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An eclectic professional musician since the 1970’s, Cathy DeWitt has shared stages and airwaves with Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Garrison Keillor, jazz pianist Rob Bargad, and others. A jazz vocalist and pianist, bluegrass guitarist and folksinger, she is an award-winning songwriter,leading the jazz quartet MoonDancer and the all women’s folk/bluegrass band Patchwork, a Florida festival favorite.

In 1995 she found an unexpected setting for her musical versatility: Shands Arts in Medicine program in Gainesville, Florida, where she created a pioneering, world-renowned and successful Music in Medicine program. From piano playing in the hospital lobby to elevator singalongs, from hallway concerts to bedside harp in the ICUs, Cathy uses music to transform the hospital environment and the patient experience.

Cathy was destined to be a musician; it is literally in her blood. Before she was born her father Bruce led his own band in New Orleans, opening for Louis Armstrong at Pete Fountain’s place. Music filled her house, from her father’s Dixieland trumpet and stride piano to the Rachmaninoff and Chopin pieces her brother Peter, a prodigy pianist, rehearsed every day on the grand piano in the living room. She learned much of the great American songbook of show tunes and jazz watching television variety shows.

After singing in choral groups and coffeehouses during college, Cathy met and began performing with jazz guitarist Charlie Bush, beginning her career as an award-winning jazz composer and singer. Performing throughout Florida, in New York, California, London, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands, she has sung with many great musicians, including pianists Dave Frishberg and Frank Sullivan, guitarist Larry Camp, and bassist Walter Booker. Cathy also produces and hosts a folk music show, “Across the Prairie,” on NPR affiliate WUFT, Sundays at 5:00pm.


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