About the Band

Your Midnight Jazz Cats

The Midnight Jazz Cats came to full fruition in August of 2022 with the sole desire to win a Grammy and become fabulously famous.  We’re not there yet, but we’re close!  With the founding members of Dr. Lloyd Blake on drums and vocals; Dr. Mark Stolpe on upright bass and vocals; Bob Phillips on keyboard and vocals, Bill (Shep) Shepherd on clarinet, alto and tenor sax; then finally Blake Olson on guitar, vocals and train whistle, we produce an energetic pallet of sonic fun !

Originally the band was to be called Her Royal Majesty’s International Snow Globe Jazz Orchestra.  Thinking the Queen might not appreciate the name, we changed it to Petty Bourgeoisie.  However Lloyd couldn’t spell it, Mark couldn’t pronounce it and neither Blake, Bob or Shep knew what it meant.  Therefore, we settled on The Midnight Jazz Cats since Blake knew how to spell “Kat”.  Playing a mix of jazz standards, swing, bossa novas and western swing, our goal is to entertain people of all ages.  Dancing, singing, laughing and audience participation is greatly encouraged.

Our past and future gigs include  (but are not limited to ) The Morrison Center's 40th Anniversary Gala night, The, 39th Annual St. Alphonsus' Festival of Tree Gala Dinner, a sell out performance at the Sapphire Room, National Public Radio affiliate KBSX's Idaho Matter's Radio Show, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, KRBX Radio Boise's Live Fall Festival Fundraiser Dance Party, the 2nd Annual Family Advocates gala, The Sandbar at the Riverside Hotel, the North West Boise Neighborhood Association’s Annual Night Out, Mariott Residence Inn Downtown/City Center, Ceramica's Grand Reopening,  The Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,  The Idaho Senior Games,  The Flicks Theater, Art Source Gallery's 20th Annual Juried Art Show, The Green Acres Food Truck Park, Boise Downtown First Thursday, The Terraces of Boise, the LDS Church's Annual Fall Festival, birthday parties, going away parties, anniversary parties, celebration of life parties and TV’s Saturday Night Live.  Okay, the last one is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.  So contact us for your next event and let the The Midnight Jazz Cats entertain you and your friends.  Hope to see you soon !

Bill (Shep) Shepherd

Bill (Shep) played clarinet and alto sax in high school but did not join the band in college. Instead, he played clarinet in a bar as part of a Dixieland group, which was very weird in a college town during the Vietnam War. He graduated from college and joined the Navy, where he also did not play in the band. Instead, he flew small jets onto postage stamps in the middle of the ocean. Twenty-four years later he retired from the Navy and his wife decided he needed a hobby, so she bought him a clarinet.  He responded by playing it, which made her regret her decision. He also bought an alto sax, a tenor sax, a baritone sax, and a soprano sax; eventually he will find something he can play. Although he did play in multiple bands in Florida, he and his wife wanted to move closer to family, so they moved to Boise in the middle of the COVID pandemic. Since no bands were playing during the pandemic; his string of not playing in a band continued. Once bands started playing again, he was fortunate to find a few places to play and was introduced to the illustrious Midnight Jazz Cats, which was scary because midnight is several hours past his bedtime. 

Bob (Lady Killer) Phillips

Bob has been playing the piano since he was in grammar school. His mother started him on the accordion at age 5 when she saw him tapping his feet while waiting for his older brothers at their lessons. At age 7, she added piano lessons for him from the nuns at the local convent. His father tried to have him work in the family-owned plumbing business, but mom would have none of it. She shouted, “You’ll ruin his fingers.” As luck would have it, Bob eventually became a plumber and had his own business. (His fingers were not TOTALLY ruined). Today, Bob is retired and has played in multiple bands, in multiple genres and in multiple places. Jazz, however, is new for him but he loves the challenge and fun of playing with The Midnight Jazz Cats.

Dr. Lloyd (Danger Man) Blake

Lloyd is a recently retired physician whose goal was to be in three bands. He has achieved that goal, at least for now. To stroke Blake Olson’s fragile ego (he is our leader), he is required to say this is my favorite band!  Lloyd hails from New York City where he spent the first forty three years of his life.  Lloyd plays percussion, mandolin, six string guitar and bass guitar. His musical interests span most genres and he is honored to be playing with the Midnight Jazz Cats, although he is not partial to cats.  Or dogs, or horses.  Or any creature that requires food and shelter.  His beautiful wife Jessy describes him as a “gentleman and a scholar” and “one of the most amazing mortals” she knows. Although ridiculously modest, Lloyd has failed to disagree with these statements.  The rumor that Lloyd, Shep, Bob and Mark are plotting to overthrow Blake as leader of the Jazz Cats is untrue.  Again, Lloyd was required to include that statement in this testimony.

Dr. Mark (Eye Candy) Stolpe

Mark is another retired Physician who started playing upright bass at a bluegrass jam seven years ago, and was fortunate enough to be asked to play in several bluegrass and Americana bands. Jazz seemed like a good challenge, so he welcomed the opportunity to join The Midnight Jazz Cats. Why he chose an instrument that is like carrying a canoe around, he doesn't know, but he is having fun with the Cats.

Blake Olson

Blake was born as an infant. During her pregnancy with Blake, his mother took piano lessons. The piano teacher prophesied that Blake would become “highly musical” as a result of his early exposure to the piano.  Blake however only plays guitar and can only play two songs on the piano.  Blake was the lead singer in a rock band during college but decided that accounting was more profitable. After passing the CPA exam (barely), Blake bought his first guitar and has been practicing ever since.  Blake’s first band playing guitar was the nuclear polka band Tastes Like Chicken.  He has since played guitar and sang in several big bands.  However, he always kept his day job as a U.S. Treasury Agent.  After retirement, he became the oldest lifeguard at the YMCA earning $7.25 per hour. He now has fulfilled his lifelong ambition of performing in a small jazz combo and earns even less money than a lifeguard. Sometimes dreams do come true! 

Oh, we forgot, Blake is an expert on the train whistle.

Ella Fitzkitty

Ella Fitzkitty was born in 2023 in China and immigrated to America via the Amazon Adoption Service by The Midnight Jazz Cats in the same year.  She is clearly the most popular, best looking and the most talented member of the band.  Her favorite compostions are "Everybody Wants to be a Cat", "The Stray Cat Strut" and the musical "Cats".  Ella has her own web page as well, showing pictures of her with over 100 of her fans.   Click here to see.