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Don't Miss Los Gatos Bagpiper Richard Katz Today at Library

One of the unique happenings at the Los Gatos Library's first anniversary festivities.

If you don’t know, this week is the first anniversary of the new Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave.

The library has been holding a series of happenings over the past week to celebrate its first year of existence.

Today Friday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. the library will be presenting Richard Katz and his bag bagpipes.

Katz has been banging his drums and piping his bagpipes for a very long time here in town.

While the drums have grown quiet lately, his bagpipes can often be heard in C.B. Hannegan’s patio or at various musical venues and events all around Los Gatos.

While Katz tells me that nearly every culture has devised some sort of bag bagpipes over the centuries, the bag bagpipes we consider as fairly familiar are called the Scottish Highland bagpipes.

When the British Empire was expanding to the four corners of the world, the regiments of British soldiers would take their Scottish bag bagpipes with them, making this mysterious, high-pitched, droning music from the land of rocky highlands and cool, stoney pastures widely known.

However, Katz will also be playing the Irish Uilleann bagpipes, which he says are a bit more versatile and complicated.

The interesting thing about these bagpipes is that you don’t blow into them, as one would with most wind instruments. These bagpipes are driven by a small bellows placed between the elbow and ribs.

These bagpipes can play over several octaves instead of just the one of the Scottish bagpipes.

While the Scottish bagpipes are popular the world over, the Irish bagpipes almost became extinct.

With the successful world tour of the Irish dance troupe, “Riverdance,” the Irish bagpipes saw a healthy and long-lasting resurgence.

Don’t miss Katz' unique music and his tales of the bagpipes today at 3:30 p.m. in the library's reading room.  

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Sheila Sanchez February 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM
I heard Richard Katz perform during last year's Veterans' Day Parade and he was amazing! Nothing like the sound of those pipes! Love it!
Jonathan Knowles February 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Richard is also the official piper for the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department. His position is made possible by the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation. In this role Richard performs at special events and police officer and firefighter memorials throughout the Bay Area.
Sheila Sanchez February 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM
That's so awesome, Jonathan! Love the work of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation. Thank you for all you do for all of us, Jonathan. Much appreciated.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz February 16, 2013 at 04:12 AM
That's wonderful that Richard Katz performed on the Bagpipes! It's such a Beautiful Sound!
Richard Katz February 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM
I want to personally thank everyone who came out to the library yesterday to hear my performance and lecture on the bagpipes. I really appreciated the support. Also, thank you all for the very interesting and insightful questions. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and came away with some more knowledge of the world of bagpipes. Cheers! Richard

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