imaginable for many years. Anything from jam sessions, rock and roll
bands, symphony orchestras, big bands, music ministries in churches,
country, jazz ensembles in so many venues and settings it boggles our
minds as we recollect.
But it's not just about the music. It is about engaging audiences and
bringing joy, love and healing. The music is our vehicle. We find that
music is a chronicle of our lives. It reconnects us to memories of
long ago. It reminds us of what was happening in our lives when we
hear certain songs. Whatever we were experiencing back then can be
made new again! We tell stories of our own experiences and make new
friends wherever we are privileged to perform.
We find that what goes in your ears comes out your feet and your body
has to just hang on! We encourage singing along, clapping, dancing,
even what we call chair dancing! Thanks for watching and listening!
Jan Watkins (Jammin Jan) and her husband Lee were married at Knuckleheads Saloon five years ago. Jan started playing professionally at the age of 12 at church and has been tickling the ivories ever since. She has played at many venues in Kansas City and on big stages such as the Kansas City Spirit Festival and Santa Cali Gon Days in Independence, Missouri. Jan also loves to sing and it shows especially when she sings the blues and she can really wail on some Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. Jan has played with many bands in Kansas City such as Platinum Express, Butler Fields Band, 51% Blues Band and Pastense Band.
Lee began playing at age ten, and even in his earliest years, began playing with local bands Blackwater Junction, Solar Eclipse and Goodtime Rebellion, that emulated the Motown sound and jazz rock groups like Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears. He studied at the Conservatory of Music with renowned teacher Bill Trumbauer, before taking his skills on the road to Nashville and the east coast and has been a long time principle player with the Northstar Community Band. Of late, Lee has performed with Knock Kneed Sally,Platinum express, One Night Stand, Brass Rewind, The 51% Blues Band, JJ and the Old School Players, The Jammin' Jan Band, Resonation, KC Galaxy, Love x 2 and Pastense.
Steve "Lee" Sellars is a veteran electric and acoustic guitar player vocalist and song writer. He plays a wide variety of music genres-classic rock, blues, country, and blues. Lee has shared the stage with Amanda and Samantha Fish, Nick Schnebelen, Levee Town, Carl Worden, JJ Johnson, and Eugene Smiley Jr. He has played with many bands from California to Ohio.
Rick Coomes played music in grade school later in the Winnetonka Jazz Band with director Steve Lenhert. He was a member of the Blackwater Junction Band with Lee Watkins while in high school and played two years with the UMKC Jazz Band with many fine musicians. After a long hiatus Rick jammed many times with Lee Watkins and other talented musicians before joining the Knock Kneed Sally band and was a member for 6 years. The song Mudbug Marie recorded on the Knock Kneed Sally CD Dog Tilted Head was written and performed by Rick
Allen Wiley played drums with Lee Watkins and Rick Coomes in high school and the UMKC Jazz Band. They also played together in a local band Blackwater Junction in 1970. Allen has had an illustrious career performing with Chuck Berry, Bob Hope, Coasters, Howie Mandel, KC Phiharmonic, Pete Eye, Kathleen Holeman, Lynn Zimmer,Platimum Express and many others. He has played as a professional for over 50 years and is widely respected in the music community
John Reinke has been a musician and student of music most of his life. He started in grade school and was a music major in college. As a bass player in the 90's, John formed a blues band opening for many touring acts at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln Nebraska. Since then he has become an established blues guitarist in the KC area playing R&B, funk, jazz, country, progressive rock and classic rock tribute bands. No matter what he is playing, John finds a way to add a part of himself to the music and have fun in the process
Unchain my heart
Into the Mystic
Big Bad Handsome Man
Knock on Wood
I Feel the Earth Move
Love Will Keep Us Alive
Living in the USA
Chain Of Fools
How Sweet It Is to be Loved by You
Long Train Runnin
Sweet Home Chicago
Aint no Sunshine
Stand by Me
Little by Little
Baby It's you
Ooo Baby Baby
Rock Me Baby
Keep your Hands to Yourself
Pride and Joy
You Really Got Me
Road House Blues
Your Momma Don't Dance
Stray Cat Strut
Can't Get Enough
You make me Happy- Marcia Ball
If I don't Dance-Kelly Hunt
It'll Be Alright*
Love's Nor A Good Enough Word*
Never too Old to Dance*
Some things are prewritten in ways too great to get your head around sometimes...Looking back, many things in 2012 started the ball rolling for the Gratidudes to become a reality. That's the year Blackwater Junction, the band Rick Coomes and Lee Watkins and Allen Wiley helped form in high school, reunited after forty years...
The bridge was rebuilt in that one event. Lee and Rick began rebuilding their musical relationship together, attending jams until each, in separate ways, became involved in different musical projects in Kansas City, but both wanted to perform together, record together, write music and put shows together. Rick joined the Knock Kneed Sally band 6 years ago. Allen Wiley, John Reinke, Lee and Jan Watkins all played with Rick at one time with Knock Kneed Sally. This band, led by the late Scott Stovepipe White gives us all that previous connection.
Another piece of the puzzle came into Lee Watkin's life in 2013, when he met Jammin' Jan at a jam session. They were married in 2015 on the stage at Knucklehead Saloon in one of the most memorable events ever!
The two became one and immediately went to work as a duo called "Love x 2", playing music to make you happy in retirement communities in the KC metro area.
The Gratidudes are certainly an extension of that theme, adding musical pieces that will allow us to express our original music and selected cover music to connect with audiences not only with the music, but life in general lived at a higher vibration of feeling happy, grateful, and glad to perform as we promote joy, peace and love.
Together, we are "Jammin' Jan and the Gratidudes”.
Lots of situations that we're facing you and me. We think we're in control but that's a fallacy. The trick to staying healthy in a world of fear. Listen to your Grandma, it'll be so clear. It'll be alright-it'll be ok it'll be alright it'll be ok Your not to worry, you're just to pray It'll be alright it'll be ok
Never too old to dance. Do it while you have the chance. Never too old to Dance. Do it while you have the chance. Embarrass your children let your freak flag fly. Shake your hips raise your hands to the sky. Gotta keep on dancin-till the day you die
Can't imagine my life without you in it. It'd be like a book with no words, just pages Now you say we've only started our lives. The first of many phases. Loves not a good enough word. To describe all I'm feeling inside. You have brightened my world like the sun. Love's not a good enough word
Gorgeous sunset sublime margaritas with lime. In love with twilight neon lights shine so bright. As the sun fades from sight and the day becomes night. Just beginning to play-dance the night away
Mudbug Marie-Mudbug Marie. Friday night its the place to be. Home of many great memories. Mudbug Marie-Mudbug Marie. Mudbug Marie party queen of Metairie.
You cut the carrots I'll braise the meat. Workin in rhythm to that swingin beat.
Addin in potatoes and some veggies too. We got the makins of a swingin stew. Can't wait to have a steaming bowl. To Big Joe T's Shake Rattle and Roll.
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