Michael Dunston ‐ Lead Vocals, Percussion
In our world of “flash-in-the-pan” singers and “here today, gone tomorrow” pop stars, it is a deserved treat to hear a beautiful tune rendered soulfully and with an authentic depth of emotion that only a seasoned artist like Michael Dunston can bring. While we feel that Dunston’s music speaks for itself, there is clearly more to his story. “Michael is someone who channels the whole history of male R&B vocals when he sings,” elaborates Andrew Scott. “This is someone who can light up a room like almost no other performer. I’ve seen him energize a crowd in the thousands with his enormous talent and boundless energy.”
Given Dunston’s pedigree—a veteran of the club scene, a man who recorded for the legendary soul label Atlantic Records, played Bo Diddley in the film Mr. Rock n’ Roll: The Allan Freed Story and who grew up singing in the churches of North Carolina—such well-honed talents are, perhaps, not surprising.
David Gray ‐ Guitar, Background Vocals
Bio wil be posted shortly.
Matt Horner ‐ Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
Bio will be posted shortly.
John Johnson ‐ Tenor, Alto & Baritone Sax
JOHN JOHNSON (saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, piccolo and harmonica player) is a rare combination of musical sensitivity and technical ability. Able to play just about anything, he is highly respected Juno Award-winning mainstay on the Toronto music scene. An adept recording session player in high demand, he is also a regular member of many popular bands.
Johnson is equally at home playing the funk/fusion sounds of Soul Stew, the high-energy Latin fusion of The Montuno Police, jazz standards with The Barlow Group, and classic blues with Michael Pickett. Other bands he has worked with include Cimmaron, Vector, The Boss Brass, and Mantecca.
In addition to all the saxophones from sopranino through to baritone, he is proficient on piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet, versatility which has lent itself to concerts with such diverse performers as Molly Johnson, Holly Cole, Diane Krall, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Peabo Bryson, Cal Dodd, Dianne Reeves, Bill Mays, the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, as well as guest spots with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions.
Mark Kelso ‐ Drums, Background Vocals
Originally hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mark Kelso has made Toronto, Canada his home for quite some time. Not only is he a skilled musician who plays drums and an assortment of percussion, but he is also a talented Singer, Producer and Composer as well. He brings a rare excitement, a wealth of experience and a high degree of professionalism to every project he works with.
Mark’s ability to play a wide variety of musical styles has helped him become one of Canada’s most sought after drummers. An all around player, Mark has worked with Gino Vannelli, Pete Townsend, Holly Cole, Peter Murphy ( Bauhaus ) Amanda Marshall, Amy Sky, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Donny Osmond, Shirley Eikhard, Hilario Duran, Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Cusson, The Montuno Police, Brian Hughes, Jane Bunnett, Soul Stew, Carol Welsman, Gordie Sampson, Mary Jane Lamond, Joe Sealy, John-Allen Cameron, Marc Jordan, Bruce Guthro, Jane Siberry and Shania Twain.
Roberto Occhipinti ‐ Bass, Background Vocals
Roberto Occhipinti was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 25, 1955. He comes from a prominent musical family that includes two guitarists; younger brother Michael and cousin David. Michael Occhipinti is a well known sideman and co-founder of NOJO – the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra.
At the University of Toronto, beginning in 1972, Roberto Occhipinti studied under Thomas Monohan, was mentored by Joel Quarrington and especially the acclaimed jazz bassist Dave Young. He was a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the mid-70s, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in the early-to-mid ’80s, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra in the mid-to-late ’80s, was principal bassist with the Esprit Orchestra from 1986 to 1994, and long standing member of Arraymusic from 1979-2000.