This feature in Impact is focused on highlighting the "hidden talents" among UTMB's employees. If you have a hidden talent—or know someone who does—please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Name: Nicole Mendell and Christopher Smith Gonzalez
UTMB Talent: Research Associate, Pathology and Senior Communications Specialist, Media Relations
Hidden Talent: Gulf Coast musicians
Life partners for nearly a decade, Nicole Mendell and Christopher Gonzalez share many things—a house, a daughter, a car. The list goes on, as the duo even shares an employer, UTMB, but what seems to bring them together the most is a passion for music—a passion they feed by performing together regularly in the local band Kevin Anthony & G-Town.
With Nicole on drums and Christopher on the upright bass, the two make up the rhythm section of the five-piece band that prides itself on mixing country, Cajun, blues, Mexican and swamp pop musical styles to make what they call the “Gulf Coast Sound.”
The troupe, which is slated to record its next album this March, can typically be found playing a variety of venues in and around Galveston and the Greater Houston area, although it’s not uncommon for them to venture to Louisiana or the Texas Hill Country for a show or two each year.
There’s much more to Nicole and Christopher than the musical talents they share with Kevin Anthony & G-Town. With more than three decades worth of musical experience between the two of them, Nicole and Christopher have a few other ventures up their sleeve, including their own collaborative “Our Father Stephen,” for which they’ve already written a few songs.
“What we’re doing with ‘Our Father Stephen’ is more like folk or Americana music,” said Christopher.
Whether they’re playing with Kevin Anthony & G-town or releasing their creativity through another outlet, the duo shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
“I just love that music is creating something out of nothing,” said Nicole, who cites her father as the biggest reason she’s so invested in music—a family tradition that looks like it will be passed down to the one-year-old daughter Evangeline she shares with Christopher.
The toddler frequently accompanies the couple to their shows and loves every minute of it.
“She loves watching us play and dances along with the music,” said Christopher.