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LL Cool J

Curtis has been a fan of LL Cool J since the start of his multi-faceted career, so it was quite a treat when the man himself visited the Wednesday night Jam and The Lazy Lounge in White Plains this past week.

LL Cool J started out as a rapper gracing the world with such hits as "Around the way girl", "Doing It" and "Mama said knock you out". He has gone on to prove himself as actor in several movies and now stars in "NCIS Los Angeles" as Agent Hannah.

Our impression of LL Cool J was this... friendly, gracious, attentive and of course... COOL!!

Hey... you never know who's going to stop by our little jam!!

Click here to visit LL Cool J's official website

 

Matt King



Matt King is a piano genius!! We could stop right there, because that's really all that we need to say, but we'll still give you some background on him.

Matt King began his piano studies when he was 5, and was playing professionally by age 14. He is a Composition Fellowship recipient from the NJ State Council on the Arts, and was a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist. In addition he was the winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000. Matt is also currently keyboardist and musical director for the distinguished jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb. In 1996 Matt and his trio released "Welcome, Christmas" - a wonderful, timeless jazzy Christmas album.

With his trusted NY Times crossword in hand, Matt always shows up to a gig with a smile on his face and delivers like no one else! His sharp wit never fails and his Ethel Merman impression will leave you in stitches.

 

  Nicole Hart

Beautiful, talented, sweet, kind, fabulous, an amazing friend... oh, we could come up with so many more wonderful words to describe Nicole Hart!!

Nicole's career has been so vast, that there's no way we can fit it all in this little spotlight. This Southern Belle is an incredible singer with a truly strong spirit. She has made her mark on the Blues, Roots, Soul & R&B scene most famously with her critically acclaimed CD "Treasure". She lights up any venue with her infectious smile and her crisp voice. Every performance comes from the heart - what else could you possibly want?

Curtis and Nicole's voices meshed from the first time they spontaneously sang together - it was just magic. We always look forward to the rare gig where they get to recreate that magic.

Nicole surrounds herself with warm and loving friends - Curtis considers himself honored to be one of those people.



For more information about Nicole:

www.reverbnation.com/nicolehartband




Joe Piteo

Joe Piteo is by far one of Curtis' favorite drummers to share a stage with.

By the age of 15, Joe was performing in all of the hottest clubs in New York City, where he had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of musical styles including Jazz, Rock, R&B and Hip-Hop, all of which became the ingredients that would later go into the making of his own unique style and sound on the drums.

Today, Joe often shares the stage with many of New York's top musicians and plays drums for some of the most talked about bands and artists in and around New York City. Joe plays regularly with guitar virtuoso and Grammy Award nominee, Gil Parris.

Joe is one of those people who just gets it and is always spot on - he makes it sound sooo easy. Always a pleasure to be in his presence.

For more information about Joe:

www.joepiteo.com

 

 

John Ragusa



John Ragusa plays the flute!! Oh... hold on... that's most certainly not the only thing he does. Not only is John a monster on the flute (which we often get to witness at the Wednesday night jam), but he is a multi-talented musician and booking agent.

John's labor of love is his band Mulebone!! Mulebone is a partnership comprised of multi-instrumentalist, John Ragusa and roots music specialist, Hugh Pool. The launching pad for their musical expression is traditional blues.

Together they have recorded a CD which spent 15 weeks in the Top 100 Albums in America.

One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, John always has a smile on his face and never fails to blow the audience away when he plays.

For more information

www.mulebonemusic.com
www.johnragusamusic.com

 

 

Kip Sophos

One of the coolest cats on a bass - Kip Sophos has a distinct sound that you just can't help but hear. A master of the bass in more ways than one, Kip doesn't just play the bass - he builds them too. His beautiful six-string basses not only look cooler than cool, they sound amazing. 

Kip has been on the scene for a long time and in addition to being a sought-after studio musician, he has played alongside Gil Parris for over 20 years. Musically, these two work together like they're twins - one always knows exactly where the other one is going.

Curtis enjoys this relationship on a regular basis and is honored to call Kip a friend!

To learn more about Kip click here.

 

 

Gil Parris  

Curtis has been working with Grammy Nominated Guitarist Gil Parris for six years and the chemistry is undeniable. Together they run Westchester's most popular musician's jam at The Lazy Lounge in White Plains every Wednesday.

Gil has released six solo albums and played collaboratively with over 20 other groups/artists. Gil is known for his special blend of Blues, Jazz, Rock and Smooth Jazz. He has recorded and toured both as a solo artist and sideman with major artists like Dr. John, Blood, Sweat and Tears, David Mann, Billy Vera, Bobby Caldwell, Toni Braxton just to name just a few.

To learn more about Gil click here.

Tyger MacNeal



Drummer Tyger MacNeal has performed with an impressive and varied roster of well known artists including the Four Tops, the Fifth Dimension, Rosemary Clooney, Billy Ekstein, and Little Anthony. In 1989, he joined the reformed Average White Band, and has recorded and toured through out Europe and the U.K. Since 1992 he continues to record and tour with guitar legend Jose Feliciano.

Holy moly... we didn't even know all this stuff until we looked up his bio. Tyger joins the house band once monthly at the Wednesday jam and it's always a blast. His professionalism shows and he never misses a beat (pun totally intended).

We wish Tyger could join us more often, but obviously he's quite a busy dude.

For more information about Tyger, click here.

 

  

Bernie Williams



Obviously this man is known quite well as one of the all-time most loved NY Yankee players. However... to us, he's a gifted musician and a hell of a nice guy.

Since his departure from baseball, Bernie has made a name for himself (once again) with his guitar and has several albums under his belt already.

Philanthropy is one of Bernie's other hats. His charity "Hillside Food Outreach" provides food to those in need throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties. It is their mission to deliver food to people who are, for whatever reason, unable to access local food pantries.

Bernie often joins the house band at the Lazy Lounge Jam and it is always a pleasure to have him around. He is talented, humble, friendly and always incredibly gracious. He is lovingly referred to as "Uncle Bernie" and Curtis is honored to call him a friend.

Quote from Curtis: "It has been a treat and a true pleasure to watch Bernie grow as a guitarist. From years of watching him on the baseball field, this is Bernie in different lighting and i love it!"

For more information about Bernie:

Bernie Williams Official Website
Hillside Food Outreach

 

Scott Staton



Producer, songwriter, pianist, graphic artist - these are only a few of the many hats that Scott Staton wears. As the creator of "Stoopid Daddy Records", Scott is making his mark in the music industry with several artists on his roster... the latest being Curtis with the newly released album "Do the Natural Thing".

Despite holding down a challenging day job, Scott is a fixture at the Wednesday Night Jam and loves to infuse the tunes with his signature Boogie Woogie piano style.

This new turn in Curtis long career as a vocalist would not have been possible without Scott and we are eternally grateful for all the hard work that he has put into this labor of love. And... much love to Bridget and Mia, who put up with the late night recordings and gigs.

For more information

www.stoopiddaddyrecords.com

Pete Riekstins and Pete's Saloon

If you don't know about Pete's Saloon, you must not be from around here!  Pete's has been around forever - in fact, since 1977 - and is one of the biggest supporters of live music in Westchester County.

Not only is Pete one of the nicest guys, but clearly a lover of all types of music - the range of bands you have the opportunity to listen to at Pete's is vast (perhaps because Pete is a musician himself). Photography and travel are also on the top of Pete's list - he is always planning a trip to a remote location and you rarely see him without his beloved camera.

We salute Pete and his awesome Saloon - don't forget to try the Corn Fritters!!   (uhm... you got my lighter?? - sorry folks... only Pete will understand that one)

For more information 

www.petessaloon.com




Jane Winchester


A special note from Curtis about his Mom:

Jane Winchester has been, and still is, as big an influence on my life as anyone around me. Not that it means that I talk to her every day for advice and wisdom... no. More like the things that count in everyday life. The way you carry yourself, how you treat others, whether you like them or not - not everybody's gonna like you - how you conduct yourself as a citizen. And belief... believe you can, and if you work hard enough, you will. That type of knowledge keeps me sane in this some times insane world, ya know?

My Mom's love of music seemed to groom me for what was about to come, I guess, because she always had some sort of great R&B album playing on the record changer while we sang along and did chores. And when we had those occasional parties, I was designated to keep changing the music. So it's no wonder I got the itch to DJ!

She's always there for all of us and my blessings start with having her as my Mother!

Love You Mom!

 

The Lazy Lounge and The Lazy Boy Saloon


Every once in a while, we want to make sure that we not only pay homage to our musician friends, but also to the venues that allow those musicians' talent to shine.

The Lazy Lounge/Lazy Boy Saloon is one of those venues. Owner JR Cavallero is no doubt a great music lover, but also a dear friend. Lazy Boy Saloon has won the Best of Westchester award eight years in a row and for good reason. With close to 500 different brews from the U.S. and abroad, 37 draft selections and an amazing menu, this place rocks.

Not to mention... The Lazy Lounge has now been the host of The Blues, Rhythm and Soul Jam every Wednesday night for over five years, making it the most successful jam in the county. Many celebs stop by to jam on a regular basis.

We salute JR and his awesome staff for always taking really good care of us!

For more information:
www.lazyboysaloon.com
www.lazyboysaloon.com


Dan Cipriano


Dan Cipriano has earned a reputation for electrifying audiences with his energetic style combined with precise technical delivery. As one of the busiest sax players in NYC he has performed or recorded with an impressive array of artists and national acts including Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, The Allman Brothers and many more.

In addition to his live performance work, Dan is an accomplished studio musician on hundreds of recordings.

We LOVE when Dan stops by the Jam - his incredible talent on sax is undeniable.

To learn more about Dan click here.