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The coaches

Imagine 10 Rounds Of Golf on your favorite course, with a Golf Pro coaching you every step of the way . . . The League Of Rock coaches are many of the best professionals in the business.  Below please find a sample list of just some of the musicians we work with.  Please check back often, the list is updated on an ongoing basis.






Feature Musicians Toronto
By Instrument

GUITAR 
Eric Shenkman
Toney Springer 
Bruce Dies
Russel Gray
Robin Le Mesurier

 

 

DRUMS
Jim McCarty
Chris Lesso
Gary Craig

KEYBOARDS
Steve Koven
Peter Kadar


PRODUCTION
Terry Brown

BASS
JK
Mike Pellarin
Leonardo Valvassori
Jeff Jones
Tom Lewis
Amanda Bentley

VOCALS
Dan Clancy
Jim Gillard
Wendy Lands
Blair Packham
Michael White


Bios

GUITAR

Tristam Avakium    

I am a professional musician of many years standing with extensive experience with theater, touring, and writing/producing. Past and present clients have included Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey and Biohazard. I have worked with producers such as Steve Thompson and Rob Thomas.

I have been a major label recording artist in my own right. I am currently building a recording studio and expanding my client base. I am primarily interested in forging new creative relationships with artists and publishers.

     

 

Mike Bowell    

Mike began playing guitar at the age of 8, and while a teenager began playing rock'n'roll in local bars. In 1996 he graduated from York University with an Honours B.F.A. in Music.

He has played across Canada in a variety of musical settings, including Jazz, Country, Bluegrass and Theatre. In 2001 he performed on singer-songwriter Jenny Whiteley's debut album, for which she received a Juno award in the best solo roots and traditional category.

Mike has been teaching the guitar since the age of 16. He is an instructor at the Guitar Workshop Plus, has coached numerous rock schools, and maintains a large roster od students.

Bruce Dies    

Bruce has been playing guitar since the age of 12. He has a broad interest in syles ranging from Rock, pop to r&b and Jazz. He currently has a full roster of students on both Bass and Guitar.

Bruce has experience playing and touring all over the world with many pro-level bands including Ozzy Osbourne, Lee Aaron, Lisa Dalbello.

He has Produced bands over the years sharing in the Songwriting duties. Thrilled with the creative process he has an ability to build songs from the ground up thriving in the team environment.

Russell Gray    

Russell Gray is a Toronto based session guitar player currently performing with Classic Albums Live, a concert series that tours theatres across North America recreating classic rock albums, note for note, cut for cut. Russell has mastered a broad range of music with Classic Albums Live. Highlights include albums from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Yes, Queen, The Who, Boston, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Rolling Stones, Supertramp, U2 and even Michael Jackson's Thriller. He is also the Van Halen go-to guy.

Some of the venues Russell has performed at include Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and the Hard Rock Live in Orlando. Russell's television appearances have included a visit to Playboy TV's 'Night Calls' in L.A. and playing live during the televised opening ceremonies of the 2008 Canada Special Olympics.


Off stage, Russell is a talented producer and composer. He regularly records guitar tracks for TV shows airing on MTV, Disney and others. Songs with his guitar playing have been featured on 'Dr. 90210', 'Life With Derek', 'Notes From the Underbelly', 'Bad Girls Club', 'The City', 'Legally Blonde' film trailer, and many more. Other highlights include composing music for 'The Banquet' film trailer, not-for-profit organization Ornge and its air ambulance ads, and Texas's poison awareness campaign,poisonisbad.com.
Russell currently is collaborating with several local artists, producing, recording, arranging and editing from his in-home studio. He also regularly does numerous sessions in the Toronto area.

Robin Le Mesurier    

Robin Le Mesurier is a touring guitarist playing with the legendary Rod Stewart. You can also find him on stage with European singer Johnnie Halliday. When Robin’s not on the road, he is an in-demand session guitarist.

Born and raised in the ‘50’s, in London - England, to parents, John Le Mesurier and Hattie Jacques , in the film and TV industry who (for about five minutes) tried to discourage him from having anything to do with the music business or its peripheries. But thankfully were totally supportive when they realized it was a complete waste of time.

During the late sixties, he fell for “the blues” and spent much of his time learning the craft of players like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck.

At the of sixteen, he left school, discovered New York and signed his first recording contract with the EMI subsidiary Regal Zonophone. The group was called "Reign" and the first album two tracks was written by Keith Relf and Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds : 1970 - Line of Least Resistance / Natural lovin' man It will remain there until 1973. It will become a “Womble” and will take part in the recording of 4 albums: 1973 - Wombling songs, 1974 - Remember you're a womble, 1974 - Keep on wombling, 1975 - Superwombling

Robin Le Mesurier worked a lot as a session guitarist in England and also in various bands playing up and down the country. In 1976, he signed a publishing agreement with the Billy Gaff/Rod Stewart Compagny, Riva Records, during which time, he co-wrote the music for a spoken word record, " The Velveteen Rabbit ", narrated by his father, John Le Mesurier.

In 1977, he found himself playing guitar for "Air Supply", on his, and their first tour of the U.S., opening up for Rod Stewart. After which, he was asked to join "Lion", an English band on A&M records living in California. "Lion" later became "The Difference", who gained quite a following in Southern California ‘till he was asked to join the Rod Stewart group in 1980. There he stayed for seven years, touring and recording. From ‘87 to ‘94, he was a sought after session player in L.A. and also a staff writer at Sony Music.

In 1994, he was approached by Rolling Stones producer, Chris Kimsey and was asked to write for French icon Johnny Hallyday, and then went a record Hallyday’s first album sung in English. When that record was finished, Robin Le Mesurier became Hallyday’s music director and writes, records and tours with him ‘till the present. In 1995, it forms, with Bernie Taupin and Jim Cregan the group “Farm Dogs”; they record two albums : 1996 - Last stand in open country, 1998 - Immigrant sons

April 2001, Robin Le Mesurier produced an album at Ocean Way Studios L.A. for a Swiss client. Players include : Reggie Hamilton - bass, Tony Brock - drums, Tom Canning - piano, and The vine St Horns. He is still working with Johnny Hallyday, and in 2004 was back again with Rod Stewart of the U.S.- Canada summer tour. During that tour, Rod’s daughter, Ruby, sang with the band on almost show and now, Ruby and Robin are writing together for her own project. From June 02, 2006 to March 03, 2007, Robin was on the round FlashBack de Johnny Hallyday.

 

Eric Schenkman    

In addition to his work with the Spin Doctors, guitarist Eric Schenkman has built an impressive musical resume that includes work with his own groups the Chrysalids, which released the album Make A Sound in 1995; Cork (with ex-Mountain drummer Corky Laing and former Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding), which released Speed of Thought in 1998; and High Plains Drifter, with the late Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan. Schenkman also participated in the all-star Symphonic Works of Jimi Hendrix album and its accompanying tour, alongside Hendrix's producer Eddie Kramer and Hendrix bandmate Billy Cox, as well as with Corey Glover of Living Colour, Doug Pinnick of King's X and Dave Abbruzzese of Pearl Jam. He's also work with Jack Bruce, Roger Daltrey, Natalie Merchant, Carly Simon, legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton, jazz composer Kip Hanrahan and Canadian songwriter Jimmy Rankin. He's also taught blues workshops for the Toronto District School Board with Ontario bluesman Jerome Godboo. Schenkman is currently performing and recording as part of the Canadian rock-folk trio the Openhearts Society, which recently released the album Love In Time

Michael Zweig    

I started out as a guitar player. That lead to singing and writing. I made a few records under the name ‘Michael Zee’, and with a band called Seventh Son. (They still pop up on eBay or collector sites. Google it, but let’s not talk about the hair.) I toured Canada with Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings. I played at Live 8. I play guitar and sing in the Kings Of The Midway. I had Del Shannon’s home phone number. Bo Diddley taught me how to tell when pork has gone bad. Gary Lewis caught me imitating his father, Jerry. I helped Billy J. Kramer get out of doing a show with some guy who played Mick in a Rolling stones tribute band. Lesley Gore bought me a drink. So did Clarence Williams III.

I write music for all kinds of advertising, including the current, and past few Home Hardware jingles. I co-wrote "The Place'll Be Rocking 'Cause It's Saturday Night" for CBC Hockey Night In Canada. I play in at least 3 cover bands, and sometimes I still write songs.
But enough about me.

VOX

Dan Clancy    

Dan Clancy is lead singer of 4-time Juno award winning Canadian super-group Lighthouse. Included in his many musical accomplishments over the years, Dan has written, performed and produced commercials and theme songs (“Toronto Rock” lacrosse club, Dave Mercer “Facts of Fishing”, CHEX/CBC “Centre Stage”, etc.) and is the voice on numerous national and international radio and television commercial campaigns.

He is the founder and director of the Collective Music Group (Collective Records 2000, Collective Media 2004, Collective Recording Studios 2005, Collective Music Academy 2009, Collective Foundation 2010) offering private vocal lessons, introductory guitar lessons and music business instruction/career advice for bands, solo performers and singer/songwriters.

Additionally, Dan is co-founder and former director of the “School of Rock ’n’ Roll Summer Camp” at Durham College and coach/mentor of our popular “League of Rock” based in Toronto/Chicago/New York/Vancouver (www.leagueofrock.com) He remains a highly respected supporter and active member of Canadian music industry associations SOCAN, ACTRA, SAC, CMRRA, RE*SOUND, CMPA and an official adjudicator for the Canadian Juno Awards.

For more information, check Dan’s website at www.danclancy.com

Suzie Vinnick    

Suzie was nominated for a 2012 Juno in the Blues Album of Year Category for her album Me ‘n’ Mabel. recently won the 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year and Female Vocalist and Songwriter at the 2011 Canadian Maple Blues Awards.

Suzie was also nominated for a 2011 JUNO for her album with The Marigolds entitled That’s the State I’m In and for a 2009 JUNO for her 3rd solo album, Happy Here, produced by Juno-Award winning singer/ songwriter Stephen Fearing. She has previously won 6 Canadian Maple Blues Awards and has also twice won 1st place in the Blues Category of the International Songwriting Competition - in 2010 for the song Sometimes I Think I Can Fly, co-written with Dan Kershaw, and in 2005 for the song The Honey I Want, co-written with Liz Tansey and David Leask.

Suzie has toured nationally with Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café, the John McDermott band and with Girls Sing Boys. Suzie recently made her New York City debut supporting John Hammond at a free outdoor stage in Madison Square Park and has performed for Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. She performs powerfully as a solo act or with her tasteful side players, as a duo and band with Rick Fines, and is also a member of the groups the Marigolds (with Gwen Swick and Caitlin Hanford of Quartette) and Betty & the Bobs.  She was also the voice of Tim Horton’s for 5 years.

Suzie’s latest release is a solo acoustic blues album entitled Me ‘n’ Mabel which was produced by Danny Greenspoon. Suzie’s website is www.suzievinnick.com.

 

Wendy Lands    

The San Diego Union Tribune raves, "Lands sings as if she were born to…you feel every moment, she's like a musician playing her instrument and she doesn't need to sing loudly to impress you."

Voice Quebec says, "The songs appear to float in a lightness inhabited by her subtle and caressing voice. Lands clearly brings to mind Norah Jones, and at other moments, the clear enchanting tone reminds us of Sade. Less exotic but no less bewitching…just imagine an acoustic Diana Krall."

Her unique, compelling voice and songs have taken her from co-writing and co-producing her own Juno nominated debut CD, entitled Angels and Ordinary Men, which Billboard Magazine described as "one of the most impressive Canadian recordings in years" to hitting the number 1 spot on The Mix's Canadian Count Down, to songwriting collaborations with everyone from Melissa Manchester to Paul Williams to The Jacksons.

In 2003, Rickie Lee Jones//Lyle Lovette bass player/producer John Leftwich hand picked Wendy to record with some of L.A.'s greatest players, in sessions that would later become the CD entitled, Wendy Lands Sings The Music Of The Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, the vocal soundtrack to the Oscar winning film, The Pianist. The project was executive produced by Andrej Szpilman, Wladyslaw Szpilman's (subject of the film) son, who set out to make a CD that took his father's original melodies, written over the span of his career from the 30's through the 70's and introduce them to the North American public, using brand new English lyrics, as well as bringing them into the new mellenium with modern, jazz influenced arrangements and production.

According to Canada's, The Record, "The album's songs are smooth, elegant, striking and memorable. The kind that can send chills up your spine…Wendy Lands puts her exquisite voice to these striking arrangements…what more could you ask?"

Wendy is currently one of the most in-demand voice actors in the country, voicing hundreds of spots for everything from CTV to Mattel to Homesense.

 

Blair Packham    

Blair Packham is perhaps best known as the former leader of The Jitters, a Canadian band popular in the late 80s and early 90s. Blair wrote five hits for the band between 1987 and 1991, including "Last of the Red Hot Fools" and "'Til the Fever Breaks". Currently, Blair has a flourishing career creating music for TV and film, but songwriting and record production remain passionate pursuits, as he works with artists both established--like the legendary Andy Kim or Ron Sexsmith---or emerging.

Michael White    

While on tour in 1983, Robert Plant met with Michael and told him to contact Atlantic Records. This resulted in Michael signing a $350,000 record contract with the label and the release of his self-titled debut album on Atlantic in 1987. Since then Michael has recorded two more CD's for Griffin Music. One in 1990 titled "Michael White/The White" and a 1994 release "Michael White Plays the Music of Led Zeppelin". All of these albums have received critical acclaim from the press in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, including excellent reviews in The Chicago Tribune, Billboard and Britain's Kerrang magazine."

During his career that began in 1973, Michael has worked with performers such as Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), George Lynch (Dokken & Lynch Mob), Randy Piper (W.A.S.P.), Lanny Cordola (Giuffria & House of Lords), and for a short time in 1987 the German band 'Accept'. Coincidentally, in the Motley Crue biography "The Dirt", Nikki Sixx credits Michael as having been the original singer in the legendary heavy metal band! Also, a little known fact is that in 1975 Van Halen was a warm-up band for Michael and George's band "The Boyz" as credited by Gene Simmons in his book 'Kiss & Makeup'. Michael has worked in recording studios around the world with producer/engineers such as Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones & Van Halen), Mack (Led Zeppelin, Queen & E.L.O.), and David Glover (Yes & Tom Waits), as well as the band 'Blue Murder' whose members included drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla fudge & Rod Stewart) and John Sykes (Whitesnake & Thin Lizzy).

KEYBOARD

Steven Koven    

Steve Koven was born in Toronto, Canada, and began playing piano at age seven. He has been a professional musician since earning a BFA in Contemporary Improvisation from York University in 1987. In addition to performing world-wide with his trio, Koven plays solo piano concert throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.  When not on tour or in the studio, Steve composes music for film and television and conducts master classes and workshops which focus on the development of improvisational tools and musical self-expression.

Steve is currently on staff at York University where he teaches Contemporary Improvisation and Jazz Piano in the Faculty of Music.  Currently, Steve is working on his Masters Degree in Composition from York University.  As an Educator, Koven has conducted master classes and workshops in China, Japan, Colombia, Barbados and Mexico.

For more information please visit www.stevekoven.com

Peter Kadar    

Peter originally hails from Windsor Ontario, but now calls Toronto home. After completing his musical studies at Humber College, he has continued to study with legendary jazz pianist Barry Harris and classical voice instructor Alan Reid. Equally comfortable in a surprising variety of styles, and demonstrating a thorough mastery of synthesizer technology, Peter has become one of the most in demand keyboard players in the greater Toronto area. He has performed with The Second City, and such artists as Alannah Myles, Mike Reno from Loverboy, Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, and Jimi Jameson of Survivor, among many others. More recent artists include Eva Avila (Sony), Jarvis Church (EMI), Roz Bell and Jully Black (Universal Music Canada).
 
Peter was recently seen and heard across Canada with Sony recording artist Eva Avila as she opened for Beyonce on her I Am Sasha Fierce tour. He also enjoys an increasingly steady amount of studio work ranging from country and jazz, to hip hop and synth pop, and has recently recorded with Indian pop superstar Mika Singh.
 
As a vocalist, Peter is a high tenor with a musically useful three octave range. Years of classical training have given him tremendous power, flexibility, and endurance.
 
When not performing, Peter enjoys being a staff member in the Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College, and an accompanist/vocal instructor in the Commercial Dance program at George Brown College. He is also a member of Natural Born Hustlaz, a production company specializing in urban music.
 
He strives to bring his blend of talent, creativity, and enthusiasm to his peers and listeners everyday.

Sam Reid    

As well as performing as Glass Tiger's keyboardist, Sam has been involved as a main songwriter and producer for the band's recordings. He now prefers to live and work in the country, close to Toronto in a fully-equipped digital MIDI studio built over the Holland River-Riverside Studios: a unique "home in the country" atmosphere combining a creative environment with the latest technology, and the former site of his father's workshop and boathouse.

Sam's creative home surroundings inspired a shift in musical focus and direction. He founded his production company Willow Music, and soon after, the first of the Sanctuary™ series, A Day Remembered, was released. Since that time, Sam has continued to release selections of his peaceful, evocative piano and keyboard music, and A Day Remembered has reached Gold sales status in Canada.

Sam is also a director and resource leader for the Songwriters Association of Canada, teaching the craft of songwriting through educational programs and workshops for songwriters across Canada, as well as co-writing and producing other artists..

BASS

Mike Pellarin    

Originally from Toronto , Mike has performed or recorded with several artists including Queen, Jeff Healey, Rick Emmett, Petula Clark , Hiram Bullock and Alannah Myles .

In the theatre world , he has performed in the orchestra pits/ bands for productions of We Will Rock You (Toronto),  Rock of Ages (Toronto), Mamma Mia ( Toronto / US Tour 1 and 2),  Billy Elliot (Toronto) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Stratford Festival). Other highlights include The NHL Awards,  Canadian Idol, The Canadian Walk of Fame Awards and Team Canada ( Kandahar Afghanistan ) .

Mike is a graduate of the University of Miami's  Frost School of Music . (BM)

Mikepellarin.com

Leonardo Valvassori
   

Leonardo "Leo" Valvassori is a Producer/Engineer/Musician. As a career bass guitarist, cellist and vocalist, Leo began his career with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks before attending the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles (Class of Sept 1984). Leo has enjoyed a long association with Alannah Myles as Musician/Musical Director and engineer and is a 9 year veteran of IMC 'Camp Rock' serving as Bass Faculty Chair.

A partial list of artists Leonardo has performed and/or recorded with   Mel Brown and the Home Wreckers Alannah Myles Martha & The Muffins Stevie Salas Susan Aglukark The Jeffery Bros 85% Jesus Robert Priest CBC Canada Day Band Selena Martin Moe Berg Vibrolux The Immigrants Jamie Warren FeFe Dobson Rough Trade Jay Englishman The Carpet Frogs Johhny Favorite Swing Orchestra Paul Reddick & The Sidemen Michael Pickitt Carlos del Junco Gwen Swick Ellen Macillwaine Spencer Davis Chris Caddell Andrea Ramolo Opus Road Lotus Magnet

Jeff Jones    

Jeff Jones, Chicago born son of jazz pianist Claude Jones, made his debut in the rock world at the tender age of 16 as bassist and singer in the band Ocean, recording a platinum hit Put Your Hand In The Hand. His next venture, as member of rock group Red Rider, created gold and platinum hits
White Hot, Human Race, and Lunatic Fringe for which they toured extensively throughout North America. In 1991 he joined Juno award winning rock band Infidels with Molly Johnson and Norman Orenstein.

In 2001, he released his first solo CD Positive and, in 2007, an EP Heir of Desperation, which included Money, a duet featuring Michael Sadler of Saga fame.
He continues to write and record original music.

Over the course of 40 years he has played with rock legends Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Tom Cochrane, Ronnie Hawkins, and Lawrence Gowan. Since 2003, Jeff has toured regularly with Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Burton Cummings, and plays regularly with his bands The Kings Of the Midway and the Carpet Frogs.

For more info and to listen to his music visit
www.jeff-jones.com

 

Tom Lewis    

Tom Lewis has been a professional bassist and vocalist for over 30 years. Tom’s abilities were recognized even in the early years: He was awarded a special license from the LCBO, to play his bass in licensed establishments even though he was well underage…The envy of his peers!

The exceptional experience Tom has gained throughout his journey as a musician, has allowed him to share the stage with some of rock’s biggest names. These names include The Beach Boys, The Moody Blues, Al Green, Randy Bachman, Tom Cochrane, Alan Frew, Amanda Marshall, Honeymoon Suite, FeFe Dobson and many, many more.

Tom is endorsed by Fender/SWR amplification, D’Addario strings and Yorkville sound.

John Switzer    

John Switzer is a Toronto-based independent record producer. He has produced records for Jane Siberry, Andrew Cash, The Grievous Angels, Rita Chiarelli, and The Waltons, among many others. He was voted Producer of the Year at the 1986 Casby Awards for Jane Siberry’s The Speckless Sky album, and was awarded a gold record for that same album. In 1994, The Waltons’ Lik My Trakter album was certified gold. He was voted Best Recording Producer in the 1996 NOW magazine Reader’s Poll (!?) and was awarded the 1996 Porcupine Award for Producer of the Year. Touch the Earth and Sky, by Native-Canadian singer-songwriter Vern Cheechoo, released in 1999, was nominated for a JUNO award in the “Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording” category and garnered Switzer a “Best Producer/Engineer” trophy at the 2000 Aboriginal Music Awards. Switzer has also worked in film as Music Consultant and Music Director for Patricia Rozema’s White Room and I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and produced the song score for ZERO PATIENCE, “a musical about AIDS” by John Greyson. Recent recording projects include Spirit and Stone, the 14th album from the venerable Tamarack, and Songs of Work and Freedom from The Brothers Cosmoline, which was nominated for a 2001 JUNO. 2002 saw the release of the JUNO nominated Spirit World, Solid Wood by NWT singer Leela Gilday, winner of three awards, including Best Folk Album, at the 2002 Aboriginal Music Awards. Released internationally in August 2004 on Nettwerk Records, the Switzer-produced album Jimson Weed , by Winnipeg band Nathan, was nominated for a 2005 JUNO award for “Best Roots/Traditional Album”, nominated for “Outstanding Independent Album” and “Outstanding Roots Album” at the Western Canada Music Awards, and received the award for “Best Album–Contemporary” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Amanda Bentley    

Amanda Bentley is a FENDER endorsed bassist/guitarist, songwriter and music producer. She has toured as the bassist/backing singer for Juno award winning artist Jully Black, sharing the stage with Alicia Keys, K'Naan, Rufus Wainwright, Holly Cole and more. She is the recipient of multiple songwriting awards and has co-writing credits with some of Canada's top songwriters and music producers. She has toured extensively throughout Canada as a solo artist and continues to have her songs played on radio stations across the globe.

After the birth of her son in 2009, she wrote and recorded a children's album which was on the iTunes Canada Children's Bestseller List. The album is still selling around the world on iTunes. Currently, she is working as a music producer, vocal coach and professional singer. Her newest project is an acoustic duo called "Gently Bentley".  The duo can be found performing throughout the greater Toronto area. She has written a double album for the duo and plans to release it this spring.

More info at:

www.amandabentley.ca
www.gentlybentley.ca
www.youtube.com/user/bentleyonbass

DRUMS

Jim McCarty    

Jim McCarty (born James Stanley McCarty, 25 July 1943, Liverpool) is a British musician, best known as the drummer for The Yardbirds and Renaissance. He has also played in the bands Shoot (on lead vocals), Illusion (with three other ex-members of Renaissance), Stairway and Pilgrim.McCarty has also been a member of The British Invasion All-Stars, and his own Jim McCarty Band. By now, everyone knows the Yardbirds legend, if not their music; the band graduated three of the great Ph.D.s of rock guitar: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. 

They created hard rock out of standard twelve-bar blues, doubling the tempos and whacking the amps up to ten. On the British club scene, the Yardbirds, the Animals, and the Rolling Stones ruled the stages. The Yardbirds expanded the range of the electric guitar, experimenting with feedback, sustain, and fuzztone. 

In 2003, a new album, Birdland, was released under the Yardbirds name on the Favored Nations label which consisted of a mixture of new material mostly penned by McCarty and re-recordings of some of their greatest hits, with guest appearances by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Brian May, Steve Lukather, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John Rzeznik, Martin Ditchum and Simon McCarty. Also, Jeff Beck reunited with his former bandmates on the song "My Blind Life". The Yardbirds released a live 2007 CD, "Live At B.B. King Blues Club" (Favored Nations). As a solo artist Jim has released numerous albums and projects including 2002s Two Steps Ahead, and 1994s Out Of The Dark, and has a new album that will be released shortly

 

Chris Sutherland    

Growing up in a musical household, listening to every style imaginable, lets Chris be comfortable in any situation. Pop, rock, country, metal, jazz, progressive rock, zydeco, broadway musical, and bluegrass, all appear in his resume.

Chris has performed with Canadian Rock Legend Kim Mitchell since 1999, and is also currently drumming for Sass Jordan.

Chris toured and recorded with Prog Rock Legends Saga in 2007 and 2009 and is featured on the DVD CONTACT. He was a member of Doc Walker from 2005 to 2007 and recorded the hit Self titled 2006 release in Nashville. From 2003 to 2005 Chris was the principal drummer for the Toronto production of the hit musical Mamma Mia. Based on the music of ABBA, It is one of the most popular musicals of all time.

As a freelance musician, Chris has performed and recorded with Glen Drover ( Megadeth ), Dierks Bentley, Deric Ruttan, Chad Brownlee, Jason McCoy, Hayley, Michelle Wright, The Wilkinsons, Randy Bachman, Streetheart, Burton Cummings, Amy Sky, Marc Jordan, and many more.

As a session player He has recorded commercials for Coke, Tim Hortons, NFL, NHL, Coors Light, Budweiser, CFL, The Toronto Blue Jays, and hundreds more. He has also recorded televison and film work for MTV, Teletoon, YTV, CTV, CBC, and many feature films. He studied at PIT with instructors Steve Houghton, Joe Porcaro, Casey Scheurell, and Ralph Humphrey. He has also studied privately with Ed Soph, Jim Chapin, and Gregg Bissonette.

Chris Endorses Sonor Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Pro-Mark Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, Converse Shoes and performs Clinics and educational events worldwide.

Topher Stott    

TOPHER STOTT - As a musician, Topher has performed live with a variety of artists including Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughn), Earl Slick, Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie), Jeff Healey, Phillip Sayce, Classic Albums Live, Hot Fo' Gandi, The Tiny Specks, Sara Kamin, Rik Emmett, Blair Packham, Bruce Gordon (I MOTHER EARTH), Derek Kai, Dj Carlos, Cherone Moore, Morgan David, Karen Durrant, Janet Whiteway, Stop Die, Andrea Florian,  Bob Reid. In the studio,Topher has recorded numerous cds and has played on jingles/productions for companies such as Microsoft, Bausch and lomb, Catelli Pasta, Uniden Communications, NexxTech Phones, Wolverine Work Boots, to name a few. He is currently working on a cd of original children's music with his wife, Laurel James. As a leader, Topher runs "The Saints Of Cinema", a deep ambient groove project, and the power trio "Kings Of The Midway", featuring Michael Zweig and Jeff Jones.
Topher holds a Honours BFA-Music from York University (Toronto), where he focused on improvisation with Casey Sokol + David Mott, Jazz and Carnatic music with Trichy Sankaran. In 2005, Topher was asked back to York University in Toronto, teaching Contemporary Improvisation.

Chris Lesso    

Chris began studying music on the piano at the age of 7, and received his grade 8 in classical piano through the Royal Conservatory at age 12. He began drumming when he was 9, and has never looked back. After gaining much experience performing and writing music in various bands, he sought out and took lessons from many world-renowned artists such as Dom Famularo, Ed Shaughnessy, and Jim Chapin, then going on to study with highly respected teacher and drummer Jim Blackley. Chris is currently studying jazz harmony on the piano.

Chris' unique blend of hard rock, jazz, improvisational, and world flavored rhythms can be heard with Tony Springer (Wild T And The Spirit), Brownman, The Blues Bros Revue, jazz pianist Steve Koven, Chris' own original band The Factor, as well as various other artists playing around the Toronto area and internationally.
Chris is a proud educator, teaching a full roster of students at his studio Rhythm In Motion, performing regular drum clinic events, and is a faculty member at Metalworks Institute for performance technology. He is also a published author, writing articles for various publications including Canadian Musician Magazine, and has designed a goal centered curriculum for his students. Chris is endorsed by Sonor Drums, Evans Heads, Vic Firth Sticks, and is a member of the Professional Drum Teachers Guild.

Gary Craig    

Gary is a Toronto Canada based drummer/percussionist who has performed live and in the studio with many artists including Anne Murray, Bruce Cockburn, Colin Linden, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Tom Cochrane, Jann Arden, Kathleen Edwards, The Rankin Family, Jimmy Rankin, Gregory Hoskins, Jenn Grant, Stephen Fearing, Jesse Cook, Suzie Vinnick, Jason McCoy, George Canyon, The Wilkinsons, Allanah Myles, John Bottomley, Lawrence Gowan, The Kings, Eddie Schwartz, Karyn Ellis and Trudy Artman. He has recently recorded with John McDermott and performed across Canada with him and his band in 2009 and will be doing the same again in 2010.

The last couple of years has also seen interest in co-production including credits with Gregory Hoskins – The Beggar Heart (2006), Trudy Artman – Unfolding (2007) and recently a production credit for Karyn Ellis – FACTOR professional demo. This past year I was involved in the making of Bruce Cockburn's cd Small Source of Comfort and followed that up with a Canadian and US tour with Bruce to support the cd. I also played on and am supporting the new Blackie & the Rodeo Kings cd Kings and Queens this summer. Endorsements: Paiste Cymbals, Ayotte Drums, Levys Leathers

PRODUCTION

Terry Brown    

Terry began his career as an assistant engineer (“tea boy”) at Olympic Studios in 1960s “swingin’” London. Terry says “During  my apprenticeship there I was a part of the team that recorded hits for The Troggs, The Moody Blues, Marianne Faithful,  Spencer Davis Group, Donovan, Barbra Streisand and many more.”

Soon Terry moved into actual engineering, tackling some rock projects, as Terry says, “one of the first being the recording and mixing of The Who’s ‘Substitute’ under the direction of Mr. Peter Townsend.” Terry also engineered such classics as ‘Homburg’ by Procol Harum, and ‘Mellow Yellow’ by Donovan. It wasn’t long before a connection was established overseas, through the unlikely conduit of a series of beer commercials for Canadian radio.

Working in London at Morgan Studios, Terry met Torontonian ad-music-makers Mort Ross and Doug Riley; ultimately, this work led to Terry plotting to open a recording facility and record label in Toronto by the fall of 1969. (In the meantime, Terry mixed another landmark recording: Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends”).

Arriving in Canada, Terry engineered recordings for Motherlode, Dr. Music, April Wine, The Stampeders, Michel Pagliaro, Moe Koffman (the theme for “As it Happens” is still heard on CBC Radio One every weeknight). About the 1970s, Terry continues, “It was then that I started to take the production aspect of things more seriously and started a long relationship with Rush, then cut three albums with Klaatu and as many with Max Webster. The 80’s saw a Billboard #1 with ‘I Just Died In Your Arms’, the band Toronto went gold with ‘Head On’, ‘Tom Sawyer’ from ‘Moving Pictures’ pushed Rush over the edge and ‘Try’ was the big hit for Blue Rodeo’s ‘Outskirts’ CD.” Busy doing great work to this day, Terry continues to engineer and produce music with the same passion and enthusiasm that drew him to music in the first place. 

 

Blair Packham    

Blair Packham is perhaps best known as the former leader of The Jitters, a Canadian band popular in the late 80s and early 90s. Blair wrote five hits for the band between 1987 and 1991, including "Last of the Red Hot Fools" and "'Til the Fever Breaks". Currently, Blair has a flourishing career creating music for TV and film, but songwriting and record production remain passionate pursuits, as he works with artists both established--like the legendary Andy Kim or Ron Sexsmith---or emerging.