Meet our talented players and know their passion about music they play.
Jerry started playing acoustic guitar in the fifth grade, learning Irish jigs and old standards from the old masters of Livingston County. One year later he traded his bicycle to a kid down the street for an electric guitar and started playing rock & roll.
In high school he took up the bass, playing in a rock band, and later with a jazz quartet. After several years with the quartet, he decided to get back to the guitar.
Jerry, on acoustic guitar, along with his wife Dale on flute, hooked up with acoustic guitarist Andy Stasko and formed a folk trio, covering America, Linda Rondstadt, CSN&Y and the like. This vocal trio later added bass and drums (and electric guitar)and became the folk/rock band Quarter Moon.
Jerry spent a number of years as lead guitarist for the popular local country band Pay Dirt. After Pay Dirt disbanded, Jerry spent ten years as lead guitarist for Joey T and The Formula. In addition to the Side Project, Jerry performs with "String Of Pearls Of Rochester", an acoustic trio which specializes in traditional folk, country, and cowboy music.
- Wake Me Up When Its All Over - Avicii / Aloe Black
George has been playing piano since he was three and performing since he was four. George grew up in Fairport, where he also became an accomplished trumpet player while in high school.
George attended law school in New York City, and spent a number of years as a successful trial lawyer with top firms in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Through his school years and even while practicing law full time, George continued to be an active performer as well as a songwriter and arranger. He eventually decided to move back to the Rochester area, coming back to his roots to play music and fulfill his dream of representing musicians and artists in the Rochester area.
George spent ten years as keyboardist and musical arranger for Joey T and The Formula, a hugely successful and well-loved show band that specialized in 70's music. Since then George has performed as a solo artist, and as part of a duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, and septet.
It was during this period of playing with many different combinations that George came up with the concept behind the 'Side Project': let's form a group that adapts to the situation as needed. From solo background music, to an acoustic duo, trio, or quartet, and even all the way up to a full blown dance band with horns and drums; whatever is needed, that's what this band becomes.
George is as happy as ever with how this concept has turned out. He gets to play with a number of his friends, in a number of different combinations. And he gets to do multiple arrangements of each song to accommodate the different formats.
And hey, when was the last time you saw someone cover trumpet, piano, and vocals.... in the same song?
- Wake Me Up When Its All Over - Avicii / Aloe Black
Nancy (Park) Drum began playing the Rochester club scene and events at the age of 14. She is versatile on the delta blues bottleneck slide guitar, 5-string banjo, guitar and mandolin. Her vocal style has been called a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Patsy Cline.
Nancy has done warm-up acts for such blues legends as John Hammond, Jr., Paul Butterfield and was mentored by, and performed with, the late legendary gospel blues recording artist - Leslie Riddle. Her band resume includes the Beale Street Blues Band, Blues-Grass, the St. James Band and Pay Dirt. Nancy also currently performs as a member of String Of Pearls Of Rochester, an acoustic trio that plays folk, traditional country, and cowboy music.
- A Thousand Years - Christina Perry
Born in Scotland, Alan Ramsay grew up in farm country near the city of Dundee. As a teen-ager, he taught himself to play guitar in the styles of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. He soon began a career as lead guitarist in three rock and roll bands that had him performing throughout Scotland.
He came to America as a tool and die maker and put his music aside to raise a family, learn to sail, and to become a certified navigator through the us power squadron.
Responding once more to the Fender sound and his love of Rock 'n Roll he resumed his guitar playing. In the early 90's he joined a Beatles revival band as a lead guitarist and back up vocalist.
When asked why he ultimately picked up the bass guitar, Alan replied that he discovered more than anything, he loves playing 'the bottom line'.
Al spent several years as the bassist for Joey T & The Formula, which at that time was one of the most popular bands in western New York. After the Formula disbanded, Al joined up with CoMoTion, covering both bass guitar and backing vocals.
Little known fact: To this day, no one has ever seen Al without a T-shirt, hat, or some other article of clothing that says Fender on it!
No kidding, that IS his real name. Bill has been playing (what else?) drums throughout the Rochester area for years. Among his credits from years past is The St. James Band, where he met his wife Nancy (see Nancy Drum). Bill was a founding member of Pay Dirt, one of Rochester's premier country bands from the mid-eighties thru the late ninties.
In addition to the Side Project, and when he's not busy with his own company running sound for many of the summer festivals in the area, Bill's main project is the country band "Blue Sky", where he provides both lead and harmony vocals in addition to his drumming.
John Battaglia, or 'Baggz' as he's known to his fellow musicians - and to pretty much everyone else - has been a drummer on the Rochester rock music scene since the early eighties. Baggz has played with a number of different bands over the years, most notably with Joey T & The Formula (a 70's themed show band that traveled from Syracuse to Buffalo and to just about every notable town between). It was in The Formula that Baggz, George, Jerry, and Al first crossed paths, and although that band is now in their past, the friendships and musical connections forged then still continue today.
Since leaving The Formula, Baggz has continued to play as a high energy rock drummer, but has also explored more deeply into his 'acoustic' side, adding the Cajone, wind chimes, shakers, and other non-rock tools to expand his range of percussion instruments.
Baggz has found a musical home with the classic rock group 'Vintage' and has been their drummer for several years now. Vintage, like the Upstate Side Project, takes advantage of his multi-percussive talents, playing some jobs as a full blown rock band, and performing others as a scaled down 'unplugged' act. And in addition to his primary band Vintage, Baggz is happy to be a member of the Side Project and loves having the chance to make new music with several old friends once again.
Paul is originally from Batavia, NY and is a seasoned veteran on the Rochester music scene. He has performed with a number of top bands in the area including Swingshift, The Flying Sideburns, Fat City, Orchestra la Fama sin Gafas, R Gang, CoMoTioN and a host of others. Paul has performed at the Rochester International Jazz Festival numerous times, has sat in with national recording artists