Steve, Kat Sanders Are ACM October Artists of the Month



 

By Shawnees Peacock
MSJC student, Arts Council Menifee intern

Steve and Kat Sanders, the well-known Menifee musical duo, owners of Unstoppable Entertainment and the October Arts Council Menifee Artists of the Month, have devoted their time to each other and their music after experiencing a major health scare.

In 2010, Kat had a profound experience at the age of 49. 

“I died from a massive brain hemorrhage on the way to the hospital,” Kat says. “The brain trauma was unexpected and scary.”

Fortunately, the hospital was able to bring her back to life.

Due to this event, her musical aspirations were put on hold for a bit.  But Kat and Steve used this opportunity to re-start their lives and enjoy life more. 

“We knew we would do things differently,” says Kat. “We would spend more time with family, play more music, enjoy walks and each other’s company.”

During this time, they started drafting a bucket list. That list grew into a book titled Unstoppable Life, which describes Kat's near-death experience and how it affected both of their lives.

“We are living what we preach,” she says. “Music is our new life and second or third careers.”  They bring a positive energy and playful attitude to everything they do.

Their meeting even has a musical twist to it. 

“At a Chamber breakfast meeting, Steve re-introduced himself to me,” says Kat. “The song ‘Lady in Red’ was popular at the time. I was wearing a business professional red dress. Steve shook my hand and said, ‘Boy, you really are the lady in red’.” 

She laughs and says, “Realizing that it was one of the worst pickup lines of all time, he turned as red as my dress, shook my hand and slunk away, mortified beyond belief.”

But he didn’t give up.  He won her over and two years later, he asked her to marry him. They celebrated an anniversary last month.

“Apparently corny lines work…sometimes,” says Kat, laughing.

Mr. and Mrs. Sanders were blessed with musically talented genes and an environment that fostered their creativity.

Steve has been performing since the age of 5. He can play both the guitar and piano and is a talented singer.  He gave a solo performance at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse as a young singer.

He discovered his talent and love for the piano around the age of 10 when he received piano instruction from his aunt. In 1962, he made the switch to guitar and played in bands with his brothers and friends until the late sixties.  Today “he is working at being a better musician,” says Kat. “He spends a great deal of time practicing both guitar and keys, and he loves it.”

Kat Sanders’ father was an accomplished pianist and her mother was a first chair violinist in college.

As a young girl, Kat suffered a severe speech impediment and was introduced to music as a form of therapy for her condition.

“I studied classical and opera singing for eight years to eradicate the affliction, and studied with the same professor who taught Stevie Nicks at San Jose State,” says Kat. “The formal training allows me to reach higher and singer longer, because I learned to sing correctly.”

She received a special accolade when listed in the 1978-1979 Who’s Who of Music as a published songwriter and jazz soloist.  She wrote her first published song when she was only 15 years old.

The Sanders have performed in stage productions, churches and weddings for almost 15 years.  Some years back, Steve spent his days as a banker and evenings playing the character Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady.  He was also the lead character Bartholomew in the Clydesdale’s musical A Time for Christmas.  His wife directed and played Mistress Lewis.

Both have had the opportunity to perform in and direct several musicals over the years. One of Kat's  plays – one she co-directed and acted in - was a WWII musical I’ll be Home for Christmas.  It was a turning point in her career.  Playing the role of a radio personality in that production paved the way for her employment as an actual radio news personality and a network broadcast manager for an NBA team.  Later she held the position of television producer for an NBC affiliate.

Their volunteer efforts locally are commendable.  Kat acts as Mrs. Menifee Valley Chamber and he also supports the Menifee Chamber of Commerce. Their efforts for the Music Division for Arts Council Menifee are greatly appreciated; they have provided an excellent sound system and superb professionalism. 

The Sanders often perform in this area.  Enjoy their singing and showmanship every Tuesday evening from 5:30 until 8 p.m. (sometimes 9 p.m.) at the Menifee Lakes Country Club.  They are also guest stars at venues in Palm Springs.  In April, they sang at Arts Council Menifee’s annual “Menifee’s Got Talent” show.  In May, they were a major part of ACM’s Menifee Arts Showcase event held at the Countryside Marketplace.  Audiences are always pleased to see and hear them.

Getting serious for a moment, Kat Sanders shares something she feels deeply.

“Sometimes loss or the threat of loss becomes a wakeup call for what is truly important," she says. "We live each day as though it will be the last, because it almost was. Few are fortunate enough to gain that awareness.”

To stay up-to-date with Steve and Kat Sanders, visit www.unstopentertainment.com, and click on Events. To purchase their book Unstoppable Life, go to www.amazon.com

To learn about Arts Council Menifee, visit artscouncilmenifee.org; to learn about arts-related events in the Menifee area, click on Events Calendar there.






 




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