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  November 2008  

Sam Pink Interview Page 4

sam pinkJazz Monthly:  And that happens.  You don’t know who may come in.  I’ve seen NFL football players come in, MLB baseball players.  When we had the All Star Game in Houston, some of the ballplayers came through for the baseball All Star Game; for the Super Bowl, there were football players coming in and other celebrities.  So there’s that surprise factor too that everybody knows that the place to be in Houston is the Red Cat Jazz Café, and that’s a wonderful thing and it’s a testament to what you have created with this great venue of live music and just a—how do you say it—topnotch night spot for people to go and have a great time.

SP:  Yeah, we’ve been very fortunate because there are no books, there’s no magic formula.  You just kinda have to be able to roll with the punches as they go or just have a hunch that this might work or just be nice, just be real.  That’s one thing we really do pride ourselves in, is to try to keep it really, really, really real.

Jazz Monthly: Yeah.

SP:  You know, we’re a home—we’re a mom and pop organization.  We never wanna become this big corporate conglomerate.  We just wanna be a mom and pop deal because those are the places that survive, the hole-in-the-walls, the bars like Cheers, a place that everybody knows their name, you know, the place you’re walking in, “Oh, hey, how are you doing?”  Those are the things that are gonna make the difference between us staying and going

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, keeping it intimate.

SP:  Right, right.  And I never wanna get past the size we are.  The intimate boutique type feel is gonna always prevail because who wants to be in a big ol’ room that’s empty?

Jazz Monthly:  Absolutely.  Talk about some of the compliments you’ve received about the Red Cat Jazz Café.

SP:  Well, we’ve gotten so many….We were in National Geographic Traveler as being one of the best places for jazz and America Online gave us all those accolades for years.  City Search, the City of Houston has us as a part of their marketing campaign for selling Houston to people outside for conventions in Houston.  We are showcased in most of the hotels and the in-room advertising on the televisions, you know, those things.  And those things are what I can remember off the top of my head, but people just like what we do and appreciate us for being sincere about making sure that they have a great time.

Jazz Monthly: Absolutely, man, and that’s always very cool.  Well, Sam, I wanna say that I know I am right on the spot when I say that this is the number one night spot in Houston for all the reasons that we have talked about and then some.

SP:  Right.

Jazz Monthly:  And I would say to you, keep your flava strong, my friend, keep doing what you’re doing, because you are loved and appreciated for what you have accomplished and what you have put together here in Houston.

SP:  I appreciate it, man.  Thanks a lot. Again, you’re just too kind.

Jazz Monthly: I’m shooting from the real, you know?

SP:  Keeping it real.

red catJazz Monthly: Yes indeed.  We have been talking with Sam Pink, the proprietor, owner and president of Red Cat Jazz Café, Red Cat Jazz Music Group, and also the wonderful talent that he has on his label.  Sam, thank you again and all the best to you in 2008 and beyond with all the projects you have coming in the future, my friend.

SP:  Thank you.

Baldwin “Smitty” Smith