2008 TOUR BAND MEMBERS
Dave Beyer
Drums

Dave Beyer

Dave Beyer is an in-demand professional drummer and educator in the Los Angeles area. He toured and recorded for 3 years with Melissa Etheridge, and has played or recorded with The Motels, Jewel, Joan Osborne, Gregg Allman, Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop, Helen Reddy, Jango, and Debra Davis. He has performed at major venues worldwide, including the Greek Theater, Universal Amphitheater, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Woodstock, Madison Square Garden and Royal Albert Hall; and has played on The Tonight Show, David Letterman and Ally McBeal, to name a few. Dave also stays busy as a session player, a producer and runs his own recording studio.

Dave currently teaches Ensemble Workshops, Rock Drums, and Private Lessons.

Bruce Atkinson
Bass
 

Bruce Atkinson

It was during one of my Sunday "Modern Jazz Trio" sessions at Las Brisas with the late pianist Dave Catney and legendary Keith Karnaky that I met a few musicians that would again alter the course of my career. I auditioned for and got the gig with the Paul English Group, comprised of drummer Herman Matthews, guitarist, Dwight Sills, and keyboardist, composer and leader Paul English. We played chop-busting original and cover jazz fusion until the gigs dried up. The core of that band later became a locally successful cover band called "New Toys". We sprinkled some originals in there and got signed to a meaningless and unproductive record deal. Around the time of my divorce, in '87 Herman announced he was moving to LA to play in Kirk Whalums band. That pretty much took the wind out of the sails of our band which was going nowhere fast and that was my cue. I had already gone about as far as you can in Houston, gig-wize that is, so there was nothing to lose and everything to gain... So off I went in '88 to be a hit songwriter in Los Angeles. Of course, that never happened, but I did pen a number 2 song on the national Smooth Jazz charts with Michael Lington (and I did save money by switching to Geiko.) Oh yeah, I won 1st place in the Billboard Songwriting Contest in '91.
 

And the crowds cheered...but as usual, nothing came out of it, just a little money in the bank and a modicum of validation. So here I am in LA, with no money and fewer friends doing some low paying society work, whatever I could get my hands on. I was working for this crusty old ex-piano bar playing fart named Clark Keen who would take six weeks to pay me and then the freaking check would bounce. I was literally paying rent with credit cards - running on fumes. But, while most musicians were showing up at his house with Guido, I actually liked the guy. That was the beginning of a period where what few friends I had began noticing I had some serious character flaws. I didn't care. I was starving, but happy to be here. We had a small recording studio and life was good. I was sure it was just a matter of time before I made it big. So who cared if I was broke? After a beginner's-luck international tour with Randy Crawford and some really memorable gigs in the Greg Karukas band, I settled into the Society, "Casual" gig world. I started to actually make a living! Then, in '91, after a brief stint in an on-camera band (a la Letterman) for the daytime talk show "The Chuck Woolery Show" where I earned enough money to make a downpayment on my first house, a drummer friend of mine, Gary Mallaber, introduced me to Jimmy Messina, you may know him from Loggins and Messina, Poco and Buffalo Springfield. I started a long touring relationship with him. That was an amazing experience. I realized I was working with one of the guys who wrote and recorded the songs I was groping girls to in the back seat of my '67 Plymouth Baracuda in '74 anf '75. I still work with him to this day from time to time. We've had a lot of laughs on the tour bus. It was also in '91 that I met this beautiful, talented singer named Christine Day (www.christineday.org) (shameless plug) who would become my bride a few years later. She was dating this young, good looking guy who was coming into 30 million dollars in inheritance. She left him for me. I guess it takes one character flawed person to recognize another. We are 14 years into a very happy marriage...

Gary Oleyar
Violin, fiddle, guitar, vocals
 

Gary Oleyar

 

Gary has played Broadway shows for years, Best Little Whorehouse, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Big River, Evita, Woman of the Year, many others, on the Bob Seger "Face The Fire" tour, then was a studio musician for years in Nashville recorded with Marty Stuart, Paul Leim, Eddie Bayers, Bruce Bouton and many others. was a member of the Jim Messina Band (of Loggins and).....and was on two of his recent records. Was a member of two bands that were on Warner Bros records and had a contract until 2000, made many appearances on TV with the likes of Eddie Raven, Pam Tillis, The Lynns (Loretta's twins), Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney, Billy Burnette (of Fleetwood Mac) and played with Mick Fleetwood's Zoo (a fun blues band that never rehearsed once). Mick and Gary have the same birthday. Gary worked in Back Roads in the 1980s playing fiddle and bass.



 


Steve Nieves

Saxophone, vocals, percussion

 

Steve Nieves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Nieves was raised on a virtual smorgasbord of musical styles in his hometown of San Diego, California. As his parents possessed a love for all kinds of music, he grew up with an unlikely mix of recordings that ranged from artists like James Brown to Sergio Mendes, The Jazz Crusaders to Tito Puente, and many others. Beginning his studies on the alto sax at age 7, young Nieves also started a love affair with percussion, which seemed a natural step for him since he comes from a family of drummers. Adding lead vocals to his arsenal, a teenage Nieves took to the thriving San Diego music scene and soon he was in demand as both a sideman and leader. By his twenties he had worked alongside some of the areas top players including Jason Scheff (now with CHICAGO) and members of the popular smooth jazz group FATTBURGER.

In 1981, Steve made the move north to the Los Angeles area and began touring and recording with a national R&B act. It wasn't long before he had his first major recording contract, signing with Motown Records in 1984 as the front man for JAKATA. That began a longstanding relationship with producer Steve Barri (responsible for signing STEELY DAN). He appeared on DAVE MASON's recording, "Two Hearts" (MCA Records), alongside Stevie Winwood and Phoebe Snow. In 1998, Steve released his solo album "Dream Harvest" (JVC Records) which included both keyboardist Jeff Lorber and bass giant Abraham Laborial. In 1999, Steve and his longtime collaborators formed the group JANGO. Under Barri's guidance they released the album "Dreamtown" (Samson Records) which included a cover of Victor Feldman's "With Your Love" that went on to earn JANGO a nomination for "Best New Artist of the Year" at the 2000 National Smooth Jazz Awards. Their second release "Closer To Home" earned them a spot at Europe's famed North Sea Jazz Festival in 2001.

The new millennium finds Steve as busy as ever juggling appearances with JANGO, as well as renowned guitarist/producer Chieli Minucci (SPECIAL EFX). In the summer of 2005, Steve was tapped for the Loggins & Messina "Sittin' in Again" reunion band. A DVD of the fifty-city tour is available online and at all major outlets. Since 2001, he has been a regular member of the Lao Tizer Band. Lao (another nominee for "Best New Smooth Jazz Artist") has just released his latest CD "Diversify" (Yse Records) which includes Steve on saxophone, percussion, and vocals. Steve can also be found on an upcoming release by southern California's latest entry into the smooth jazz world, Pro2Call. From Maui to Amsterdam and beyond, he continues to broaden his musical journey in fresh and exciting ways.

Opening act for such artists as:
CHICAGO, PATTY AUSTIN, MARCUS MILLER, TOWER OF POWER, RICK BRAUN, RONNIE LAWS, CRAIG CHAQUICO, TOM SCOTT, JETHRO TULL, DAVID BENOIT, KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND, BONEY JAMES, JACK BRUCE, UB40/CHRISSY HYNDE, MARION MEADOWS, CURTIS STIGERS, ALICE COOPER, WALTER BEASLEY, SPYRO GYRA

 

 


© JASPERILLA PRODUCTIONS, INC. • SITE DESIGN: auntie momo designs