Bio

Percussionist, Studio Musician, Actor (SAG)

Portland, Oregon USA

Catón Lyles is an accomplished Pacific Northwest artist who is a night club and concert favorite.  As an instructor for many years, Catón’s performance experience as a muscian and actor has engaged and enriched the community.

As an actor and musician, Catón as been featured on national and international television, in commercials, documentaries, and episodic programming. He continues to perform in local theater productions as well.

In 1986 Catón received a Gold Record for co-writing  You Put Me In A Trance for  NuShooz  on Atlantic Records. He has worked as a sideman with many stylistically different artists, from Jazz to Gospel, New Age to R&B, Rock to Big Band, Salsa to Performance Art.  A partial list of the artists includes, Dennis Springer, William Elmwood, H.B. Barnham, Chris Parker, Shirley Scott, Elá, Obo Addy, Randy Cannon, Andre Kitaev, The Supremes  featuring Mary Wilson, Sally Harmon, Janice Scroggins & Mario DePriest, Billy Rancher, Phillip Boulding, Mel Brown, Bhagavan Das, Shock, Lee Garrett, Slowtrain, Hitting Birth, The Kicks Band, Hungry Mob, Gary Small (six-time nominee and two-time Native American Music Award winner), The Panic Project, Reparations, Caña Son, The Crazy 8’s and Deowati.

For over 30 years he continues to be a dance accompanist often working with several school districts, world-renowned choreographers and dance educators. While specializing in traditional West African and Afro-Cuban styles of hand drumming, he was the accompanying and lead djembe drummer for nearly 20 years with the internationally acclaimed Northwest Afrikan-American Ballet.

Catón Lyles has also been adjunct faculty with several youth organizations and colleges, including PSU, Impacting Kids First in Vancouver, WA; Grace Institute Art Camp and the Student Alliance Project and Friends of the Children. Catón was on the advisory committee for the award winning Vancouver School of Arts and Academics where he was a staff member for a dozen years. During that same time, he also delivered hands-on West African based programming for Vancouver School District’s elementary schools.

At present Catón is a paraeducator working with special education behavior students for Portland Public Schools and a faculty member of Young Musicians and Artists, Camp Manager of Caldera . As a founding member of Kukatonon Childrens African Dance Troupe, that began over 30 years ago at Woodlawn Elementary School,  he continues to be a staff participant.

Catón is currently performing in many bands including  Trio Eclectique d’ 903 , The Crazy 8’s , The Gary Ogan Band, jazz singer Tasha Miller and the New Orleans style funk group The Roseland Hunters. As an actor,he performed in the play Note to Self  (3 time Drammy  Award nominee and winner of Best Ensemble in a Play) and the musical Geezer Palooza. He also teaches weekly djembe and conga drum workshops at Portland’s 5-star drum shop, Rhythm Traders http://www.rhythmtraders.com/