2016 Music Lineup
Vincent Pierce is a multi instrumentalist based in New Jersey, USA. He received a degree in Music at Rutgers University (Mason Gross School of the Arts) and is currently employed there as an accompanist for Modern and African Dance. He has composed many scores and live performances for theater and modern dance productions. Vincent has toured professionally with different groups since the age of 14.
Karttikeya is a modern renaissance musician and composer whose talents and inspiration span myriad genres, instruments and technologies. His life journey has been similarly diverse – from Berklee College of Music in Boston, to a Hindu monastery in Hawaii, to multiple bands and a recording engineering job at Music Together in New Jersey – musically and otherwise, Karttikeya has demonstrated polite disregard for the conventional.
Emotionally provocative and layered in symphonic warmth, Dan Kassel’s solo cello music brings this classical instrument to new heights. Using an acoustic cello, a Boss RC-50 looping station and minimal effects, Dan bridges the gaps between Klezmer and Irish folk, Indian classical and down-tempo electronic music, levity and suspense. His ability to use technology to loop and layer his instrument into expansive tapestries of sound is impressive, but the element that really stands out is the cello’s deep and moving resonance. His work has been featured by WXPN, NJ.com, and other independent blogs, and his piece, “Moonslice,” won an Honorable Mention in 2014’s International Songwriting Contest. With his third solo album in the works, his sound is more rich and nuanced than ever, and he delights in sharing his soulful compositions with those looking for something fresh and meaningful.
Award-winning accordionist and educator Dallas Vietty is one of the most in-demand young accordionists performing jazz and swing in the United States today. Dallas’ unique style comes from his background in the American jazz tradition, as well as deep study and immersion in the European swing tradition of Django Reinhardt (Gypsy Jazz) and the French musette and jazz accordionists.
As band leader of three groups (Hot Bijouxx, Musette Project, Tempus Fugit) Dallas remains very active on the East Coast concert and festival scene. His groups have performed at some of the top U.S. festivals: Djangology NYC, TEDx Philly, Djangoary Festival, to name a few. As a sideman his performances have taken him to legendary venues such as The Iridium Jazz Club NYC, BB King’s Time Square, The Highline Ballroom NYC, and the Philadelphia Kimmel Center Verizon Hall.
Elise and the Backseat Drivers
She has called Philadelphia home since 2002. Upon completing a BFA degree in musical theater from Syracuse University, Elise settled into her career as a jazz, soul and blues musician. She also finds pop music to be a guilty pleasure. Elise And The Backseat Drivers consist of Elise on vocals, the legendary, Daniel Kaplowitz on the guitar and, the amazing, Kimpedro Rodriguez on percussion. Their group’s focus is to bring the familiarity of pop music… but with a twist.
Andy “The Guy” Demos graduated Mason and Gross School of the Arts in 1987. As drummer and saxophonist, performed and recorded with Solar jazz trio for 10 years. Recorded and toured with alternative rock band, Tiny Lights for 12 years. Performed toured and recorded with big band All Gods Children for 6 years. Performed with Brook Benton, award winning jazz clarinetist, Perry Robinson, members of The Sun Ra Arkestra and performed and recorded with many singer/ songwriters. Currently performing with Tim Walsh, The Jazz Gypsies, The Gypsy 3, Frankly Sinatra, Ben Wilton and many other wonderful musicians.
Kim Yarson has been working on the craft of songwriting for 23 years and honing her guitar skills and vocals along the way. If her songwriting doesn’t draw you right in, her fun personality and energetic style will have you hooked upon the first song. Kim doesn’t like to define herself as anything other than a singer/songwriter writing from her heart, but she has been compared to the wildly talented Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and once told by a fan after seeing her perform, “if Adam Sandler and Alanis Morrisette had a child, it would be you!” Kim has played with many NJ performers and musicians such as Ernie White, Jo Wymer, Lisa Bouchelle and Sandy Zio, as well as, with her other band of girls called, Gyrl Band. She recently shared the stage with the legendary Richie Sambora singing backgrounds for a Christmas Benefit concert in Trenton.
Claire is a singer-songwriter and is currently a junior at Hightstown High School. Locally, she has performed at the Hightstown Farmers Market and the Coffee House at HHS. She plays both piano and guitar and has a wide-range of musical influences. Her current playlist includes everything from Michael Bublé to Kacey Musgraves to Stevie Wonder to Chance the Rapper. Check out Claire’s YouTube channel for more music!
Funk Point 5
Featuring some on the region’s most versatile musicians with unmatched experience, Funk Point 5 is the hottest party-dance band serving the tri-state area. Members of Funk Point 5 have performed or recorded with a range of notable artists including James Hunter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Music Together, members of Hot Tuna, Bon Jovi, and at venues ranging from Atlantic City’s casino circuit (Borgata, Harrah’s, Caesars) to MetLife stadium! Funk Point 5 focuses on giving every client and venue a memorable event as satisfied guests dance and sing along with a great live band! Funk Point 5 is available for all events and functions, including weddings and night clubs. Everything is personalized and customized!
A recognized virtuoso in jazz, classical, rock and pop styles, guitarist Daniel Trent brings a wide range of musical experience to any performance or educational setting. After studying classical and jazz guitar at the McNally-Smith College of Music, Dan launched parallel careers as both a performer and private guitar teacher. His performance career thus far has included extensive forays into rock, blues, classical, jazz, solo acoustic, and traditional, and he has performed regularly throughout the Midwest, New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. He also is a prolific composer of original material.
As a teacher, Dan keeps the music flowing to a new generation of players, maintaining a full roster of students and organizing recitals where they can display the prowess he has inspired in them.