By February 2, 2024 Read More →

Szyndler’s List

UnpluggedView: Szyndler’s List
by Aaron Rowan

A few summers ago, I came up with one of the coolest ideas I’ve had as a music curator. Quite the experiment, really: a run of four monthly World Music Jams, held at the Barkin’ Dog Grill where I hosted my very first evening of music downtown over a decade ago. There were combinations of Latin percussion, Irish fiddling, Swedish nyckelharpa, a touring pop trio from Japan, Indian sitar, and Native American flute. That last element was contributed by Merced-based artist Katt Szyndler (pronounced like “Schindler”), a young lady who shares my passion for bringing ethnic sounds to the region and is a cultural force in her city.

Katt has managed the facilities at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center (MAC) for the past five years, booking and overseeing events and curating the galleries. She plays flute, didgeridoo, and various percussion instruments. She’s a visual artist, a stage manager, and a host of manifesting workshops, among other endeavors. Her personal gallery project ‘Community Spirit,’ now in its third year, is a celebration of diverse artistic talents from across Merced County and surrounding areas. She describes it as a melting pot of creativity, that allows all ages to create anything in any medium. This year, a fashion show element will be added. Katt is dedicated to igniting the community with exciting activities and events for all ages, all styles, and all mediums. The community is her canvas, and she’s painting it with joy, creativity, and boundless energy.

I asked Katt about her top five creative ambitions for the coming years, and her answer reflects the spirit of artistic community running deep within her.

  1. Produce a community project involving all ages and all cultures.
  2. Perform more with others locally in Merced and expand out to the county.
  3. Create a Sound Circle space for others to come and explore music together at the MAC.
  4. Have a Szyndler family art show within the next two years.
  5. Visit New York again and be paid to perform or teach there during that time.

On Saturday, February 10, you can party with Katt and the MAC crew at their annual Mardi Gras fundraiser at the Arts Center, 645 W. Main St., Merced. With live music on two stages, a NOLA-inspired dinner buffet, a beignet bar, and a ‘Voodoo Lounge,’ the good times will be rolling from 6-10 PM. Tickets are $50, available at My lady happens to hail from New Orleans, and this happens to be our anniversary weekend, and what incredible timing! We look forward to catching up with Katt and some other creative friends kicking around Merced. Keep a watch for more of Katt’s adventures, and perhaps even an MU collaboration with her in 2024. Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED.

Posted in: community, music

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