Bobby Brooks came to the Valley of the Sun in late '91 in the off season as a Professional Baseball Umpire. He started working for the Fabulous Bailey Boys karaoke company to make ends meet and soon realized that the music business was an industry he wanted to work in for a living. In '94, while still traveling through-out the U.S. as an umpire, Bobby managed to start a karaoke retail business with former Fabulous Bailey Boy, Jack Bailey, and started his own company, UR Entertainment. It didn't take long for the business to build, and in '96 Bobby retired from baseball. In addition to Bobby's Karaoke/DJ company, he also been on a radio commercial singing a national jingle for the USDA public safety campaign released on TV commercials and national radio spots.
Whether it's playing with, 'ALL STRUMMED OUT', singing karaoke, volunteering for Kyrene De las Brieses Elementary School drama/music club, or just out at one of live music venues, you'll always see Bobby's smiling face around music.
Scott E. Nowak - Guitarist/ Vocalist
I was born & raised in the great city of Chicago (birth date is not necessary, we all know I'm an old guy)
I started playing guitar at 7 years old on a Kay acoustic guitar, that my mom got for me with grocery store trading stamps (I still have that guitar).
I joined my 1st band when I was 10yrs. old (with some schoolmates of my older sister)
When I was 12, my band started playing at church picnics & 8th grade dances
At the age of 14, I joined the Gordon Tech High School Jazz Band as well as playing guitar for various musical plays (like “Godspell)
At 17 years of age I joined a country/rock band called Desperado & started playing in bars (the other guys in the band were older & the drinking age was 18)
When I turned 19 I joined my first road band called “Chimo“ (Eskimo for “friend”)
I’ve played in various road bands since then, most notably, a Vegas show band called The Earl Turner Group
At 26 years of age, I got off the road & moved back to Chicago to play with the Joe Contaffio Band
With the Joe Contaffio Band, I played outdoor festivals backing up many legendary artists of the 50’s & 60’s: Tommy James, Del Shannon, Alex Chilton (the Box Tops), the Coasters & the Drifters
Also while playing in bar bands I have been fortunate enough to have “jammed” with other legendary musicians, such as Sugar Blue (harmonica) & Jaco Pastorius (bass)
At the age of 27, I started producing recordings for local Chicago bands & learning to be a recording engineer
In 1992 I moved to Mesa, AZ. & started playing in local bands & working at Apache Tracks Studio
I’ve played guitar in many local Arizona bands: Gigi Dixon Band, Tina Bailey Band,Colleen Callahan Band, Richard Dean's Blues Machine, Shaker, Stereoblitz etc.
My current bands are:
All Strummed Out (with Bobby Brooks) -acoustic guitar & vocals
Chuck E. Baby & the Allstars-lead guitar & vocals
Baby! It's the Blues
Baby, It's the Blues. Come and Join us for Michael "The Blues Man" Anderson and Sugar Bear. Know one Leaves unitl they sing the Blues.
Kansas City, Here I Come!!!!!
Billy Cioffi was born and raised in Albany, New York. He was signed at sixteen with his band The Grey Things, to New York based Laurie Records. Had a top ten regional hit, and toured the East Coast corridor as the opening act for The Allman Brothers, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Rascals among many others.
Relocating to Los Angeles, he was asked to play and record with rockabilly legend Gene Vincent. Cioffi soon found himself doing recording sessions in Hollywood with the likes of “Sir Douglas” Sahm and members of his Quintet and various other session players for RCA Records. It was working with Vincent that Cioffi met Country-Rock pioneer Chris Darrow, who was at the time recording a solo LP with current Monte Carlo and collaborator Mickey McGee. Cioffi joined the band Hokus Pokus, who were signed to MGM Records and released one album which is now a highly sought after collector’s item.
Throughout the ‘70s, Cioffi busied himself with session work and songwriting, while acts including The Hello People and Mickey Gilley recorded his songs. “I was learning to be a writer” he recalls, “and it was not easy, and the competition was stiff”. Cioffi was working as staff songwriter when he and writing partner Scott Richardson (of the legendary Detroit band SRC) were asked to form a band to inaugurate the comeback of Phil Spector’s legendary vocalist Darlene Love for a New Years Eve show. This was the debut of the Monte Carlos, and it was to shape Cioffi’s musical career and life for the next decade.
As reviews hit the newsstands the following week, The Monte Carlos, with Cioffi as its guitarist/ leader, are bombarded with touring and session offers with the greatest of rock’s legends.
Life becomes an endless series of planes, concert halls, and studios. During their tenure as the premier back up band, Cioffi performed with Chuck Berry in the United States, Japan, South America, Moscow and Europe. Bus toured with Bo Diddley; conducted and recorded with Ben E. King; conducted for Lesley Gore. Billy served five years as musical director for the “New York City Doo Wop Shows” at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, and has performed at that marvelous venue over thirty times. Artists such as Freddy Cannon, Tommy Roe, Brian Hyland, Johnny Tillotson and The Shirelles would often demand promoters flyhis compact four and five piece juggernaut to get the sound that only the Monte Carlos could deliver.
Cioffi formed a special bond with one of his idols, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Del Shannon. The Montes became Del’s band of choice and performed on some of his last recordings, which were released posthumously. Billy played guitars, helped produce five sides, and sang backgrounds with the likes of Tom Petty, George Harrison Jeff Lynne and The Smithereens. “I miss Del every day. He was such an influence in my musical life and just a great guy!” says Cioffi. “I remember when he played me the mixes sitting in his Cadillac and said ‘listen Billy it’s the Monte Carlos and the Beatles!’ I have never been prouder.”
Along the way, Cioffi worked as a guitarist for the Turtles for some gigs while working on recording projects with the group’s leader, his friend, Mark Volman. “Really nice fun guys!” Billy has also played guitar in concerts for Mitch Ryder, side by side with guitar legend Steve Hunter. “They are great souls!” Cioffi continued writing and placed compositions in over a dozen films, among them: Poltergeist 3, The Skateboard Kid, and Blood Fist. His music has been heard in TV series Boogie’s Diner and most recently the Emmy award winning, The Shield. His solo album “Dangerous Type” was a “Billboard” Pick, and “The Monte Carlos” and “American Episodes” received extensive airplay throughout the U.S. on Americana format radio, charting on the “Gavin Reports” and making semifinals in four Grammy categories. “How that happened is a complete mystery to me! Some people in NARAS nominated us and actually voted for us! Go figure!” Billy recently graduated from ASU Cum Laude with a degree in English Literature in 2009 and is in the Graduate Program at ASU.
During the last few years much of Cioffi focus has been on teaching and working with several young protégés. Among them singer/songwriter Cali Rodi now residing in Nashville and signed to a publishing contract.
Billy has produced with production partner Olivier Zahm a number of eclectic releases. He is currently working with Grammy award winning producer Val Garay on the debut album of singer songwriter Adam Esrick.
Billy is the musical director for the Emmy nominated “Songwriters Showcase from the Tempe Center for the Arts” seen on PBS Chanel 8 in Phoenix and throughout the Southwest, Billy Cioffi is in the studio at present recording songs songs for the forth-coming Volume 2 of multimedia project AMERICAMERA- with award winning project he co-wrote with American Poet and Musician T.R. Hummer. “Its been a busy year. I’ll be in Nashville in June for the CMA/Fan week and New York for some shows in July then back to the valley of the sun for more recording, writing and performing.
Bob Villa is best known for having over 600 musical selections for our guests to choose. Acoustical music that is a back drop to an amazing dinner. I have been booking Bob for next to ten years, but he has sadly moved on to another state. Come see this him in a rare performance at The Blue. Easily my single most requested artist in my career.
Personal History A Native American and native Arizonan, Bob was born August 4, 1960, on the Gila River Pima reservation southeast of Phoenix. He grew up in and around Coolidge, Arizona, graduating from Coolidge High School in 1979. He attended American Indian College in Phoenix, pursuing a degree in Christian Ministry, and Grand Canyon University, also in Phoenix, studying Music Education and receiving formal voice training.
Penny hails from Lenoir City in East Tennessee, but also calls Richmond, Indiana, home. She learned piano as a child, and grew up singing in church and school choirs and ensembles. She lends harmony to Bob's melodies.
Musical History Bob has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old. His over 30 years of experience is evidenced by his eclectic styles and ease with the instrument. Bob has been involved in church music for many years and served as worship leader at various churches, conventions, and convocations. He has made appearances on Christian television and done gospel and worship music recordings. In March of 2001, while on staff at American Indian College, he produced a live worship CD, writing much of the music himself and performing it along with the student praise bands.
In 2004, Bob and Penny began performing at Phoenix-area venues. Since October of 2005 they have traveled the country as full-time performing musicians, playing, among other places, the Texas Hill Country (an area known for its music appreciation) and Music City, Nashville, TN. Listeners enjoy their smooth performances on cover tunes, but especially Bob's original music, much of which is influenced by his Southwestern and Native American roots. Bob released 2 CD's during the winter of 2004/2005 containing, with the exception of one song, all original music. He has made 4 appearances on Good Morning Arizona, a Phoenix morning news program. Bob won The Proof Is In The Pudding solo artist competition at Alice Cooperstown in Phoenix in 2005. He went on to perform at Alice Cooper's Christmas show held at the Dodge Theater along with Alice himself, STYX, Don Felder of the Eagles, and many other world-class musicians. During 2006 & 2007, Bob & Penny enjoyed a 4-month run at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, NM. In 2008 he received a callback at the National audition level for the Nashville Star TV show. Though he was not ultimately chosen for the show, he wrote a funny, tongue-in-cheek song about his audition experiences. That single enjoyed airplay on over 30 radio stations in 12 states.
Musical Repertoire & Influences The Villa's repertoire is eclectic and constantly growing and includes pop jazz standards like Sinatra's Fly Me To The Moon and All Of Me and Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa and When I Fall In Love. They convincingly cover Jim Croce tunes Don't Mess Around With Jim, Time In A Bottle, etc., James Taylor hits like Fire and Rain and Handy Man, Elvis favorites such as Teddy Bear and Hound Dog, and a Beatles lineup that spans the early 60's to the mid 70's. Bob's influences include modern jazz guitarists Charlie Smith and George Benson; rock legends Eric Clapton and Neil Young and bands Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Doobie Brothers; blues artists Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King; and Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Mac Powell, and Petra in the Christian music arena. Bob loves country music, a love planted and fostered by his mother, and expresses that love by passionately covering classics by Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, etc., as well as modern tunes by Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, and others.
Harry McGraw has been in the music industry for four decades. He has toured with bands coast to coast and internationally as a lead guitarist and singer/songwriter.
Harry settled in the Valley in 1998 and has played the local music scene since his arrival.
Harry’s guitar playing is best described as well-crafted grooves with a lot of soul. He’s mastered the sounds of soulful funk n blues licks and classic rock.
Formed in 2010, The Harry McGraw band is described as a power trio with a huge sound, playing a wide range of material from many artists and genres, as well has Harry’s soulful original music.
Ivan Harshman was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He started playing guitar and writing songs at age fourteen. At age fifteen he took on bass playing and singing. From early on Ivan was playing the local Toledo music scene, playing with such bands as The Kind, whom he toured the Great Lakes Region with in 1995.
Ivan moved to Arizona in 1996, where he collaborated with good friend and fellow songwriter Pete Thelen. The September 2000 issue of ‘Blues Revue’ magazine called Thelen and Harshman’s song “Heal TV” the “Best Cut” on the album “Blues Today, Vol.2”, with Harshman’s gritty vocals being touted as the highlight of the track. “Heal TV” has awarded them radio play on three continents. Then with his band the, Elliots, was signed in 2004 with Viastar Records and toured for 2 years promoting their albums.
While in Arizona, Ivan has shared the bill with such acts as David Crosby, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Cake, Poe, Better than Ezra, Sugar Ray, Gavin DeGraw, The Samples, The Gin Blossoms, Ian Moore, Keb’ Mo’, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Carl Palmer, Charlie Musselwhite, The Zombies, and more.
Ivan is currently working on his 5th album and performing his orginal music as well as tasty covers of loved music, in the U.S and abroad. For more information please go to: IvanHarshman.com
“An expansive hole has opened in the music market that has left many people with a thirst for music that touches with creativity, depth, inspiration and renewed passion."
The music industry is not focussed on generations of people who cannot connect emotionally or intellectually with pop, rap, and the latest retread of the boy-band formula. Trying to offer new music that reflects a deeper experience (and how it’s presented) and allows this group to connect to themselves and their own gloriously complex worlds of experience is part the journey.
Circuitous routes are part of artistic life and James Cowden's journey has been no less.
After a series of life altering events, the gravitational pull of music was too strong and he made the leap of faith. "I can honestly say music literally saved my life..."
As a solo performer he has strong credentials playing in such well known venues as THE RHYTHM ROOM in Phoenix, EDDIE'S ATTIC & THE RED LIGHT CAFE in Atlanta, LESTAT'Sin San Diego as well a many European venues. The nomadic upbringing has served him well. Calling New Orleans his "spiritual home and musical university”, the years living there had a tremendous formative effect. There is also a sense of experience in his voice seldom encountered and his percussive playing draws the listener in to each song's deeper levels. A change of rhythm, a tweak of key, bring a freshness to the music. James has a strong stage presence not to be missed...”
Lewis Ray Cammarata
"Slip and slide along the wild and wily blues highway with talented guitarist Lewis Ray Cammarata. Fun, fast, and at times furious, his playing's up and down the blues-music map, nodding in the direction of Ry Cooder as well as surf maestro Dick Dale, Tom Waits, and even moody soundtrack man Ennio Morricone."
At the age of five my parents got me started with piano lessons, which went very well until we moved from Warwick N.Y. to Nazareth P.A.I was 10 when we moved and were unable to find a good fit for a new piano teacher.I played here and there but got more involved with sports at that age.At age 15 I had an incredible music teacher who got me involved with music again.I played vibraphone and marimba in the Winter Wind Ensemble, and along with four classmates began the NDHS Percussion Ensemble.At 17, I took private lessons on piano through Moravian University, and began teaching myself to play guitar.I had planned on studying Music Therapy at Slippery Rock University but never graduated.At age 18 my Father passed away from a sudden heart attack, two weeks before I left for college.My Mother was left alone and ended up moving closer to family in Arizona, where I joined her in 2008.Continuing my studies at Chandler Gilbert Community College I met a talented drummer and began a reggae band, The Morning After.Through that experience I met many people, played many stages, and made music with many friends.The band split in 2011, and a year later I began playing solo gigs with my acoustic guitar.Things have been going great since then, with a residency at Cadillac Ranch in Tempe Marketplace, and multiple shows a month at the Artisan Markets in Scottsdale and World of Beer in Tempe to name a few.Currently I am trying to play for as many people as possible in order to gain a better understanding of music and its relationship with us all.I am very excited for my future and hope that you become a part of it!
Notes from Neptune!
Get a sitter, these guys are AMAZING!
Notes From Neptune is often described as a musical journey. While they have a blast performing. You will like the way you fell when listening to them. The band is comprised of Scott a Nylon String Guitarist and Thomas a Saxophonist. Both of which have amazing vocals. They will take you back to 80's Classic Rock with Pink Floyd and The Doors and bring out the Motown Soul with Bill Withers and James Brown. They like to go mordern with a little John Mayer and Gnarls Barkley and even swing the jazz a bit with Michael Buble and Louis Armstrong. Then there are their Originals!!! Both Scott and Thomas are phenonminal musicians having each played over 20 years.
Rob West Bio
Hard work and perseverance. Those are the corner stones of Rob West’s life. It’s in his roots, dating all the way back to 1863 when his family settled in the Prescott area of Arizona. Settlers and pioneers with a determination to succeed. Those family traits have served this home grown Arizona boy well throughout his life.
Receiving his first guitar at the age of 6 it was love at first sight, giving Rob a passion for music that continues to this day. Taught by his older brother, Rob’s first taste for performing was around the house to friends and relatives. As Rob grew up he began to write songs based on the experiences of his life…some of the good times and several of the tragic ones that shaped and changed him. Singing and song writing gave him the perfect outlet to let him express his feelings and release the pressures of life’s trials and tribulations.
Rob tirelessly devotes endless hours offering support and assistance to several charities, traveling around the country with other celebrities raising donations and awareness wherever they can for a worthy cause.
Rob currently performs throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, making new fans and delighting his strong supporters. Rob has recently finished his first demo CD. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @RobWest1728
Great Guitarist/Singer....band mate of Ivan Harshman!